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Which hard drive ?

Antonio Correia

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Guys, I have a technical question for you !
I would like you to help me on this.
I want to buy a disk with large capacity to connect my Mac through Thunderbolt to store all my photos and videos .
Regarding the capacity I think that 4TB will be enough but as I want to work directly from it, it is supposed to be a really quick drive.
So far I have been using a Lacie which died a few days ago. Fortunately, all photographs were stored in another drive and I could recover everything.

It also needs to be silent. This is a very important aspect as it will be standing behind the computer.

Is this is a good option? Can you tell me your opinion, please ?
https://shop.westerndigital.com/products/external-drives/g-technology-g-raid-thunderbolt-3-hdd#0G05748-1

 

Tipton

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I don't know about the specific model you're talking about, but I can say that I've never had a WD drive fail on me. I still have WD drives from old computers from 15 years ago that still work.
 

Thad E Ginathom

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I do not know about such external units, but for raw drives, in the PC case, I use Western Digital Black. The speed difference is noticeable, but so is the price difference from slower WD drives.

I too have developed a brand loyalty to WD. I cannot recall the brands of my HDD failures, but I would say never be over-confident. always have backups! No HDD is immortal. And there is a saying something like "RAID is about availability, not backup." I've been too long retired to go further into the technical details of that.

(Tomorrow I hope to be installing my first ever SSD. It will contain my operating system, programs, and maybe the current year of photos. It will be WD too.)
 
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Antonio Correia

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Thank you so much everyone for your lines. :bowdown:
Thank you Michel. Your equipment seems pretty suitable and reliable ! :)
Thank you Rae for your comment ! :)
And also thank you Thad for your comment ! :)
I have asked support to LaCie.
Perhaps I should have started there... :blush: instead...
 

sapoeijoek

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Guys, I have a technical question for you !
I would like you to help me on this.
I want to buy a disk with large capacity to connect my Mac through Thunderbolt to store all my photos and videos .
Regarding the capacity I think that 4TB will be enough but as I want to work directly from it, it is supposed to be a really quick drive.
So far I have been using a Lacie which died a few days ago. Fortunately, all photographs were stored in another drive and I could recover everything.

It also needs to be silent. This is a very important aspect as it will be standing behind the computer.

Is this is a good option? Can you tell me your opinion, please ?
https://shop.westerndigital.com/products/external-drives/g-technology-g-raid-thunderbolt-3-hdd#0G05748-1
What about SSD or NVMe drive and use a thunderbolt enclosure?
Even if you boost your RAID storage/HD it is still slower than SSD.
 
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bdbits

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Personally if performance is a primary consideration, I am SSD all day every day. Just make sure you have a backup routine in place. When an SSD fails, as far as I know it is not recoverable whatsoever, unlike a damaged hard drive.

Although some say 3-letter US government agencies may have a way, but they are not telling anyone. :shakehead:
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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I'm in the process of getting my wife's current computer back up and running after an SSD failure. Not pretty at all. I won't be using them even if they are blazing fast.
 

sapoeijoek

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Personally if performance is a primary consideration, I am SSD all day every day. Just make sure you have a backup routine in place. When an SSD fails, as far as I know it is not recoverable whatsoever, unlike a damaged hard drive.

Although some say 3-letter US government agencies may have a way, but they are not telling anyone. :shakehead:
I have a damaged HDD, used it as an external drive but accidentally moved and dropped from a book about 2 inches high while it was spinning, I tried to swap the actuator, took out the platter, and put it in a different case as a donor, swap PCB, nothing worked. It happened about 16 years ago, I didn't want to spend $600 to use a recovery service that time, maybe one day I would since I still have it but for now, the HDD is dead. Lots of photos, memories from my early digital cameras backed up there.
 

Antonio Correia

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Guys... I am so ignorant of this that I am ashamed to tell you ! :whistling:
-
Edwin... I am sorry but I do not understand what you talking about. 😥
You mean a SSD drive connected through Thunderbolt ? :blush:

Thank you anyway... :)
 

Antonio Correia

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You mean one like this for example ?

i-6mPx7Pj-M.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

WNG

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Silent/super quiet operation and speed will require SSDs. Spinning HDDs will always generate some background noise. Especially a well-engineered case will incorporate fan cooling of the HDDs. You can try using 5400 rpm units, but the speed and transfer rates will be inferior for that quieter and cooler running.
I've found my SSD to be 50% faster than writing to 5400rpm HDDs when working with Capture One.
Perhaps a 1-2TB SSD main work drive and a 4-6TB 5400rpm backup HDD combo will check all the boxes. Regardless of your choice, be sure any HDDs are not of the shingle-magnetic recording variety!

