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Windows 7: NAS or desktop HDD for RAID 1 (or windows software raid)

03 Jan 2015   #1

W7 Pro 64
NAS or desktop HDD for RAID 1 (or windows software raid)

hi, I want to buy two new HDD for my RAID 1 (mirror) in desktop to store my data. i have onboard RAID (ASrock H77M) but also contemplate to use the windows raid on other SATa ports (in case I want two Raid-1). size would be 3 TB or so. this is to keep data until i backup or for the backup (mirroring gives me some added safety)

I want Hitachi for the better reliability (I have WD and happy with them, but it seems Hitachis is a tad better). also want 7200 rpm.

I noticed newegg mainly sells the NAS version of the Deskstar. I read all about the 7-second timeout for NAS drives and how a RAId would drop a normal desktop HDD etc. so normally for a desktop i woudl buy the non-NAS version (which are barely available).

On the other hand the RAId 1 (on-board and windows) may benefit from the NAS version? Or am I overthinking this for RAID 1? Is the NAS version slower? Price-wise it seems more to depend on where to buy them. I don't mind spending $10 or $20 more for the right HDD while i weigh reliability higher than speed.

Currently I have two 750 GB WD Black Caviar in RAID 1 and a WD green as backup (which is terribly slow... never buy a green drive!). My OS (w7 Pro 64) is on a Samsung SSD. So speed is secondary, but I do weekly virsuscan of all my data etc, and noticed the Green drive takes half a day.So i definitely don't want a slow HDD. My case has front fans for the HDD.

What's the advice? The more I read about NAS, the more my head spins and it seems at some point all HDD will be labelled NAS. I know the NAS have less vibration etc. but the fact they give up looking for data after 7 seconds unlike desktop drives makes me nervous.

Edit: the reason I don't want a regular NAS is that if my PC fails i want to be able to pull out the HDD and install it in any PC without fuss and get my data. Actual RAID is not an option since rebuilding depends on the controller and if that fails my RAID would be gone. all i read about NAS is they are not good for backup and expensive compared what i get for a normal PC.

Here the NAS link, here the desktop link . The NAS version talks about 1 mio MTBF, so i assume it lasts longer since the desktop version doesn't mention MTBF?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2015   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hey there HerrKaLeun!

I can see you're a bit confused about the drives and NAS requirements. But it's a good thing you're looking into details to understand better. Let me see if I can help you clear things a bit. :)

The NAS environments are very tough. Regular drives used in RAID/NAS systems can get damaged, destroyed and corrupted really fast because they aren't designed with the "defences" that NAS/RAID hard drives have.

NAS/RAID drives are equipped with technology protecting them from the higher temperatures and constant vibrations, gives them 24/7 reliability, they're tested for longer hours to endure in a harsher environment, all to protect the information you store better.

Some NAS/RAID drives are for smaller NAS systems like the WD Red, others are for larger NAS systems like the WD Red Pro and for large enterprise systems like the WD RE. The "smaller system" drives can't handle larger NASes than the ones they're designed for (e.g. 2-4 bay system is a small NAS), but the "larger system" drives can handle small NASes (e.g. 6-8 bay system is a large NAS); in most cases enterprise NAS/RAID drives are the ones with bigger and safer works.

These reasons are why you should consider a specialized drive for NAS and RAID rather than an usual desktop drive.

The MTBF means Mean Time Between Failure, and is typical to be characterized for such NAS/RAID drives, usually in hours which usually sum up at around 1 mil.

Whether you'll choose a WD, HGST or another brand, that's all up to you personal preference, certain requirements and financial ability.

Hope I've helped! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2015   #3

W7 Pro 64

CKWD; thanks. do you think this all what you say applies to RAID 1 (on Mobo) and the Windows software RAID 1? I understand NAS and servers have RAID 5, 6 etc. But I only mirror and can't imagine the raid controller is so fuzzy. (I've used RAID 1 for 10 years with regular HDD with no problem).

In regards to quality, yes I thought the vibration isolation etc. woudl benefit a desktop as well. But wonder about the nearly identical price for NAS and Desktop verison of the same drive (I'm comparing HGST Deskstar).

Regarding brand my choice (HGST) comes down to:
- Seagate has all the problems and they are hit and miss
- WD is fine (Had them for years no problems). but i hate their marketing green, intellipoint etc. names that just are a fancy name for slow HDD. they have too many 5400 rpm drives.
- According to Backblaze HGST is touch more reliable than WD. and the prices are about the same. (I know WD owns the 3.5" part of HGST and have to rely on them not fooling around with quality)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Jan 2015   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hi again! :)

The rule (recommendation) for the NAS/RAID drives applies for all types of RAID (hardware or software).

