3TB Hard Drive Round-up: Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital

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3TB Hard Drive Round-up: Hitachi, Seagate, WDIf you're currently in the market for a large capacity hard drive, you've come to the right place. Today we take a look at four of the latest 3TB drives to hit the market, from Hitachi, Seagate, and Western Digital. Although each HDD offers the same amount of storage, there are some distinct differences between them. Read on to find out what separates these products from one another, and then you can examine the performance numbers we recorded from each drive after running them through our benchmark gauntlet...

3TB Hard Drive Round-up: Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital


Western Digital AV-GP, Caviar Green, Hitachi Deskstar, and Seagate Barracuda XT

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beelsebob replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 12:53 PM

Wow, a site that claims to be about hardware reviews that doesn't know the difference between GiB and GB, or that Windows misreports GiB as GB... Nice work there.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 1:31 PM

99% of the population has been referring to Gigabytes with the letters GB and we're well aware that Windows reports capacity on a 1024 base, versus what manufacturers list. This is an age old discrepancy that has been around for a very long time. Not sure what you're point is or why the need to split hairs and be so snide.

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@beelsebob

Not too sure where your getting at that, I looked at the article and it looks good.

I wouldn't mind getting the WD caviar green - it may be the slowest, but you don't need fast access for movies and stuff that's just in storage. Not to mention it's one of the cheaper options, plus it should run slightly cooler as I believe those green drives have variable speed between 5400 and 7200RPM.

HD's are so dirt cheap now...its crazy. I believe almost anyone now can have a cheap NAS/RAID box for storage (which 5 years ago would be a huge investment).

BTW good article Marco.

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rrplay replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 2:15 PM

Thanks for the solid review ! and what actually like the most about it is there is more than enough information provided to comfortably decide.Depending on the drives actual [type of data stored] some of the decision would likely be more influenced by the margin of pricing at the time of purchase. I can think of quite a few savy users that would give up the small performance gains with the Seagate to save the $30 and get the WD Green.a $20-25 margin dif and it would most likely be the Seagate all the way.Still amazing to have 3TB HDs at these prices.

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BLowe replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 3:05 PM

Including power consumption would be nice.. a few watts difference could mean a lot more than $20/year difference. I hate that all drives say "green" on the box but none seem to include how many watts they burn waiting to read/write.

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@ Dave

Don't waste your time for pointless comment like this ... anyone knows in 2011 that manufacturer advertise capacity in decimal multiples and Windows use binary multiples, Keep on writing good articles like this instead, You and all HH's team ! ;)

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lax replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 3:46 PM

Informative piece.  For those in the consumer electronics design biz,  it would be valuable to have sound power level data in addition to power consumption.

I'm curious about the vertical axis on the ATTO graphs.  I don't believe the results could really be 140000 MB/s.  Gotta be a typo.

 

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LBowen replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 3:49 PM

Thanks for the HD Round-up; I still have that Vertex and 3TB WD Green I have yet to install as I need to get some SATA Cables still.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 3:55 PM

lax:

I'm curious about the vertical axis on the ATTO graphs.  I don't believe the results could really be 140000 MB/s.  Gotta be a typo.


That error has been corrected.  The vertical axis indeed had a decimal point in the wrong place in the spreadsheet.  The charts have been corrected now.  Thanks!  Smile

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'Here Here' to that!

And not just because of what it would cost per annum in $.

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CSands replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 6:37 PM

This round up is appreciated. Page 2 shows the Hitachi Deskstar listed at $129 though the article mentions several times that the price is $179. Suspect the $129 price is actually for the 5400 RPM model, but if it were for the 7200 RPM model tested, it would make the decision much harder, even with the shorter warranty period.

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I have a question. A few years back, Western Digital started making their less expensive high capacity drives with a twist. They suddenly didn't work in RAID configurations. Their response to people's questions about it was that they should buy (much more expensive) enterprise class drives if they want that capability.

As far as I know. Seagate didn't do this, and I never heard of Hitachi doing it either.

So my question is: The four drives that you reviewed this time, are they functional in a RAID environment? Witch are, and are not?

I like the Seagate drive so far, because of it's better warranty. If it will work properly in a RAID setup, that makes it the better choice for two reasons.

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Manduh replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 8:25 PM

Great article!

I need to find me a good, yet affordable 1-3TB HDD for my lappy. Any suggestions?

Maybe I should just chuck this laptop out and get a desktop again so I can actually heed all the great advice already given on HH.

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AKwyn replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 9:25 PM

Hmmm.... I wonder what would happen if I buy two of those Seagates and run them in a RAID 0 mode?

 

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Sep 7 2011 9:33 PM

TaylorKarras:

Hmmm.... I wonder what would happen if I buy two of those Seagates and run them in a RAID 0 mode?