I'm not personally fond of Lacie products because of their lack of reliability for their premium cost. I'm also in the WDC camp when it comes to reliable storage.
 

sapoeijoek

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I'm not personally fond of Lacie products because of their lack of reliability for their premium cost. I'm also in the WDC camp when it comes to reliable storage.
Agree! I'm not either. Right now I'm using 2 WD Black NVMe 500gb for OS and 2tb for storage, these are monsters, very fast!
 

bdbits

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WD are good, I was a big fan of them myself for spinning drives. For SSD though, I switched to Samsung early on based on benchmarks at the time and have been very satisfied. Crucial MX series is also very good, my last employer used them and they performed very well. There are many brands to choose from, and a lot of SSD testing and benchmarking sites. I've used https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-ssds,3891.html as a starting point. There is also https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/ which is user-submitted benchmarks. If you need something to look through or compare drives those are worth a look, in my opinion. The second one also has pages for HDDs and other computer parts.
 

SpecFoto

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@ Antonio Correia. Sorry for the long response, but I know you like details and facts. Hope you can understand all.

As you have found out, ALL hard drives will eventually fail. HGST (Hitachi) was the most reliable for years, and most Western Digital and Seagate HDD's were very poor in ratings compared to them, Like 6 to 10 times more likely to fail quicker. See the Backblaze Data Center chart below from 2017 showing 2014-2016 hard disk drive reliability from their BackBlaze data farms where they have thousands of these drives. I bought a USB 3.1 HDD RAID enclosure back in 2014 and put 2 HGST 4TB Deskstar drives in it, for a 8TB RAID, I also had 4x 4TB Deskstar drives in the internal bays of my 2012 Mac Pro and RAID'd up 2 pairs, so I had 2 internal and 1 external 8TB RAID setups with the 6 HGST drives. They never failed or had any problems, they were rock solid for almost 6 years.

Western Digital bought HGST back in 2018 and quietly closed them down by late 2019 as this level of quality was too expensive for them to make. But they did learn from HGST and are making better enterprise class drives as a result. Last year I upgraded to 12TB RAID and as HGST drives were no longer available, I bought Toshiba Enterprise class HDD with a 256 MB cache and a MTTF (Mean Time To Failure) of 1.4 Million Hours (The old HGST were 1.7 Million Hours.) They are housed in a Mobius Pro 2 bay USB-C enclosure hooked up to my 2019 iMac via a USB-C connector. Below is my typical Disk Speed Test R/W speeds via this setup I ran today, there is currently 8.1TB of data on the 12TB RAID. This is about 2-1/2 times faster than a desktop single HDD via USB-C or USB 3.1 (WD My Book).

While G-Tech, LaCie and many others quote very high transfers speeds in their literature via Thunderbolt 3 at 40GB/s, or USB-C at 10GB/s or USB 3.1 at 5GB/s, you will NEVER get anywhere near these speeds when you have spinning platter HDD's in the RAID box. The absolute best you can expect, even via TB3, when brand new and no data on the hard drive is a R/W speed of near USB II speeds, about 400 MB/s, and that is what mine tested too when I put the last RAID box together. But as you add data it slows down the transfer speeds, as the HDD need to read farther into the circular data path to get data the fuller it gets. This means your don't need a Thunderbolt 3 RAID box that is up to $300 dollar more than a USB-C or a USB 3.1 box, the hard disk drives will not spin any faster just because the cable thruput is faster, the hard disk drives are the slowest part of the system.

What I would look for in the HDD RAID is make sure the MTTF is at least 1 Million Hours, have at minimum of a 128 MB cache, run at 7,200 RPM and are "Enterprise Class" with at least a 3 year warranty.
These hard disk drives will cost $30 or more than lesser quality same size drives, but they will last a lot longer. You said you want only 4TB total, but I would double that as the bigger the RAID and the more empty space it has, the faster the R/W speed will be. High quality 4TB hard disk drive are pretty cheap and having a 8TB total RAID will save you going thru this a couple years down the line. My Mobis RAID box cost $130 and the 2x 4TB Western Digital Gold Enterprise drives (highly rated, with a 5 year warranty) can be had for about $149 each, so total of $430 for an excellent 8TB RAID system. Yes you have to slide the 2 Hard disk drives into slots in the RAID box, but it is so simple and a 2 minute procedure.

My Lightroom catalog is about 180,000 photos and kept on the Mobis RAID, and the cache file is near 250GB, yet it runs just fine. I do keep the cache file on my 512GB SSD internal blade in my iMac and this makes the catalog load a LOT faster. For backup I would buy 2x 8TB WD desktop USB 3.1 drives (My Book at $160 each) and back up the RAID to both of them weekly, if not daily, depending upon your activity. Keep 1 for sure in a fire safe.

