Whats the deal with Seagate?

Who makes the best overall consumer HDDs, ranked by Reliability>Performance>Price?

  • HP

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (please comment with brand)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Two different brands for Plex & Surveillance (please comment with brands)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    28

fatryan

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I'm taking my time trying to plan out the storage expansion on my machine, in the near-term for Plex storage expansion and later for surveillance storage. This build is my first foray with WD HDDs, or any WD drives for that matter. I have a 10TB 7200RPM Purple for my surveillance storage and a 6TB 5400RPM Blue for Plex. I run the OS and store personal files on SSD on both this machine and my laptop, and I'm pretty well satisfied with my selections of Samsung SSDs. But when it comes to HDDs prior to this setup, I've only ever had experience with Seagate drives. But it seems Seagate get a lot of slack about being unreliable around here, and I'm curious as to why this is. Not doubting what anyone is saying just more wondering what exactly the issues are and how commonly they occur.

I've only owned laptops prior to this (3 to be specific), and all came with Seagate HDDs. My last laptop, an Asus N73JQ which I still own and use, initially came with a Seagate Momentus 750GB HDD. At the time of purchase, I also bought a second identical Seagate drive since my laptop has 2 drive bays. A few years later one of the drives crashed, but that is the only drive of any kind that I've owned that has crashed. I actually very surprisingly was able to recover the data just last week when I decided to give it a go out of the blue. The drive had been sitting in a drawer wrapped in a paper towel for 5 years lol. Got the data but the drive was still giving read/write errors, so now its trash. Anyway, I replaced both drives in the laptop with Samsung SSDs and never looked back.

Now that I'm getting into the big storage arena, HDDs are obviously a must. The consumer market is flooded with Seagate HHDs – general purpose, eco, NAS, surveillance, etc. And obviously for every type of Seagate drive there is, you pretty well bet there's an equivalent WD option (or is it the other way around?). Point is, I'm trying to figure out if I would be causing myself a headache by running Seagate drives. WD seems fairly comparable in price, but are they the best option? Admittedly, I know very little about Toshiba and HP drives. I just know that I hear them mentioned from time to time.

So if you trying to build out your Plex server storage and surveillance storage on a Windows machine, which HDDs would you choose and why?
 

drescherjm

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HGST used to make the best drives and since they were purchased and destroyed by WD I am a bit frustrated.

With that said the blackblaze reliability reports have shown that Seagate has gotten over their bad 3TB and smaller drives that had abnormally high failure rates.

For your task I would purchase a WDC Elements drives when they it goes on sale and leave them in the external enclosure until the warranty runs out.
 

fatryan

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HGST used to make the best drives and since they were purchased and destroyed by WD I am a bit frustrated.

With that said the blackblaze reliability reports have shown that Seagate has gotten over their bad 3TB and smaller drives that had abnormally high failure rates.

For your task I would purchase a WDC Elements drives when they it goes on sale and leave them in the external enclosure until the warranty runs out.
Eh, that's a bit ghetto for my liking lol

I do actually own a 2TB WD Elements external HDD, though I haven't used it much yet. Are they really that great? And it sound like you're not a fan of WD otherwise?
 

drescherjm

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At home I am purchasing WDC elements drives and leaving them as externals until the at least the warranty expires. Usually 2 to 4 at a time when they are on sale. I wait for the best price which means under $140 for 8TB, under $160 for 10TB. At work we do use many WDC 2TB to 4TB 2.5 inch externals. However for server and desktop internal drive purchases I am not sure what I would purchase if I had to make a purchase soon. I was getting almost always HGST internal drives for 5+ years and those have been exceptional but there is no HGST anymore. Recently we have had a bit of a budget crunch so no upgrades and we are running at over 90% capacity on our raid servers. I am not really a fan of either of the remaining manufacturers.
 

fatryan

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At home I am purchasing WDC elements drives and leaving them as externals until the at least the warranty expires. Usually 2 to 4 at a time when they are on sale. I wait for the best price which means under $140 for 8TB, under $160 for 10TB. At work we do use many WDC 2TB to 4TB 2.5 inch externals. However for server and desktop internal drive purchases I am not sure what I would purchase if I had to make a purchase soon. I was getting almost always HGST internal drives for 5+ years and those have been exceptional but there is no HGST anymore. Recently we have had a bit of a budget crunch so no upgrades and we are running at over 90% capacity on our raid servers. I am not really a fan of either of the remaining manufacturers.
Are your reservations with Seagate and WD related to reliability or something else?
 

