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Windows 7: What components make enterprise HDDs more reliable than consumer HDDs?

22 May 2013   #1
0pTicaL

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
What components make enterprise HDDs more reliable than consumer HDDs?

Been googling around for info and haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what makes a enterprise drive more reliable than consumer drives.

I understand consumer demand for bigger drives at lower cost so manufacturers have to cut corners somewhere along the line. What/Where exactly are they cutting and by now much?


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22 May 2013   #2
Dude

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

Interesting question. This link gives some good info

Quote:
Hard drives are designed with a wide variety of features that can impact data integrity and
system uptime. Some hard drive manufactures may differentiate enterprise from desktop drives
by not testing certain enterprise-class features, validate the drives with different test criteria, or
disable enterprise-class features on a desktop class hard drives so they can market and price
them accordingly. Other manufacturers have different architectures and designs for the two
drive classes. It can be difficult to get detailed information and specifications on different drive
modes.
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22 May 2013   #3
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

The current market for consumer hard drives is highly competitive. Manufacturers will do whatever it takes to keep costs down, as they must if they wish to stay in business. Price is always a major factor and in many cases the deciding one. Many computer user seem to think that hard drives never fail, as witnessed by the fact that they never make backups of even their most important files. I see this on computer forums almost every day. There are often 2 ways of doing things, the cheap way and the right way. Needless to say consumer drives will see a lot of the former.

The market for enterprise level drives is quite different. IT managers are well aware of the fact that reliability is far more important than price. This applies to all computer components, not just hard drives. They are well aware of the fact that hard drives do fail and are willing to pay a premium price to ensure this doesn't happen very often. The difference in the initial purchase cost can be quickly overwhelmed by even a short period of down time. Server drives usually run 24/7 and sometimes in areas not easily accessible to IT staff. It can be quite expensive to send someone to replace a drive, even when it does not cause a service disruption.

The details of how consumer and enterprise level drives are built are best known to the manufacturers. For reasons that should be obvious they are very reluctant to discuss this.
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22 May 2013   #4
Wrenches

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

When I was looking for a HDD I did some research and read reviews. I decided on a Seagate Constellation 1tb HDD for my system. It has a good reputation as being reliable and I paid for it. I believe it's an enterprise drive.

I'm not worrying about data loss because I use my system for recreation and have nothing important stored in my system. I just don't like the drive to take a dump on me.
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22 May 2013   #5
Solarstarshines

Windows 10 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wrenches View Post
When I was looking for a HDD I did some research and read reviews. I decided on a Seagate Constellation 1tb HDD for my system. It has a good reputation as being reliable and I paid for it. I believe it's an enterprise drive.

I'm not worrying about data loss because I use my system for recreation and have nothing important stored in my system. I just don't like the drive to take a dump on me.
I think Barracuda is a better drive but that drive is Seagate I always trusted Seagate since 95
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23 May 2013   #6
0pTicaL

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks for the info guys, guess this is a hardware secret we will never really know because I don't think review sites will open up hard drives as part of their reviews.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Solarstarshines View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wrenches View Post
When I was looking for a HDD I did some research and read reviews. I decided on a Seagate Constellation 1tb HDD for my system. It has a good reputation as being reliable and I paid for it. I believe it's an enterprise drive.

I'm not worrying about data loss because I use my system for recreation and have nothing important stored in my system. I just don't like the drive to take a dump on me.
I think Barracuda is a better drive but that drive is Seagate I always trusted Seagate since 95
Barracuda is Seagate's line of desktop HDDs, Constellation is their enterprise class HDDs, so Barracuda < Constellation.
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23 May 2013   #7
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I would think one of the largest differences would be the warranty coverage, which I would expect to be longer on the Enterprise level.

The problem is, hard drive usage is so subjective. Several of you have said Seagate is your brand of choice, but what about someone who's had several die? Hard drive brand really doesn't matter, as long as you stick to a quality brand, and avoid any lines that had issues, like the DeathStars and the 7200.7 (I think). Keep your documentation, keep your drives cool, and keep your data backed up. There's little more you can do.
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23 May 2013   #8
Wrenches

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

The reviews helped me pick out a drive by seeing how many had returned the drives for defects and at the time there was a batch of WDs found bad.

I'm not saying they're bad drives but it was a bad time to pick WDs at the moment. It has to be the flood thing.
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23 May 2013   #9
0pTicaL

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wrenches View Post
The reviews helped me pick out a drive by seeing how many had returned the drives for defects and at the time there was a batch of WDs found bad.

I'm not saying they're bad drives but it was a bad time to pick WDs at the moment. It has to be the flood thing.
I believe that's their Red line of drives. Their blues and blacks seem to be OK.
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23 May 2013   #10
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

More often than not it simply boils down to more stringent quality control parameters. And it's not a given that what "fails" this test isn't fit for desktop quality control and is sold as such.

The same as CPU "binning", or the reason you see CPUs of the same generation and class marketed at different clock frequencies, or why any GPU that is less than the flagship is theoretically the same but has some parts disabled.

It was simply tested and was found unstable beyond a certain clock, or some subsystems were wonky while the rest of the die was fine.

Why? Manufacturing process isn't 100% precise, usually by choice (raising reliability from 50% to 80% costs a fraction of what costs going from 90% to 99% or more, it's usually cheaper to have more % of quality assurance failures if you factor the increase in production output).
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 What components make enterprise HDDs more reliable than consumer HDDs?




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