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Windows 7: Which Hard Drive?

04 Feb 2012   #1

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
Which Hard Drive?

I'm considering adding a new hard drive or two to my storage setup. Right now I'm using a pair of 1TB Seagate drives which have been quite reliable. They are identical ST31000528AS SATA II drives. I have another comparable 1TB drive on my second computer which serves as an extra layer of backup protection.

Both of the Seagates are about 85% full (as is the third Seagate on the spare computer), and while I would like to wait until HD prices get a little saner, industry scuttlebutt says that may be another year from now and I doubt I'll be able to wait that long.

Since the drives I'm looking to add will be storage only, high performance is not absolutely necessary, though I would like to stay away from anything which will take forever to get going. I also don't see a huge price difference between 1TB and 2TB drives right now and would prefer to go for the larger size to avoid filling all my SATA ports or having to use the (ugh) Marvell controller.

I'm looking at these two - any thoughts would be much appreciated:

Micro Center - Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB 5,900RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ST2000DL003 - OEM 016543

Micro Center - Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB IntelliPower SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD20EARX - OEM 017376

There is only a $5 difference between them, so any difference in performance, quality and reliability would swing the choice one way or the other. :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

I don't know if you can find it now, but I have had good luck with the Samsung HD103SJ a 1TB drive and I also have a 1.5TB. They are very reliable and faster than the Seagate or Wstern Digital 6Gb/s drives. Most here will disagree with me, but of those 2 I would go with the Seagate. With all the bad rep they have, I've used them for years and never had a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit


Like Essenbe, I have a Samsung 103 SJ 1 TB as primary storage. Very fast for a spinner, no issues at all.

I use a WD 1.5 Green as backup storage and have had no problems with it either. It spins circa 5400 rpm, but frankly I've never said "geez, I wish that thing was faster". The benchmarks I did on it indicated it was faster than the typical 7200 rpm drives of a slightly earlier generation anyway.

I've also owned Seagates with no issues.

I've never had a hard drive fail--if I had, I'd naturally lean against that brand for a long time.

I've come to the conclusion that with occasional exceptions due to outright bad design, it doesn't much matter and you aren't likely to notice differences---though of course you do need a bit of luck to avoid the DOA or early failure duds that all manufacturers put out.

You could likely run down online tests of those 2 candidates if necessary, but I don't know how that would tell you anything about reliability. That's a crap shoot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

I've had every brand die on me over the years, except Samsung.
I haven't owned the Samsungs long enough though, less than a year on the pair I have.
But I love them so far, really fast for a green drive, pretty quiet, and run cool

Seagates have died the most on me, but that is because we only used Seagates back in the mid to late 90's, and we used them till they failed, then replaced them with more Seagates. The Amiga 4000 we used had 22 drives attached to it, 20 SCSI drives and 2 IDE drives and was used for Non-Linear Video editing.
I had a stack of about a dozen dead Seagates on my shelf, 9 and 18GB drives. they all lasted past their 5 year warranty so we got our moneys worth out of them.
A few Quantums died on me, as well as Maxtors, and Micropolis, bunch of IBM Deathstars (Hitachi bought the IBM stuff so I am still leery of Hitachi), a dozen or so WD's have also died on me.

For pure storage, I would go Samsung*, WD, Seagate.

*Seagate bought Samsungs drive division so I am don't know if Samsungs are re-branded Seagates now or if Seagate makes the Samsungs using Samsungs technology and factories.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #5
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I had no idea in how to compare those both candidates as there never been a way to assure how long it will last for.
We have most barracuda in the office works in various condition. Some are used as simple server storage, other as desktop storage and system drive for workstation. Lately WD start having its market here, then we just started using it without any reference.
What I was able to notice is that most of the Seagate on desktop will only last for 3 to 4 years. Laptop worst, 2 to 4 (shaky in nature?). For the WD, nothing can be concluded yet as we just start using it last year.
I exclude the SCSI and SAS as yet none of it worn out. We even have old SCSI drives lasted for 14 years, but all were replaced due to its short capacity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #6

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

When it comes to hard drives I have lived a life of serial monogamy. I was a big WD fan for years until I had a bunch of them die young one after the other. Then I was a Maxtor guy, with the same eventual outcome. I used Fujitsu after that because my company put them in their new builds and I got a discount. Don't know whatever became of that company - they were good drives for me. I went through the IBM Deathstar fiasco. Four of them, plus coupons for replacements which I never bothered using personally - gave them away to people I didn't like. Then ultimately ended up with Seagate, which has been good to me so far. I was lucky and missed their firmware debacle.

Normally I would have just gone and bought some drives, then crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Since my focus has been on SSDs for the last two years I have very little idea what is good right at the moment, which is why I asked. Since there doesn't seem to be an "avoid at all costs" situation with anyone (I'm with Zepher on still being leery of Hitachi) I will probably try to wait for a sale and go with the best deal. Too bad hard drives aren't traditional Valentine's Day gifts or there might be a special after next week.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

I've used Maxtors (2), WD's(15), Hitachi's(3), Seagate's(4) and another brand that escapes me. Of all of these drives only (2) 2.5" WD's have been problematic. If I was adding to my large array of drives I would look to WD, Hitachi, Seagate, Samsung in that order and really if I could get a smok'n deal on a 2 or 3 TB with 32 cache from any of those makes I'd snap it up. I understand the spinpoints are very good as well I just have zero personal experience with them and actually hope to change that situation when sanity comes back to HDD production and pricing. Oh and now I'm getting up to rapidly knock on wood........thanks very much ! lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The 2TB Samsung Spinpoints get my vote. I've got 5 of them between home and work and they are great. Don't let the 5,400RPM be a concern, these have so much aerial density they are very fast, quiet and cool.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #9

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

I think I've only owned one Samsung drive in my life, back in the day when 20GB was a thing of wonder and awe. I keep seeing the name show up here on the "recommended" list, so they will definitely get some consideration.

It's also interesting to hear about the 5400/7200 rpm points. I always associated the 5400 with bargain-basement low performance. Thanks for setting me straight.

Thanks, everyone! :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Which Hard Drive?

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