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Going Sata, which drive to get?

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by Teasy, 17 May 2006.

  1. Teasy

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 202

    I'm going to move from IDE to SATA but I'm wondering which drives are the best. I don't need a huge drive 250GB is fine, I just want the fastest and most reliable drive I can find at around that kind of size. Looking around at some reviews I keep seeing the Maxtor MaxLine and Deskstar drives mentioned as the best. But these two companies have to be the worst I've ever experienced when buying IDE drives, so can I really trust there SATA solutions?

    I've had 3 Maxtor IDE's and they've all started making dodgy noises within a couple of months and then died shortly after, while deskstar IDE drivers famously earned the moniker "Deathstar". Seagate and WesterDigital seem to be the best I've delt with for IDE, but is it all different in the SATA market?
     
  2. div0

    Mobster

    Joined: 12 Jan 2006

    Posts: 3,581

    Location: Edinburgh

    All manufacturers go through spells of being very reliable - then go through other periods where they are considered to be unreliable.....

    Basically you have to remember that any drive can fail at any point - I really doubt that there is THAT much difference between manufacturers in terms of reliability just now.

    But seeing as you are interested, currently I think "most" people would agree with something like this (for both SATA and IDE):

    Seagate - probably the most reliable drives. Come with a standard 5 year warranty as opposed to 3 years with most other manufacturers.

    Western Digital - good, reliable drives, not too many problems

    Samsung - Meant to be very quiet drives, think there have been a couple of issues with one size in particular (120Gb or 250Gb?). But generally seem quite popular.

    Hitachi - I believe they used to have reliability issues a long time ago, which I think is what you were referring to. Recently their drives seem to be well recommended as the best "all round" drives. Meant to be quick, not too noisy and reliable.

    Maxtor - Seem to be having some issues with reliability at the moment. There have been a few posts on this forum over the last few months about RMA's. Tend to be cheaper than other drives and seem to sell in large quantities, may partly explain the percieved "large" number of complaints.

    I'd say that my personal preference is Seagate for Storage (Documents, Pics, Music etc) and WD (Raptor) for performance (O/S and Gaming).
     
  3. Teasy

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 202

    Does anyone know what this "Maxtor Dual processor technology" is supposed to be?
     
  4. div0

    Mobster

    Joined: 12 Jan 2006

    Posts: 3,581

    Location: Edinburgh

    sounds like "marketing b$%&%$#t" to me ;)

    dual core processors are out - so everyone needs some "special" dual core technology for anything thats out to buy just now.

    its a bit like the "vista ready" marketing on new graphics cards.....its a total nonsense as far as I can tell. All DX9 graphics cards are "vista ready" and always have been!! The new cards such as the 7900 and x1900 are no more "ready" than any other DX9 card!!

    when Vista is released and DX10 games are available, everyone with a "vista ready" 7900 or x1900 is still going to have to buy a new graphics card if they want to play in DX10 mode - so its nothing more than a marketting "ploy". I'd be surprised if this wasn't exactly the same thing ;)
     
  5. Teasy

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 202

    Still haven't chosen a Sata drive yet. I have one last question before I do. Will I really see a difference in speed compared to my 120GB Seagate Barracuda IDE HDD? The data transfer specs for SataII drives seem many times higher then IDE drivers but what is the real world performance like? My upgrade is purely for faster access, so if there won't be a great speed gain then its not worth my upgrading.
     
  6. Messiah Khan

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Sep 2005

    Posts: 10,000

    Location: Scottish Highlands


    Your unlikely to see a huge boost at all. The bandwidth of IDE is not the limiting factor, its the speed of the drive. Most 7200rpm drives these days read at an average of about 50-60mbps, so nowhere near the limit of 133Mbps of IDE. The one thing that does increase speed these days in the platter density, which is why the New Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 is so good, as it uses perpendicular recording. Features such as NCQ also help.
     