Lower % is Better
hard-drive-failure-rate-by-manufacturer.jpg
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My 12TB RAID Mobus box R/W speeds via USB-C to 2019 27" iMac

DiskSpeedTest.png
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WNG

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@ Antonio Correia. Sorry for the long response, but I know you like details and facts. Hope you can understand all.

As you have found out, ALL hard drives will eventually fail. HGST (Hitachi) was the most reliable for years, and most Western Digital and Seagate HDD's were very poor in ratings compared to them, Like 6 to 10 times more likely to fail quicker. See the Backblaze Data Center chart below from 2017 showing 2014-2016 hard disk drive reliability from their BackBlaze data farms where they have thousands of these drives. I bought a USB 3.1 HDD RAID enclosure back in 2014 and put 2 HGST 4TB Deskstar drives in it, for a 8TB RAID, I also had 4x 4TB Deskstar drives in the internal bays of my 2012 Mac Pro and RAID'd up 2 pairs, so I had 2 internal and 1 external 8TB RAID setups with the 6 HGST drives. They never failed or had any problems, they were rock solid for almost 6 years.

Western Digital bought HGST back in 2018 and quietly closed them down by late 2019 as this level of quality was too expensive for them to make. But they did learn from HGST and are making better enterprise class drives as a result. Last year I upgraded to 12TB RAID and as HGST drives were no longer available, I bought Toshiba Enterprise class HDD with a 256 MB cache and a MTTF (Mean Time To Failure) of 1.4 Million Hours (The old HGST were 1.7 Million Hours.) They are housed in a Mobius Pro 2 bay USB-C enclosure hooked up to my 2019 iMac via a USB-C connector. Below is my typical Disk Speed Test R/W speeds via this setup I ran today, there is currently 8.1TB of data on the 12TB RAID. This is about 2-1/2 times faster than a desktop single HDD via USB-C or USB 3.1 (WD My Book).

While G-Tech, LaCie and many others quote very high transfers speeds in their literature via Thunderbolt 3 at 40GB/s, or USB-C at 10GB/s or USB 3.1 at 5GB/s, you will NEVER get anywhere near these speeds when you have spinning platter HDD's in the RAID box. The absolute best you can expect, even via TB3, when brand new and no data on the hard drive is a R/W speed of near USB II speeds, about 400 MB/s, and that is what mine tested too when I put the last RAID box together. But as you add data it slows down the transfer speeds, as the HDD need to read farther into the circular data path to get data the fuller it gets. This means your don't need a Thunderbolt 3 RAID box that is up to $300 dollar more than a USB-C or a USB 3.1 box, the hard disk drives will not spin any faster just because the cable thruput is faster, the hard disk drives are the slowest part of the system.

What I would look for in the HDD RAID is make sure the MTTF is at least 1 Million Hours, have at minimum of a 128 MB cache, run at 7,200 RPM and are "Enterprise Class" with at least a 3 year warranty.
These hard disk drives will cost $30 or more than lesser quality same size drives, but they will last a lot longer. You said you want only 4TB total, but I would double that as the bigger the RAID and the more empty space it has, the faster the R/W speed will be. High quality 4TB hard disk drive are pretty cheap and having a 8TB total RAID will save you going thru this a couple years down the line. My Mobis RAID box cost $130 and the 2x 4TB Western Digital Gold Enterprise drives (highly rated, with a 5 year warranty) can be had for about $149 each, so total of $430 for an excellent 8TB RAID system. Yes you have to slide the 2 Hard disk drives into slots in the RAID box, but it is so simple and a 2 minute procedure.

My Lightroom catalog is about 180,000 photos and kept on the Mobis RAID, and the cache file is near 250GB, yet it runs just fine. I do keep the cache file on my 512GB SSD internal blade in my iMac and this makes the catalog load a LOT faster. For backup I would buy 2x 8TB WD desktop USB 3.1 drives (My Book at $160 each) and back up the RAID to both of them weekly, if not daily, depending upon your activity. Keep 1 for sure in a fire safe.

Lower % is Better
View attachment 114226


My 12TB RAID Mobus box R/W speeds via USB-C to 2019 27" iMac

View attachment 114227


Some good suggestions and info, but I think you've made a mistake of mixing Bytes and Bits for the transfer rates of the respect protocols. Those listed should be Gbits per second.
Not bytes. USB-2 is ~480Mb/s, which is roughly 60MB/s, it can't ever be 400MB/s. (400MB/s is in the neighborhood of read/write rates of SATA SSD's)

If you re-do the math, then HDD RAIDs will achieve throughput approaching the rates of Thunderbolt, USB-C/USB-3.2, and 10Gb ethernet. I wouldn't recommend anything less than RAID-5 for speed and failure robustness.