An almost twice as fast 6TB drive?  Yeah, that's what would happen. Wink

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OSunday replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 12:37 AM

What's the life expectancy of these drives looking to be?

I was considering a WD or Seagate 2TB Green HD, but all the reviews on Newegg and Tigerdirect were reporting a high failure rate, and drives dying after only a month or so of use!

Any explanation for that and comparison to the 3TB Drives Reviewed?

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@OSunday there are always going to be drives that fail early on in their life. I think a lot of the reviews you see are the negative experiences that people have and not too many of the positives. The quality control for all hard drive makers has seemed to be going down hill for quite a while

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 8:14 AM

OSunday:

What's the life expectancy of these drives looking to be?

I was considering a WD or Seagate 2TB Green HD, but all the reviews on Newegg and Tigerdirect were reporting a high failure rate, and drives dying after only a month or so of use!

Any explanation for that and comparison to the 3TB Drives Reviewed?

I believe Seagate had an issue with their high density platform early on in the 1 - 2TB product cycle.  They had a very high failure rate actually.  However, I believe that's behind them now.  You probably saw some commentary to that effect, regarding those drives a couple of years ago.

 

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Dave_HH:
I believe that's behind them now.

Yeah, and there is a 5 year warranty to back them too. (even though taking advantage of your warranty can be a PITA) Smile

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slugbug replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 2:13 PM

Manduh: There's a thread on RFD with a 1TB 2.5" notebook drive for $59.99 at Amazon.ca

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RDeed replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 3:41 PM

The Seagates still have a very high failure rate when compared to other HD manufacturers, infact Appple just recently started recalling systems which shipped with Seagate drives. I would still go for the Hitachi, as I have for years (atleast until WD messes them up) As long as you don't cover up the "don't cover this hole" they are exceptionally reliable. I used to build computers which were moved allover the country in trucks and vans and never had a single HD failure. My server which has 3 nearly 10 year old Hitachi's which had run for atleast 8 years without shutting off (only been shut down the last 2 years unless I need to access data on it). My point, Who cares about the warranty if you never need to use it. Can't say that about the Seagates,

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TBrown replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 3:49 PM

Is there a reason this review reviews Western Digitals GREEN hard drive, and not the high performance black hard drive? I am actually in the market for a new drive, and VERY interested in a comparison, but this is totally useless when your sticking performance drives of one brand against low-end energy saving drives of another.

Do your homework next time!

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TBrown:
Is there a reason this review reviews Western Digitals GREEN hard drive, and not the high performance black hard drive?

YES.

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Marco C replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 4:15 PM

@TBrown - Perhaps you should do your homework too. Your first assignment---find a WD Caviar Black 3TB drive and post the link here.  Good luck, hoss.

(inside joke for everyone else: WD doesn't make a 3TB Caviar Black yet.)

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JLaGrou replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 4:31 PM

Looking forward to the day I can pack 15 of these in my old md1000 and turn it into a tapeless tape backup system.

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Nice Marco :) love the response.

I am surprised that WD does not have a 3TB black or blue drive yet but I am sure it is coming at some point soon.

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AKwyn replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 7:37 PM

RDeed:

The Seagates still have a very high failure rate when compared to other HD manufacturers

Funny... I have a Seagate HDD and I have never managed to see it fail; if it does then I'll be desperately worrying about finding a way to recover the data.

Seriously, 5 years I've had that thing and it has not managed to fail... The only reasonable explanation is that I must of been lucky back then.

 

 

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Manduh replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 8:29 PM

Thanks slugbug :D

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TaylorKarras:
I have a Seagate HDD and I have never managed to see it fail

I have four 7,200RPM 750GB Seagates and a 1TB Seagate. One of the 750's failed when it was brand new and Newegg replaced it right away for me.

I also have four older 400GB Seagate drives. They also run at 7,200RPM, and I just put them all together in a RAID 0 configuration in a Dell Precision 390 that someone gave me. After I find an adapter (the video card has a weird plug on it) for it's video card, I can start using it for something.

All of them came with a 5 year warranty and I've had no serious problems with them at all. Seagate did release a firmware update for the four 400GB drives, and I applied it to all of them, but I had no issues before or after that with them. I remember when they were having quality issues with their drives, but I also remember them standing behind them and replacing them with updated stock.

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The market for these drives is HTPC's and you should test them in accordance.

So how fast do they start up? My current drive goes to sleep, then takes ~ 4 seconds to before it's ready again.

How much noise do they make? I can hear clicks from my current drive.

How much heat do they make?

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Dave_HH replied on Sat, Sep 10 2011 9:53 PM

xraybies:

The market for these drives is HTPC's and you should test them in accordance.

