Recommend a Hard Drive?



Hi people,

My IBM Desktar (40GB) is struggling to cope with all the music and other crap I throw at it, so time has come to expand. (I’ve backed up quite a bit to DVD, but 40GB just isn’t enough any more :sad: )

So I’ve been looking at WD, Seagate, Hitachi, but would really appreciate any pointers you can throw my way. I’m set on 120GB with 8MB Cache.

PS. If it helps, my ageing PC is P42Ghz, 512MB, WinXP, ATI 9800.


WD has always been a favorite of mine and will continue to be my #1 choice
> then Seagate
>> then Hitachi

The Samsung’s are also very nive drive.
Maxtor would be at the bottom of my list (I’m sure others will disagree).



Hitachi Desktar 7k250 is an excellt performance and very quiet.
Samsung, Seagate are slow while WD have decent performance but it’s quite noisy.


You won’t see any difference in performance between any of the 7200RPM-8MB drives, the only real difference is size and price. All HD’s fail at about the same rates regardless of brand name.

If you want to FEEL some fast performance, the Raptor 74GB drive is the only true screamer outside of SCSI.


hey digital fire, i had an IBM DeathStar just die on me and i just RMA’d it back to Hitachi (took over IBM drives). they sent me another 40gb drive in no time. once they receive it, they process it and send one out 2day air. just check the serial and model number on their website, . anyway, my favorite has been Seagate and WesternDigital. I don’t like Maxtor’s that much because, 1) i’ve had 2 that seem like they’re about to fail after only a year of use. 2) they only have a 1 year warranty.


Thanks for the suggestions. I’m swaying toward a Hitachi 7K250 based on reviews, but there’s not much in it these days (been a while since I took any notice of hard drives).


Eh, they’re about the same, except for brand pricing. I wanna be brand loyal and stay w/ just IBM and Quantum (Maxtor), but got a pair of WD 120GB/8MB when those holiday sales came along. I might get a WD Raptor 74GB as the boot HD and a pair of Hitachi 300GB in RAID 0 as the file HD when I do a complete system upgrade in about… never.


The best thing you can do is to go to and read the reviews of the HHDs you are interested in.


Or just see what names sound best: Seagate, Western Digiital, Samsung, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Maxtor…

Most recently, I bought about 28 WD drives, BB, LB, and JD, but I somehow regret I didn’t go with Samsung P80.


You won’t see any difference in performance between any of the 7200RPM-8MB drives, the only real difference is size and price.

From my point of view I have to say that you haven’t compared in two drives in daily use. You’ll find a Seagate drive quite a bit slower/unresponsive compared to a Hitachi drive for instance.


I’ve used several Seagate drives, both IDE and SCSI, and IBM/Hitachi drives again both in IDE and SCSI configurations but it was quite difficult for me to notice much difference between them.

Of course, Sandra does it better than me.

How about this? I don’t even feel much difference between RAID 0 and single Seagate or Samsung.

SiSoftware Sandra

Benchmark Results
Drive Index : 134MB/s

Performance Test Status
Run ID : SP on 2004 - 07 - 11 PM 7:43:29
SMP Test : No
Total Test Threads : 1
SMT Test : No
Dynamic MP/MT Load Balance : No
Processor Affinity : No
Operating System Disk Cache Used : No
Use Overlapped I/O : Yes
IO Queue Depth : 4 request(s)
Test File Size : 2047MB
File Server Optimised : No

Benchmark Breakdown
Buffered Read : 168 MB/s
Sequential Read : 182 MB/s
Random Read : 80 MB/s
Buffered Write : 116 MB/s
Sequential Write : 123 MB/s
Random Write : 86 MB/s
Average Access Time : 7 ms (estimated)

Drive Type : Hard Disk
Total Size : 596GB
Free Space : 17GB, 100%

Performance Tips
Notice 5008 : To change benchmarks, click Options.
Notice 5004 : Synthetic benchmark. May not tally with ‘real-life’ performance.
Notice 5006 : Only compare the results with ones obtained using the same version!
Notice 5209 : Consider using the Removable Storage/Flash Benchmark for Flash devices.
Tip 5202 : Use cache on to measure Windows performance.
Tip 2 : Double-click tip or press Enter while a tip is selected for more information about the tip.

