Do 4kn hard drives require hardware support?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by rigurat, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. rigurat

    rigurat Limp Gawd

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    Is the compatibility of 4kn hard drives software dependent? Or does the hardware (chipset, controller) matter?

    When using 4kn drives on slightly older (pre advanced format) systems, does the chipset, drive controller, or RAID controller need to be 4kn aware? Or as long as the OS supports it, it should work fine?
     
  2. biggen

    biggen Kyle's Personal Blog is Awesome

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    The OS needs to support it for sure. For example, VMware vSphere does not at all which is absurd in this day. If using a controller then it should support them as well or your asking for problems. But I have used 4K drives on RAID controllers that don't say they support but also don't say you can't use them and I didn't have any problems at that time.
     
  3. Stereodude

    Stereodude 2[H]4U

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    You need both controller and OS support.
     
  4. izx

    izx Limp Gawd

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    Were they 4KN(ative) drives though? Most of the 4K drives still come as 512e(mulated) to remain backward-compatible.
     
  5. rigurat

    rigurat Limp Gawd

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    I ask because I'm considering buying the HGST He8 SATA drive. It's an 8 TB drive, they sell both 512e and 4kn versions.

    If compatible, I might as well get the 4kn version.

    Although I don't plan to do this, what happens if you mix 4kn and 512e drives in a RAID setup?
     
  6. Stereodude

    Stereodude 2[H]4U

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    The last generation or two of Enterprise drives have generally been available as 4Kn and 512e.
     
  7. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have one plugged into my linux based pvr which is a core2quad on an ASUS P5Q Pro. It works without any issue on the Intel ports. It works fine with 4K native sectors.

    Code:
    jmd0 ~ # gdisk -l /dev/disk/by-vdev/5t0
    GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.1
    
    Partition table scan:
      MBR: protective
      BSD: not present
      APM: not present
      GPT: present
    
    Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
    Disk /dev/disk/by-vdev/5t0: 1220942646 sectors, 4.5 TiB
    Logical sector size: 4096 bytes
    Disk identifier (GUID): 2DA8C395-4AEB-3A42-B8B9-142E81BBC30E
    Partition table holds up to 128 entries
    First usable sector is 6, last usable sector is 1220942640
    Partitions will be aligned on 256-sector boundaries
    Total free space is 2859 sectors (11.2 MiB)
    
    Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
       1            2048      1220925439   4.5 TiB     BF01  zfs
       9      1220925440      1220941823   64.0 MiB    BF07
    
    Code:
    jmd0 ~ # smartctl --all /dev/disk/by-vdev/5t0
    smartctl 6.4 2015-06-04 r4109 [x86_64-linux-4.3.5-gentoo-20160210-jmd0.comcast.net] (local build)
    Copyright (C) 2002-15, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org
    
    === START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
    Device Model:     TOSHIBA MG04ACA500A
    Serial Number:    deleted
    LU WWN Device Id: 5 000039 57b801418
    Firmware Version: FP1A
    User Capacity:    5,000,981,078,016 bytes [5.00 TB]
    Sector Size:      4096 bytes logical/physical
    Rotation Rate:    7200 rpm
    Form Factor:      3.5 inches
    Device is:        Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
    ATA Version is:   ATA8-ACS (minor revision not indicated)
    SATA Version is:  SATA 3.0, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
    Local Time is:    Fri Feb 12 08:08:07 2016 EST
    SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
    SMART support is: Enabled
    
    I could not use it with a USB2 dock however.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  8. Stereodude

    Stereodude 2[H]4U

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    I looked at this when buying drives for my new NAS/"server" a few weeks back. I couldn't come up with any reason to go 4Kn over 512e. Even if everything supports it, there's no benefit that I could find aside from not needing a GPT partition up to 16TB. However, programs that want to access the disk(s) directly using 512byte sectors may not work at all, may run erratically, etc. The 4Kn versions of the drives were more expensive to boot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  9. izx

    izx Limp Gawd

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    Exactly, this is what stopped me from considering 4kn for now. Since 4kn requires end-to-end support, I thought it was perilous to build a RAID array with 4kn drives. If you ever need to (god forbid) perform drive-by-drive recovery, you'd need to ensure that you have compatible hardware and compatible software (some of which is proprietary).

    OP: just a reminder that there's no performance penalty since the drives have fast internal processors that perform the 512-"logical"-to-4096-physical mapping. You just have to be a little careful when you partition the drive/volume to ensure proper 4k alignment.
     
  10. qhash

    qhash [H]Lite

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    arent 4kN drives signifcantly more reliable by means of error correction?
    its two years later now. any of you guys had some 4kn experience? Whoever I ask tells me that if a NAS or a system controller and OS supports native 4Kn, I should go and use this format. VERY wierd thing is that they are not available in distribution nor in stores. Almost always special order. 6 weeks+ waiting time. Thath means very few people are buying them
     
  11. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Not really different than 512e in that. I expect that most drives today are 512e.

    I don't have 100s of 4kn drives so my experience is not that useful in determining anything with statistical significance.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  12. qhash

    qhash [H]Lite

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    so to make it fast and simple - if you were to build your home NAS today, using Synology/QNAP that can use any type od a drive, what drives would you put inside? 512e or 4Kn?
     
  13. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It would be HGST drives of any type. Probably 512e since that will be more common.
     
  14. Luke M

    Luke M Limp Gawd

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    512e drives don't have legacy compatibility issues (e.g. booting with a traditional BIOS) and they perform the same as 4kn. Only buy 4kn if it's cheaper.
     
  15. qhash

    qhash [H]Lite

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    thanks for the input, guys.
    Now I wonder which series to buy - new 7K6 or older, but verified by thousands of users, 7K6000. From what I read 7K6 has higher cache, lower power consumtion and only 4 platters (6TB version) vs 5 in 7K6000.



    7K6

    0B36039
    HGST HUS726T6TALE6L4 3.5in 6000GB 256MB 7200RPM SATA ULTRA 512E SE

    0B36040
    HGST HUS726T4TALE6L4 3.5in 4000GB 256MB 7200RPM SATA ULTRA 512E SE


    7K6000

    0F23001
    HGST HUS726060ALE610 3.5in 6000GB 128MB 7200RPM SATA 512E ULTRA ISE


    or cheaper and only with a 3 years warranty NAS version:
    0S04005
    HGST NAS H3IKNAS400012872SWW 3.5in 4000GB 128MB 7200RPM SATA HDN726040ALE614

    I wonder if someone had experience with Enterprise drives and home/SOHO NAS such as synology configuring them for power saving that is head parking/sleep mode?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018