IdiotInCharge

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Pleased with Seagate Ironwolf drives, at least the four 6TB units I have now. Usually use WD where possible and have a handful that range up to a decade old, most not seen an internal SATA port in years. They all fire right up when plugged into an external USB adapter.

But for internal performance, I think that the Ironwolf's probably have it. WD may be better but they charge quite a bit more for the privilege.
 

ryan_975

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At home I am purchasing WDC elements drives and leaving them as externals until the at least the warranty expires. Usually 2 to 4 at a time when they are on sale. I wait for the best price which means under $140 for 8TB, under $160 for 10TB. At work we do use many WDC 2TB to 4TB 2.5 inch externals. However for server and desktop internal drive purchases I am not sure what I would purchase if I had to make a purchase soon. I was getting almost always HGST internal drives for 5+ years and those have been exceptional but there is no HGST anymore. Recently we have had a bit of a budget crunch so no upgrades and we are running at over 90% capacity on our raid servers. I am not really a fan of either of the remaining manufacturers.
Why leave them in the enclosures?
 

pendragon1

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based on personal experience, seagate have been really reliable for me. ive had 1 out of i dont know how many start to die, one of those old 500s that had known issues. its replacement is still going strong.
 

blackmomba

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In retail stores round here there isn't much of a choice sadly, it's either Seagate or WD

Picked up 2 6TB WDs recently, one blue, one red
 

Ranulfo

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So if you trying to build out your Plex server storage and surveillance storage on a Windows machine, which HDDs would you choose and why?
For those reasons, I'd say the best prices you can get on either Seagate or WD. Maybe the surveillance variants for that job specifically. Usually the best options are the WD My Book or Elements externals and schucking them out of their external cases. TLDR, you save about $100 on average per drive and lose 1 year of warranty compared to internal drives. Toshiba drives have been fairly good to me as well the past 4-5 years but I've not heard good things about their warranty process. Several here have complained about slow turn around times and stuck getting a visa debit card or having to buy through Toshiba's store to get a replacement at fair value.

Just for FYI, read up on the whole SMR vs CMR drive controversy from April. WD, Seagate and Toshiba are all guilty of not openly telling people what drives are what type, leading to problems with raid arrays. I've had good luck with Seagate and WD the most over the years but WD is on my be wary, dont trust list now because of this SMR nonsense. At least for drives 6TB and under.

https://hardforum.com/threads/wd-quietly-starts-putting-smr-in-consumer-red-drives.1995299/

https://hardforum.com/threads/wd-se...-use-slower-smr-tech.1995691/#post-1044566733

https://hardforum.com/threads/weste...n-lawsuit-and-the-performance-impact.1997304/
 

fatryan

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Pleased with Seagate Ironwolf drives, at least the four 6TB units I have now. Usually use WD where possible and have a handful that range up to a decade old, most not seen an internal SATA port in years. They all fire right up when plugged into an external USB adapter.

But for internal performance, I think that the Ironwolf's probably have it. WD may be better but they charge quite a bit more for the privilege.
Why so many people running external? I would've thought that wasn't ideal due to risk of damage and USB bottlenecks.
 

fatryan

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For those reasons, I'd say the best prices you can get on either Seagate or WD. Maybe the surveillance variants for that job specifically. Usually the best options are the WD My Book or Elements externals and schucking them out of their external cases. TLDR, you save about $100 on average per drive and lose 1 year of warranty compared to internal drives. Toshiba drives have been fairly good to me as well the past 4-5 years but I've not heard good things about their warranty process. Several here have complained about slow turn around times and stuck getting a visa debit card or having to buy through Toshiba's store to get a replacement at fair value.

Just for FYI, read up on the whole SMR vs CMR drive controversy from April. WD, Seagate and Toshiba are all guilty of not openly telling people what drives are what type, leading to problems with raid arrays. I've had good luck with Seagate and WD the most over the years but WD is on my be wary, dont trust list now because of this SMR nonsense. At least for drives 6TB and under.

https://hardforum.com/threads/wd-quietly-starts-putting-smr-in-consumer-red-drives.1995299/

https://hardforum.com/threads/wd-se...-use-slower-smr-tech.1995691/#post-1044566733

https://hardforum.com/threads/weste...n-lawsuit-and-the-performance-impact.1997304/
Ugh that's some bullshit to pull. I plan to run these in either Raid 1 or 5, so it's gotta be compatible. Do these issues only concern red, or does it affect purple and gold too. And on that, why do you suggest purple over red for nas? Or were you saying to get (more) purple for the surveillance?

Edit:. Is red pro still a thing? Do they suffer from the same issue?
 