I would disagree that the market for these drives is HTPCs.  That's ONE of the markets only.  Acoustics and heat are good questions though.  We'll make sure to include these coverage points in future reviews.

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MrGA replied on Sun, Sep 11 2011 5:14 PM

@Dave_HH: He is probably referring to the fact that Giga is a SI-standardized internatinal prefix that MEANS something. It actually has a certain, deifinitvie meaning, that is not up for specualation or interpretation. It simply means a million (ten in the ninth) - Or rather, a million times what it stands before. 1GB IS one million Bytes. Just as a GHz is one million Hz. Just as a GW is one million watts. This is, actually, seventh grade curriculum. It isn't hard.

Someone created ANOTHER standard and claimed that One gigabyte was a 1024 megabtyes, which was a 1024 kilobytes which was...etc. This was, and have always been wrong a fact that IEC, who issued the new "standard" admitted themselves, by effectively cancelling it in 1999 - In other words, since 1999 - twelve YEARS, there has NOT been a standard claiming a Gigabyte is anything other than one million bytes.

In twelve years, it is safe to say that anyone who tests storage devices should have had ample time to adjust, IF they had at all been using the wrong standard in the first time.

Linux knows this. Apple knows this. Microsoft fucks it all up, as is their habit - show them a standard, and they are happy to incorporate it just a little bit wrong.

If you want to do it the wrong way, at least label it correctly. The IEC way of calculating byte prefixes as a function of 2 in the n-th has since 1999 (again, TWELVE YEARS)een known as kibibytes (KiB), mebibytes (MiB), gibibytes (GiB,) tebibytes (TiB) etc.

It is not splitting hairs informing you that you are giving your readers informationtly which is undoubtedly, and indisputably wrong. And I can fully understand him being snide when you do this for a living, but haven't kept up the last twelve years. ;)

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MrGA replied on Sun, Sep 11 2011 5:16 PM

For the Green one: standby/sleep is just 0.80W, idle is 5.5W and read/write operations pull just 6.0W . Note, howver, that in "stanby/sleep" the WD Green drive parks it's head. Also, it dos this way too often, meaning those 300k cycles are getting used up WAY too fast if you out it in something like a home server.

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MrGA replied on Sun, Sep 11 2011 5:50 PM

@zwei_zucker: WIndows uses binary multiples, but they have NOT been called Gigabytes since 1999. IEC then relized it's error in making a "double standard", and renamed the binry multiple system to Gibibits, Mebibits etc. The corret capacity in the "Windows-system" is thus Gibibits or GiB. Not Gigabyte og GiB Microsoft just isn't very up to speed.

But hey, ANYONEknows that, right? ;)

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Sep 11 2011 11:07 PM

MrGA, I'm done with this painfully obvious point that you're beating into the dirt here. Everyone knows this and it is assumed regardless.

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Sep 11 2011 11:29 PM

By the way, all references changed to TiB and GiB, and the pricing table on the last page notes cost per GiB (formatted capacity) with a footnote that GiB is ~ = to 1.074GB.... and no one gives a rat's ass except for you two knuckleheads. :)

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Chainzsaw replied on Tue, Sep 13 2011 5:07 PM

I know this is beating a dead horse...but TBrown, I don't consider HDD's to be very performance oriented anymore, maybe 6-7 years ago. If you want performance - you have to get an SSD.

For me I would rather get the GREEN drive as there should be less spinning of the drive (should last longer) as well as some power savings. Probably quiter too due to the speed.

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MrGA replied on Tue, Sep 13 2011 11:27 PM

But then what would the world be without us?

Well, at least without MS an too many others mislabelling stuff, it would be much easier to make people understand why their 2 GiB of stuff didn't fit unto a 2GB pen drive, or why "every file I send from my Mac to a windows user gets corrupted! It's missing some megabytes" isn't a corruption issue.

Generally speaking, people "knowing" something that isn't true only serve to make them ignorant, which too often seems to cause them to be very irrational and hot-headed. Doing occasional CS work sometimes feels like being locked in a room with creationists. Guess we all have our hangups. ;)

Kudos for fixing it up though.

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realneil replied on Wed, Sep 14 2011 8:33 AM

MrGA:
But then what would the world be without us?

Yes, the world needs people picking fly S*H*I*T out of the pepper. A noble tradition that has led us to the wonders of political correctness.

We, (the people who are here all of the time) have always understood what they meant, (go figure) and you're taking your little piece of knowledge and pounding it down everyone's throats as your own little crusade doesn't make you any smarter than the editorial staff. It's just solid proof that you're a PITA.

In case you haven't noticed, there are a whole crapload of websites that express themselves the same way as we do/did. You should go forth and conquer!

Your cause awaits!! (see-ya!)

 

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