I had to edit the date because that was in Hangul on my system.

That’s one of my RAID 0 volumes that I daily use. I used one of the slowest HDD drives on the market but that’s still faster than any disc-based HDD announced till now. However, I’ve used only SCSI drives for http/db servers.

Therefore, I can only agree to what rdgrimes said. I’d recommend adding more memory modules. I’ve got only 2GB DDR 266-MHz there though it can accept up to 16GB. A Supermicro mainboard based on Intel E7525 can accpet up to 16GB DDR-II memory.


Synthetic benchmark blows, use a benchmark that shows real life performance and regarding raid 0 in general.

“Western Digital’s Raptors in RAID-0: Are two drives better than one?
If you haven’t gotten the hint by now, we’ll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer.”
Stop the RAID0 Insanity!
“It is our hope that these findings taken as a whole will stem an internet-wide trend where enthusiast-oriented websites blithely incorporate RAID0 into their “high-end” single-user boxes, ignorant to both theory and empirical results.”

I’m also very sure that users are able to tell the difference between 12 ms and 15ms in access time (just boot Windows and you’ll notice) not to mention about 8mbyte/s in general performance (Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 vs Hitachi 7K250).


I’ll never give up my Raptor RAID-0. I have 2 Seagate 160’s in RAID-1 that cannot burn 2 separate DVD’s at 8x, (or read one and burn another), etc. But my Raptor RAID-0 can do that easily while multitasking other jobs.

I agree that RAID-0 with many HD’s is probly a waste, but there are drives, like the Raptor, that excell in RAID. And you don’t need a benchmark to see it.


@ rdgrimes
Did you even take a look at Anandtech’s article?
The only that raid 0 helps is linear reading and writing, access times aren’t improved which is what most ppl “define” speed as. RAID 0 also sucks when it comes to reliability but that’s another story…


I’ve read that, and other “articles” as well. Like I said, I can SEE the difference. As to reliability, RAID does not suck at all. This RAID-0 array has ben online 24/7 for over a year. It’s no less reliable than the hard drives.

RAID bashing is the current “in” thing to do. With the right hard drives, the advantages are obvious when you place high demands on your system. So-called reviewers often do not tell you how they have configured the arrays that they are testing, often they are using inferior controllers, the results can be deliberately or accidentally scewed in a number of ways. Real-life experience is a better way to test such thing. Try it in your own environment and see if it helps you. Here, the answer is that it does make a difference.

There are other reasons for using RAID besides performance. RAID-0 and JBOD offer the option of combining the capacity from multiple drives into one volume with the combined capacity of the disc cache as well.

My point is simple: that blanket statements like “RAID is bad” or “RAID is good” just don’t hold water.


This RAID-0 array has ben online 24/7 for over a year. It’s no less reliable than the hard drives.

If one hdd dies your whole array will go bye bye while you just drop half of it if and still have the other part readable without raid 0. And now tell me how that makes raid-0 just as reliable as two independent hdds.


Having 2 drives in RAID-0 does not make it twice as likely that you lose data. The odds of a HD dying in RAID are exactly the same as the odds of a non-RAID HD dying. You could even argue that the odds are less in RAID-0 because each drive is doing 1/2 the work. In either case, if you’re dumb enough to neglect backups, you’re screwed. If you use a thorough and intelligent backup scheme, the odds of losing anything are low. I’ve lost RAID arrays more than a few tiimes, and never lost any data.


Having 2 drives in RAID-0 actually makes it twice as likely since the data is spanned over two drives although it doesn’t affect the reliability of the hdd itself. And yes, you should backup important files but that wasn’t the point.


I have a WD 120GB 7200rpm with a 8MB buffer and it’s great. It is fast and quiet and it has a 3 year warranty attached :slight_smile:


Sorry to be argumentative, but you’re mistaken. 2 drives are not twice as likely to fail as one. The odds of either of the drives failing are exactly the same as the odds of the non-raid drive failing. The odds of one of 2 drives failing are not twice the odds on one drive failing. That’s a mistaken assumption. But it’s also irrelevant to this discussion. The only source of any increased risk of failure in RAID-0 comes from the controller itself, not from the drives. Drives can drop offline sometimes on a crappy controller, power dropouts, etc., but rarely, if ever, on a good controller. Still irrelevant if the drives is backed up.