Luke M

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WD externals (whether you leave them in the case or remove them) are by far the best deal, at least if you wait for good sales. Last December you could buy 14TB externals for $200. I expect the holiday sales this year to be at least as good.
 

Farva

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This data is incredibly useful. Thanks! So this shows that Seagate and WD are the most unreliable but that it still varies by model to some degree. I'm kind of surprised WD was the worst. Also, what's the deal with the hgst? Are those the old ones or the WD ones?
Look at the percentage of failures (AFR), not total amount (Failures). WD purchased HGST some years ago. The 4TB drives are pretty old now, which is why you'd see more failures.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Why so many people running external? I would've thought that wasn't ideal due to risk of damage and USB bottlenecks.
In my case, it's a backup for an ultrabook while on the road.

I've also bought cheap-as-hell Seagate external expansion drives and shucked and fed them to ZFS. But the one I mention above is useful as it is!
 

ryan_975

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Why so many people running external? I would've thought that wasn't ideal due to risk of damage and USB bottlenecks.
For a backup drive, speed doesn’t really matter... but most (a lot?) of people buy them to shuck because they’re often half the price of a comparable internal.
 

fatryan

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WD externals (whether you leave them in the case or remove them) are by far the best deal, at least if you wait for good sales. Last December you could buy 14TB externals for $200. I expect the holiday sales this year to be at least as good.
so you can just pull it out of the case and hook it up like any other drive? What about the USB connection? Is it just a sata port inside the case or something? Also, what holiday are you talking about? It's June lol. So they do deals for the 4th or something?
 

fatryan

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Look at the percentage of failures (AFR), not total amount (Failures). WD purchased HGST some years ago. The 4TB drives are pretty old now, which is why you'd see more failures.
The hgst drives performed that best! Based on AFR.
 

fatryan

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In my case, it's a backup for an ultrabook while on the road.

I've also bought cheap-as-hell Seagate external expansion drives and shucked and fed them to ZFS. But the one I mention above is useful as it is!
Well that's a little different scenario. I'm already running 5 drives, and I'm looking to add at least 3 more. I don't really want stacks of passports on my case lol
 

fatryan

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For a backup drive, speed doesn’t really matter... but most (a lot?) of people buy them to shuck because they’re often half the price of a comparable internal.
Well that's the thing. I wouldn't be using them as backup drives. These would be very active Nas and surveillance drives. I mean the surveillance doesn't ever stop working; it's just writing 24/7. The nas gets a bit of use too, since we watch a lot on Plex. Actually just finished watching Indiana Jones and the last crusade 😎😎🤠🤠
 

ryan_975

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Well that's the thing. I wouldn't be using them as backup drives. These would be very active Nas and surveillance drives. I mean the surveillance doesn't ever stop working; it's just writing 24/7. The nas gets a bit of use too, since we watch a lot on Plex. Actually just finished watching Indiana Jones and the last crusade 😎😎🤠🤠
That’s where the shucking comes in. Pull it out of the enclosure, pop in into your raid chassis, and off you go. Originally they were using reds in their external products.
 

fatryan

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That’s where the shucking comes in. Pull it out of the enclosure, pop in into your raid chassis, and off you go. Originally they were using reds in their external products.
Well i would think speed would matter for both purposes. For the surveillance, I cache 24hrs of video into my SSD, then it gets written to disk. But once i get all my cams running, recording 4k h264 20fps, it might be queuing up some big files that's take time to write.

I currently got the Plex running on 5400rpm WD Blue, and we have occasional lag with audio or slow load time. I've been wondering if it's because it's reading off a 5400 drive. Probably should be 7200, but i got this drive super cheap..

If the elements originally used red drives, does that mean they do not anymore? I am a little concerned about vibration with a 6-stack of drives, so I like the fact that reds and purples have the spindle connected and both top and bottom for stability.
 

ryan_975

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That’s the big question. They started putting with panels on them, but kept the same model numbers. Now I don’t. There was a big Reddit thread tracking what drives were being found. I’m sure someone here with more experience than I have can chime in about their behavior in a multi drive set up.
 

mwroobel

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I posted this sometime ago. When shucking drives, there are some things you should keep in mind. You know how CPU manufacturers "bin" devices that come off the assembly line.. All processors of a particular model start out the same. Because of many causes... Contamination, fate whatever some will pass at full speed. Some will pass at reduced speed. Some full speeds will be fused to only work at a slower speed.. All depends on yield percentages and marketing necessities/realities. The same thing has been done with hard drives... Some drives that passed at a lower throughput (but may have failed at a standard throughput) for example may be dumped into USB2 external enclosures, where the higher speed isn't a necessity (Or USB3 enclosures that have their controllers gimed to plateau at a particular speed that they will meet). They may use a less powerful (or just cheaper) internal controller, or just find that 1000 drives only pass at 80MB/s as opposed to 160MB/s. It may be the same drive that many others have received, it may not be. YMMV, but you can save money. Remember, if the drive you ripped out of an external enclosure fails or does not perform to the level you would expect from a internal drive, you have effectively voided your warranty and may have no recourse.
 

