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Data Storage Hardware

3TB Hard Drives Square Off Against Everything Else 160

crookedvulture writes "Last week, Western Digital announced its intention to buy rival drive maker Hitachi. Interestingly, those are the only two companies with 3TB hard drives available for sale. The Tech Report takes a closer look at how the two models compare with each other and over 30 different hard drives and SSDs. The resulting data paints a detailed picture of the storage landscape and is worth skimming for anyone curious about how spindle speeds and flash memory impact performance, power consumption, and noise."
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3TB Hard Drives Square Off Against Everything Else

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  • You're Wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

    by DWMorse ( 1816016 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:27PM (#35486412) Homepage

    Seagate has had a 3TB drive on the market for -months.- They were the first on the scene, in fact. How'd you miss this? They have a 64MB cache, 7200rpm SATA II / USB 2.0 / 3.0 external drive, with the internal drive version of it with a new, custom firmware to allow for old BIOS installation hitting the shelves at the end of March. You can take it out of the enclosure and use it internally if you really want.

    That's not "the only two." That just makes Seagate "the only ones that waited for extra dev time to make it widely compatible for non-techies."

  • Re:You're Wrong. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:44PM (#35486532)

    "Seagate claims to be shipping a 3TB flavor of its Barracuda XT, but we haven't been able to find one that's actually for sale."

  • Re:You're Wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:51PM (#35486598)

    If you want the bare drive, you can pre-order it here:


    If you want it in the special packaging that doubles as a USB harddrive enclosure, you can get it here:


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:52PM (#35486622)

    Did they get the alignment between the old 512 byte and new 4096 byte sectors right for the Caviar Green? I know the performance is average, but mine doesn't suck as much as their benchmarks make out. The Caviar Green misreports its structure as 512 byte sectors, in an effort to be windows compatible. To get full performance out of it, you have to be careful to (possibly manually) align the file system so its 4096 byte clusters line up with the drive's 4096 byte sectors. If not, the Caviar green attempts to emulate 512 byte sectors, and has to do multiple accesses for each 4096 byte cluster read/written. On read, it needs to read the first half of the cluster, then the second half (throwing away portions of each sector). It gets worse on write, as the drive will read in a sector, write the part of the cluster that overlaps it, then write it back, then repeat the process for the second portion of the unaligned cluster. Get the alignment right and its one access per cluster, and the drive actually performs pretty well. Next time, WD might make life simpler by ditching the 512 byte sector emulation, and trusting the user's operating system to actually work with 4096 byte sectors.

    Oh yeah, turn off the Caviar Green's "auto head parking" "feature" as well, as under Linux the drive parks and unparks its heads about every 8 seconds, as the default "sleep" time for the drive seems to be marginally less than Linux's average time between disk accesses.

  • by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @09:07PM (#35486734) Homepage

    Seagate used to be top of the line as far as hard drives were concerned but these past few years have shown a drop in quality. My 1.5 Tb Seagate started acting flakey last summer so I ordered a Hitachi as a replacement while Seagate sent me a refurb drive. We'll see how long the Hitachi lasts.

    Back when 80Gb drives first came out I ordered one from Maxtor. Months later it started acting up and they sent me a replacement, which died not long afterward. A few drives later they sent me a brand new retail kit. At this point I knew enough to run the Maxtor diags before even formatting the drives. Well the diags said this drive was also bad. Yes I did run diags on different boxes to rule out a bad motherboard or cable. I decided it wasn't worth the $8 to send back drive number 6 (yes SIX) and bought a Seagate instead which is still in use today.

  • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @10:35PM (#35487316)

    We do have real data on that subject. Google did extensive recording of their hard drive failures a few years ago, and they go through piles and piles of HDs.

    Verdict: No significant variation in failure rates between HD manufacturers.

  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @11:48PM (#35487740) Journal

    Because it's a stupid idea encouraged by the mindlessly fastidious to map a concept that applies in one domain (i.e. hoarding stuff in the real world) to another domain without really considering whether it even makes sense to do so.

    Computers are machines to organize data. The whole point of a computer is that you don't have to delete the seldom used stuff, it won't get in the way of your other stuff. You just put it on your endless array of back shelves, and let the machine worry about finding it again if you ever need it. Storage is cheap. Stop deleting stuff. You don't have to keep your drive under 5% usage. That's not neat, it's wasteful.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.