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Old 03-26-2006, 04:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are bigger hard drives ever less reliable?

I'm about to purchase an IDE hard drive and an external enclosure for it. The main purpose is going to be live (audio) sample streaming (LARGE samples), and it'll be carried around a lot. It hopefully wouldn't get knocked around too much, but I'd definitely expect it to take more abuse than a drive just sitting in a desktop computer.

I figure I can do with 120 GB (will be immediately filled to at least 50% to start off), but with the Western Digital drive (THD-1200JB) I had chosen at TigerDirect Canada, I can pay $11 CAD more and get a 160 GB drive. That's well worth it, but I've been wondering if a 120 GB drive could be safer. Am I being unnecessarily nervous about drive failures, or could the additional data density and all actually increase the chance of it dying?

Could it possibly be safer even to get a double enclosure and buy two 60 or 80 GB drives, or is that just getting ridiculous?

The enclosure I've chosen is this, which does have a fan, and is quite cheap (price linked is in CAD), unless someone here would recommend something else.


Additional notes: 7200 RPM is probably necessary. Cost is definitely a factor. System will be Mac OS X or Linux. In terms of enclosure, inteface doesn't matter; I'd prefer Firewire, but it appears to cost a lot more to get that, so USB 2.0 is fine.


Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you could purchase a case if you are worried about the HD being damaged.
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:43 PM   #3 (permalink)

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doesnt matter on the size its mostly the make. Western Digital is the best HDD company of all. and usb 2.0 is fast enough for what u need. but ive dropped my Western HDD's many times through changing parts and it still works like i bought it yesterday
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had my 500GB seagate drive die on me a few weeks ago, and after doing a bit of digging I found that the larger Seagate drives have issues with the controller chip overheating and frying, this being regardless of the fact that I had a fan blowing over it

Obviously you need to consider the fact that you generally want as few platters as possible. Currently I believe that platters can only be a max of 100GB therefore once you get over 200GB you're looking at 3 or 4 or in my case even 5 platters, and the more platters are present within the drive, the more heat it's going to generated. I don't know whether my drive failure was an isolated case or if these things are much more common, but I don't think you're going to have issues with 120 or 160 sized drives as they aren't particularily big by todays standards
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Old 03-26-2006, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the assurance.

For some reason, the 120 GB drive has 3 platters, while the 160 has 2. Perhaps that's how they work this line-up. The 40, 80, and 120 all have their respective 40 GB platters, and than after 120 they move into the 80 GB ones.


I think I'll go for the 160 in that case.
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Old 03-27-2006, 02:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think Seagate has the lowest failure rate of all drive makers, followed by Western Digital.

I personally have 3 Seagate hard drives and they all run without a hitch. I think they are all 2 platter drives.
1 x 40GB drive (ST340016A)
1 x 160GB drive (ST3160023A)
1 x 200GB drive (ST3200822A)

the first (40GB) drive I got to replace a previous hard drive:
Quantum Fireball 12.7GB (really bad quality)
I believe Quantum was bought out by Maxtor some time after the Fireball series was made.
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Old 03-27-2006, 03:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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there are heat issues with larger drives as gaara pointed out but i would not choose a large drive for a drive that will be hotplugged. i mean every now and then i guarantee you will jerk it around a bit while the disk is still spinning and any damage done will result in a higher chance of failure the larger the drive is
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nitestick: but what's the definition off a 'large drive'?

Apok: Wait...this now becomes more confusing. I looked around at Tigerdirect, and they've got a Seagate 160 GB 7200 RPM drive that, after the rebate, is only $77 CAD!? There appear to be both similarly priced and some slightly more expensive 160 GB 7200 RPM Seagates. The model numbers differ, but I don't understand these specification charts enough to comprehend the practical advantages and disadvantes to the various available products.

I find Seagate's website difficult to navigate, there's no indication of things like the difference between 7200.9, 7200.7, 7200.7 plus, and all. I'm at a bit of a loss at how to make comparisons and evaluate this. Is there any reason to not get the linked Seagate drive over this Western Digital drive?

(I'm so ridiculously out of the loop in terms of desktop hardware)


Thanks for the patience and advice.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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if its for MAC, u should get lacie d2 firewire drive. thats very standerd in professional recording industry. (as im a professional recording engineer) very reliable and heavy duty. but do not get the lacie porche drive. that wont travel well. trust me on this. i work on mac and those drives everyday never had problems.
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
I find Seagate's website difficult to navigate, there's no indication of things like the difference between 7200.9, 7200.7, 7200.7 plus, and all. I'm at a bit of a loss at how to make comparisons and evaluate this. Is there any reason to not get the linked Seagate drive over this Western Digital drive?
When I was doing my research after my drive died I found that one of the revisions had the issue with the drive controller but I don't remember whether it was the 7200.9 or the 7200.7...I think it might have been the 7200.9 but don't quote me on that as I honestly can't remember and I'm not even sure which revision my drive was
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