  7. RobH

    Mobster

    Joined: 9 May 2005

    Posts: 4,524

    Location: Nottingham

    I bought a Western Digital Caviar 120GB SATA as my first SATA drive. Had no problems with it at all and it runs much quiter than my IDE drive next to it.
     
  8. noxidjkram@hotm

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 29 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,447

    Location: Newcastle upon Toon

    I'd recommend the Samsung 250Gb SATAII.

    Lovely and quiet, nice speed.

    M
     
  9. NightmareXX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Aug 2005

    Posts: 1,025

    Location: Team 10

    My first and only SATA is the WD 37GB Raptor. Lovely drive for windows :D Makes it nice and speedy.
     
  10. Teasy

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 202

    I thought Sata drives not only had much faster access to the rest of the systrem but also a much faster internal speed. I know they're still 7200RPM but I assumed there must be some new technology in there to make reads and writes much faster. If not then sata seems quite useless unless you have multiple drives on each controller (which I don't), and even then it doesn't sound like it would make much difference.

    In that case what options do I have if I want faster access? At the moment I have a Barracuda 7200.9. Is my only option a Raptor?
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2006
  11. PureAppleJuice

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Dec 2005

    Posts: 1,419

    Location: Londontown

    Raptors are pretty awesome, try and get a 74gb one ;D
     
  12. noxidjkram@hotm

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 29 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,447

    Location: Newcastle upon Toon

    scsi drives and a controller card...

    M
     
  13. Messiah Khan

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Sep 2005

    Posts: 10,000

    Location: Scottish Highlands


    For faster access, you have to either look at SCSI, a Raptor or even Iram. My persoanl choice out of that lot would be to get 2X18Gb 15k rpm SCSI drives and put them in RAID0
     
  14. Teasy

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 202

    Are the 15k rpm drives loud? How much is a SCSI card as well?

    Thanks
     
  15. NightmareXX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Aug 2005

    Posts: 1,025

    Location: Team 10

    And where would one go about aquiring SCSI drives? OcUK don't sell em :(
     
  16. Messiah Khan

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Sep 2005

    Posts: 10,000

    Location: Scottish Highlands

    Yup, 15k drives are relatively loud. SCSI cards are relatively expensive, however you can pick some decent bargains from the bay'. Thats where you are best looking for the drives as well. If you buy a full SCSI setup brand new, your looking ata lot of money, so its better to hunt for second hand bargains.
     
  17. Teasy

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 202

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I'm still looking at a faster HDD and recently a friend also asked me what I thought would be the best way to upgrade his HDD config for better speed. Anyway I was thinking about RAID and basically just wanted some info on it. It pretty much passed me by completely when it first came out since I have really never been that interested in getting the most out of HDD speed, until now. But to my understanding you can use two seperate hard drives as a single drive. Which can increase the bandwidth between the drive in a similar way to dual channel memory. Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the current state of RAID configs and/or a article with benchmarks vs a none raid setup?

    Thanks
     
  18. Messiah Khan

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Sep 2005

    Posts: 10,000

    Location: Scottish Highlands

  19. Teasy

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 202

    Thanks for the link. I've been reading up on RAID for pretty much the first time amazingly :) So it seems that if I bought, say, three 80GB SATA drives and put them on RAID0 I would effectively have a 240GB HDD with reads/writes around about three times faster then my current single IDE drive?

    EDIT: I've now heard that this kind of setup could be quite risky with a lot of potential read and write errors. How true is this? Would it be worth keeping my 120GB IDE drive to continually backup important files while running the OS on the three 80GB SATA drives on RAID0? Would that be relatively safe? Or could that kind of RAID setup cause enough errors regularly enough to make even running Windows unstable?
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2006
  20. Rambaud

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Apr 2003

    Posts: 1,978

    Location: Hertfordshire

    At the moment I have 2 x 250Gb in a RAID0 array, plus a 200Gb SATA for storeage.

    I have just bought a 400Gb SATA to be used as an external drive.