ryan_975

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There is what is right (and legal in some places) and there is what they do.
And there is what they do when you push back. I've had to deal with this before. You call your state's AG, they contact the company you have a problem with, and before you know it they're acting right and honoring the warranty.
 

fatryan

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I posted this sometime ago. When shucking drives, there are some things you should keep in mind. You know how CPU manufacturers "bin" devices that come off the assembly line.. All processors of a particular model start out the same. Because of many causes... Contamination, fate whatever some will pass at full speed. Some will pass at reduced speed. Some full speeds will be fused to only work at a slower speed.. All depends on yield percentages and marketing necessities/realities. The same thing has been done with hard drives... Some drives that passed at a lower throughput (but may have failed at a standard throughput) for example may be dumped into USB2 external enclosures, where the higher speed isn't a necessity (Or USB3 enclosures that have their controllers gimed to plateau at a particular speed that they will meet). They may use a less powerful (or just cheaper) internal controller, or just find that 1000 drives only pass at 80MB/s as opposed to 160MB/s. It may be the same drive that many others have received, it may not be. YMMV, but you can save money. Remember, if the drive you ripped out of an external enclosure fails or does not perform to the level you would expect from a internal drive, you have effectively voided your warranty and may have no recourse.
I'm familiar with the concept of bin devices. I'm running an RTX 2060 KO which uses binned TU104 dies (confirmed with gpu-z). So that's how WD builds their external drives in general? By using bin equipment? Or is it just an industry standard to sometimes use binned equipment to eliminate waste and save money? The warranty issue is what's really holding me back. Cause the discounts aren't THAT great. They're not currently near some of the prices I've heard online, like $160-180 for a 12TB elements. That's much cheaper than their current price on Newegg.
 

fatryan

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And there is what they do when you push back. I've had to deal with this before. You call your state's AG, they contact the company you have a problem with, and before you know it they're acting right and honoring the warranty.
I take this position in a lot of other unrelated areas, but there are times and situations where you just don't want to be bothered with that headache. Or perhaps you can't afford the downtime. It's probably not worth it for a home nas/pc-nvr system to me.
 

ryan_975

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All told, they’re probably not going to care. Slide it back into the enclosure and ship it in. There’s no void stickers to tell them you removed the drive.

One thing I have been hearing about, but haven’t experienced yet is that they have started integrating the USB hardware on the drives’ PCBs. So if that’s the case then shucking is pointless.
 

fatryan

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All told, they’re probably not going to care. Slide it back into the enclosure and ship it in. There’s no void stickers to tell them you removed the drive.

One thing I have been hearing about, but haven’t experienced yet is that they have started integrating the USB hardware on the drives’ PCBs. So if that’s the case then shucking is pointless.
That's what I'm a afraid of... Buying these drives without actually knowing what I'm going to get until i destroy it. That's a lot of risk.
 

fatryan

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I ended up going with 3x WD Gold 12TB drives that I plan to run in raid 5 configuration. I wanted to stick to 7200rpm only, which eliminated regular reds from contention (also didn't want shingled storage). And for some reason these golds were cheaper than red pros. Decided to stay away from Seagate, as the savings doesn't seem to be worth the potential hassle IMO. User benchmark was also ranking Seagate drives at the bottom for data speeds (wd gold was top). Expensive, but i should be good for years with these.
 

mashie

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I have 8 x 10TB Seagate IronWolfs running here is RAID6, working great and has for years.
 

AIM9x

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Eh, that's a bit ghetto for my liking lol

I do actually own a 2TB WD Elements external HDD, though I haven't used it much yet. Are they really that great? And it sound like you're not a fan of WD otherwise?
I had the USB-SATA board on my 2TB Elements drive go bad. I took the drive out of the enclosure and tested it directly on mobo connectors and the drive itself was fine. I had a rosewill enclosure with a fan lying around that I stuck the drive in, only to find out how terribly built the enclosure was (had to pull wires from the fan because it rattled so badly). If you end up having issues, make sure to test the drive itself before doing anything rash.
 

cybereality

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I used to be a WD only guy, but now I like Seagate the best. Been using them pretty regularly for like the past 4 years without any issue.
 
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