A tip for anyone trying to figure out the transfer rates of all these standards and which will work for you and your computer, is to look at the PCI-E bandwidth spec of your computer. It dictates what connectivity is possible as these external connectivity standards are based on keeping pace with the PCI-E bus.

BTW, the graph of storage brand failure/reliability stats is biased and not objective. The type of drives of the data stated aren't listed, and the number of drives are lopsided.
I'm not knocking Hitachi's enterprise HDDs, they are great. But the others offer numerous products in 2.5, 3.5, and external, of various grades. Seagate had a terrible run of unreliable 1-3TB HDDs before they made a recovery. And Toshiba's main market is 2.5" laptop drives not 3.5". (Although I have one of their 3TB 3.5" units.) Look at the number of samples taken for Toshiba and WDC....compare that with HGST. See the problem? A few hundred to thousand drives at the most polled. Every brand had their duds. Including HGST, making IBM's Deskstar, aka Deathstar. And WDC with their old Green line with head crashing firmware.
 
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bdbits

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Every storage vendor has both good and bad models, and reliability varies over time. Reliability across the board has improved in recent years. Here is the backblaze data for 2020 so you can draw your own conclusions.

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backblaze-hard-drive-stats-for-2020/

For those who are unfamiliar with them, backblaze is a relatively low-cost cloud backup/storage provider. They have been reporting on their drive reliability experience for a number of years now. They had 165,530 drives in service at the end of 2020. Pretty real-world I would say.

Honestly in my experience, drives these days are pretty reliable. I think I could count on one hand the number of drives I have had fail on me over the last 30 years; maybe I am lucky. I've seen many more than that helping others recover what could be recovered short of recovery services. The best advice is to have backups, get them off-site (cloud or rotate backups off-site yourself) in case of fire, flood, thieves, etc. and check once in a while to make sure they are working (try restoring a file(s)). Especially if you are making a living from what is on your drives, but even for the rest of us you probably would regret losing what is on there, photos especially but other things, too. And SSDs are not recoverable like hard drives are (which is very costly anyway). Make the effort; and I am preaching to myself, too, as I could do better.
 

SpecFoto

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Some good suggestions and info, but I think you've made a mistake of mixing Bytes and Bits for the transfer rates of the respect protocols. Those listed should be Gbits per second.
Not bytes. USB-2 is ~480Mb/s, which is roughly 60MB/s, it can't ever be 400MB/s. (400MB/s is in the neighborhood of read/write rates of SATA SSD's)

If you re-do the math, then HDD RAIDs will achieve throughput approaching the rates of Thunderbolt, USB-C/USB-3.2, and 10Gb ethernet. I wouldn't recommend anything less than RAID-5 for speed and failure robustness.

A tip for anyone trying to figure out the transfer rates of all these standards and which will work for you and your computer, is to look at the PCI-E bandwidth spec of your computer. It dictates what connectivity is possible as these external connectivity standards are based on keeping pace with the PCI-E bus.

BTW, the graph of storage brand failure/reliability stats is biased and not objective. The type of drives of the data stated aren't listed, and the number of drives are lopsided.
I'm not knocking Hitachi's enterprise HDDs, they are great. But the others offer numerous products in 2.5, 3.5, and external, of various grades. Seagate had a terrible run of unreliable 1-3TB HDDs before they made a recovery. And Toshiba's main market is 2.5" laptop drives not 3.5". (Although I have one of their 3TB 3.5" units.) Look at the number of samples taken for Toshiba and WDC....compare that with HGST. See the problem? A few hundred to thousand drives at the most polled. Every brand had their duds. Including HGST, making IBM's Deskstar, aka Deathstar. And WDC with their old Green line with head crashing firmware.

Actually I not confused at all, as I used the same MB/s label that the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app uses. If you look at the 2nd chart above, my RAID achieved 286MB/s and 294MB/s, not Mb/s, this is how they label the speed. In either case it is about 75% the speed of USB-II, that it what I said and meant, as I did not mention the world Bytes or Bits. Whereas a single WD My book will be achieve 1/4 the speed of USB-II from 90 to 120 MB/s using the same DST test, so RAID HDD units are about 2-1/2 times as fast. For camparasion my internal 512GB blade in my 27" iMac is shown as 1892MB/s and 2579 MB/s, see below or about 6.6 to 8.7 times as fast as my RAID. The relative speeds are my point and I will leave it to the pinheads to figure out which label is correct, but if they are the same ones who are in charge on the USB-C protocol and naming, good luck as what a confusing clusterf_ck that whole deal is.

And 165,000 plus drive copies seems to me to be a great representation of drive reliability, just as @bdits said. If you dig into the Backblaze reports they do list the individual drive models, but for sake of brevity and as it was relevant to the 6 HGST drive I had, I used the chart as provided by BackBlaze for my period of use.
512GB Blade in iMac.png
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