Different NAS and server models may have different options. WD itself has NASes which have RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, and JBOD, so it depends on the certain device you're using.

Yes, I saw the HGST Desktstar comparison, and the two package models have also differences and benefits for their own area of design. Such almost identical prices to near products can be oftenly seen. Especially if they are coming from the same brand.

About model names, features and hard drive speed, each HDD is made with a certain design, some need to be slower, other need to be faster. That's why picking parts for a build is so hard, because you need to know what you are looking for, in order to pick the perfect part for the aim.

For instance, WD has different names for the hard drives (Blue, Green, Purple etc.), in order to distinguish them from one another, as each drive's spec sheet is a bit different from the other, designed for a different job. The Black is for performance, the Red is for NAS/RAID, the Green is for archiving and back ups, having IntelliPower to consume less electricity and be more quiet, etc.

Other brands do the exact same thing. Just like HGST, having a Desktar package for NAS and a separate one for everyday desktops.

You need to know what you are looking for.

If you feel confused about your choice, if it's going to work out or not, I would suggest looking at reviews and comparisons and always keep in mind for the warranty period!

Another thing is that even by picking the best of the best hard drives, a risk is always present with hardware and electronics. Always have a back up! (besides the RAID 1) :)

I'm sure your set up would be just great, good luck! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #5

W7 Pro 64

Thanks CKWD. My preference is HGST. I like the WD blue and black, but the rest are 5400 rpm drives), even some of the Red (they really market the crap out). I just don't know I can support a company that deliberately confuses people to talk them into mediocre performance drives. I have a "Green" and whatever energy it may have saved it wasted by forcing me to leave the PC on over night to complete my virus scan because each GB of Data takes twice or three times as long as with my 7200 rpm drives. You think for backup the 5400 rpm drives are OK - that only applies to HDD you never virus-scan :)

anyway, I probably go with the Deskstar NAS. One more question: at the end of its life (like it gets too small) i may use it in a PC as a normal single HDD. Is there a performance to other issue to use an NAS drive as normal non-RAID HDD? As it is 7200 rpm, and based on Anandtech tests it is fast, I can't imagine to really notice a difference. (I don't even notice a difference between my WD Black and WD blue - both 7200 rpm).

As for backup, my actual DATa are on RAID 1 WD Black. that shoudl preotect me from failure before backup. Those get backed up every hour on another HDD. I also have daily backup to a cloud service. In addition it also automatically backs up to my living room PC when I turn that on. So if there is a fire that destroys all my PCs in the house i should have enough data except the last day maybe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hi again, you're welcome!

It's good you've already focused on a brand. Each person would prefer a different make and model of a product, that's why there is such variety. Each company has its own approach and as I said before, with hard drives, each one is with a different design, best to work in a certain environment. People have a choice, each HDD has a detailed description, and if they want to, they can have whichever they like. Nothing from the drive capabilities is hidden, that's why there are Spec sheets and User guides, and that applies to not only WD, but also HGST, Toshiba, etc. That is a wide spread policy for consumer products and their value.

Anyway, sometimes people can't find exactly what they are looking for, and have to settle with something only similar.

But it is good you made a choice! The Deskstar NAS looks fast, with a wide capacity range and has NAS characteristics; generally, a specialized hard drive for what you need. Usually, there isn't a problem using NAS/RAID drives in other more average environments; that won't harm them or make them not work. It's just that it's always good to use hard drives by their purpose. But these drives shouldn't have a problem being used in a less-demanding than the design environment. It would depend on when the time for that comes, how healthy the drives would be.

Otherwise, you seem to have a very good back up system, congrats!

Good luck! :)


P.S.: I hope you don't have a fire that will destroy all of your computers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2015   #7

W7 Pro 64

Thanks for the help.
One more question, on Newegg there are many HGST HDD with only 1 year warranty from re seller, assuming these are OEM drives. I also noticed the model numbers don't exist on HGST website. Are those the same built drives as the retail versions? I mean I don't care about warranty if it the same quality (I never had a failure, and if it fails 2 years later, i just buy a newer better anyway). Those OEM drives are significantly cheaper and if it is the same drive, I happily skip the warranty. (a long warranty on electronics is moot anyway, do you really want the very same device 3 years later??)

i just don't want to end up with a Chinese knockoff HGST never heard off :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2015   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

You're welcome.
These are interesting questions but I am not that familiar with HGST procedures.
I am sure if you turn to customer support of HGST they will be more than helpful. :)
I would say that you'd have to read some reviews and contact someone in their Support center.

I am sorry I couldn't be of much help on this one!


My System SpecsSystem Spec

 NAS or desktop HDD for RAID 1 (or windows software raid)

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