External HDD 8TB+ Advice Appreciated.

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by FenFox, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

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    So I'm looking to buy an 8TB+ external HDD.

    I currently own 4x external WD HDDs. 3x3TB and 1x5TB. I tried a 4TB Seagate once - it was noisy, had driver issues and I wasn't sure if that was normal or if it was borderline defective. Needless to say I didn't have a good first experience with Seagate, but I have heard good things from other people. Haven't had issues with my WDs by comparison.

    I see there are a number of 8TB external HDDs on the market. Apart from the slight price differences is there any real difference between the brands and models? Do you guys have any recommendations?

    Is the LaCie 8TB any better than WDs or Seagate? (I realize Seagate owns LaCie), but there's a price difference - is it mostly just aesthetics?

    Honestly would prefer to have a 12TB external, but all I seem to be able to find are 10TB externals and there's a significant price difference between an 8TB and a 10TB.

    I'll mainly be using this external HDD to plug into my HTPC for local media playback via KODI.

    Also, why do I see things like:
    • USB 3.1 Gen 1-ready, USB 3.0 compatibility.

      I thought USB 3.1 Gen 1 was just USB 3.0?

    Difference between these drives? 2x 8TB WD, but one is a lot more expensive...

    https://www.amazon.ca/Western-Digit...1515922997&sr=8-3&keywords=8tb+external+drive

    https://www.amazon.ca/Western-Digit...&sr=8-4&keywords=western+digital+8TB+external

    https://www.amazon.ca/Seagate-STEB8...1515922997&sr=8-2&keywords=8tb+external+drive

    https://www.amazon.ca/Seagate-Exter...1515922997&sr=8-1&keywords=8tb+external+drive

    https://www.amazon.ca/LaCie-Porsche...1515922997&sr=8-6&keywords=8tb+external+drive

    Edit:

    Also, I'm thinking on buying a mini-PC like an Intel NUC to run Kodi and play some light games. I *may need to buy 2x 8TB externals to cover my media library. I'm wondering, would using 2x 8TB drives on something tiny like an Intel NUC be too much of a power draw for that machine? Maybe cause the NUC to get too hot etc?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  2. AlienTech

    AlienTech Limp Gawd

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    Huge difference between WDC and Seagate 8TB drives. 10TB seagate drives use cross licensed WDC 8TB drives. Which has 8 platters of 1TB each in the WDC and 1/2TB shingled disks in the seagate. The 7200RPM seagate 8TB drives also have 8 platters and does not use shingled platters but the hitachi design and hence cost a lot more. While the other 8TB seagate drives have 6 platters of 1.2TB's shingled platters each.

    The difference in using shingled recording bands. While the outer rings uses shingles which mean a write will overwrite many GB's data at once causing pauses or much slower -write speeds. I noticed the inner tracks do not use shingles and write out much faster.

    The WDC drives are basically Hitachi drives. Originally they even shipped with Hitachi 7200RPM drives but now WDC has their own 5400RPM drives but still use the Hitachi design. These drives dont have the pausing problem. The shingled drives have like a 20GB space where data is written and is later on copies it back into the area where it is supposed to go. So copying larger files means this data gets copied as you are saving data making the copy very slow. I was getting like 50MB/sec while the WDC/Hitachi drives got like 100MB/sec most of the time. On the inner tracks which dont have singled tracks on the seagate, I get 100-140MB/sec write speeds. Also the entire platter is not shingled. There are bands of shingles and regular bands. I think the 10TB drives just use the entire drive in shingled mode. WDC was trying the 12TB drives which were shingled drives and could be expanded to 15TB as they use more platters but maybe could not get it reliable enough.

    The 8 platter drives are heavy. Even the seagate 6 platetr drives are heavy and the usual dimples and such are not there. Packing the platters so close also cause problems with the head not aligning properly. Which is why they were using helium in the Hitachi models. Which also seems to be more reliable than the usual casually made drives. I would always go for this kind of drive as it is sealed and if you ever saw the seagate 3TB drives with water posts inside you would know what I mean. Sealed also means dust wont get inside which it will do no matter what.


    All of them uses one of these 4 drives.. The WDC red and Seagate shingled ones re the cheapest.

    WDC would be my choice.. But seagate is cheaper the shingled version while the regular verison costs similar to the hitachi 8TB drives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  3. AlienTech

    AlienTech Limp Gawd

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    I should also mention that you can not pull these drives out of their USB box and use them with a sata port to extract data if the USB interface dies. Seagate uses their own format which converts the Advanced 4K sectors into 512bytes then into 4K fat32 sectors. In essence you can have a 16TB fat32 MBR drive. Default MBR is only 2TB MBR drives. So you have to use GPT format which is not windows XP compatible hence why Seagate does it this way..

    WDC uses their own format which is used to encrypt the drive and will not work directly or with any other USB interface. So losing the USB interface means lost data as well. With the Seagate you can always grab another external box and stick its drive in the new one and get data out. Thats not possible with the WDC. Although there is a setting to disable the encryption so you can connect the drive directly to a SATA port to extract data. Since they keep changing this stuff, better to make sure first.. I only found out after the drive went bad and could not recover the data. Testing the Seagate I found I had to use another seagate USB interface which seems the same in all external boxes so I could see the data that way.
     
  4. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    Just get the ~$160 WD 8TB from BestBuy.
    Basically a 5400rpm HGST Ultrastar He8, which has been bulletproof for me (have 32x running 24/7/365)
     
  5. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

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    Ok, thanks for the responses. A lot of that info is a bit over my head though.

    To make this more simple, I'll ask if a high capacity 8TB+ Western Digital external is better than a comparable Seagate external?

    I've considered buying multiple 8TB WD externals because that seems to be the sweet spot for storage & pricing right now, but I don't want to have 3-4 of those plugged into a device. I'm thinking on buying an Intel NUC to use as a HTPC and I'm wondering if having all of those drives plugged in would be too much of a power draw?

    Recently I've been looking at this guy: https://www.amazon.ca/20TB-Book-Pro...6517892&sr=8-1&keywords=20+tb+western+digital

    I could put it into RAID 0 which would give me a total of 20 TB. That's enough storage for me and only 1 USB port required. BUT, if one of the drives fails, they're both dead. And I don't want to put it into RAID 1 because 10 TB worth of storage may not be enough.
    Is it possible to use these drives individually - 20 TB total, but if one fails, the other doesn't? And how would you rate this device compared to other options on the market?

    Thanks.
     
  6. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    IMHO, hell yes! I like Seagate 2.5" HDDs (they're pretty much rebadged Samsungs), but won't touch their 3.5" HDDs.
     
  7. FenFox

    FenFox Limp Gawd

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    Hmm so you prefer the Seagate to the WD? Can you link me to an 8TB external Seagate you prefer over the WD? And any other external that's bigger than 8TB that you like?
     
  8. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    Other way around actually :) (WD > Seagate)
     
  9. rive22

    rive22 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Absolutely