Originally Posted by Anthony_Gomez
When you stack a lot of drives, heat can matter..more heat = more air flow needed = more fan noise. But, with a flexraid type system, you aren't accessing all drives simultaniously, so this is kinda moot (except for those running a hardware striped raid).
I actually can hear my HDD in my HTPC which using the WD Black drives.
But a WD black is terrible
A WD black is a good deal worse at those specific characteristics than a Seagate 7200.14 3TB (or 1TB/2TB)
Essentially a WD RED and a WD GREEN @ 5400rpm are most like a Seagate 7200.14 at those attributes, and all are better than a WD Black. No one uses a Black in an HTPC ( except you
You can't use a generally bad drive that represents everything people hate about old school 7200rpm drives and then point to a modern 7200rpm Seagate and say it is the same simply because its also same spindle speed. The Seagate is quite a bit better on things like energy profile and noise compared to older hard drives. It's also faster too
The same difference between a WD black versus a WD red and green can be seen between a WD black and a Seagate 7200. There is not much difference between a Seagate 7200 and WD red or green either.
Lots of data showing this all over, including earlier pages this thread. I hate to sound like I am selling the 3TB 7200.14 so much but it just bugs the crap out out of me when I read generalizations that are simply wrong.
For me- The performance drop to 5400rpm is not worth it over a modern 7200rpm (As in the WD RED/GREEN versus Seagate 7200.14 ) because there is almost no difference real world at any of the factors the slower spindle speed is supposed to improve. In contrast there is a really big difference in the areas the slower spindle speed is not designed or marketed to improve- Like performance, Read Speed, Write Speed, Random 4k, Seek Time, etc... I think you give up a great deal with some 5400rpm drives to gain very little. But the myth exists that there is a problem with heat, noise, energy, and vibration - which simply is wrong; No issue exists. I have 14 of them in my server and it's quiet, cool, and energy efficient. Any appropriate server case has enough air flow and should be designed and capable of cooling multiple hard drives regardless of spindle speed. Only in the smallest HTPC cases are you going to need to worry about the issues your talking about- and it's probably smarter to just go SSD only and network your storage elsewhere if that's your thing. SSD only builds use even less energy, are even smaller, and more quiet
I tend to consider big storage drives, and multitudes of them as server parts- not HTPC parts. I think the trend is moving that direction and a dedicated storage media server has some advantages over the old school approach of putting your storage drive inside your HTPC. First, you can locate it in a good location where noise is less an issue, and size is less an issue. This means you can use an appropriate case that's designed to do very well in those two areas, as opposed to an HTPC case that is often designed for aesthetics and small size at the expense of proper cooling, anti-vibrations, and is noisier because it's smaller. You get a silent HTPC, that is smaller- and you get to have more storage with a server. Have your cake and eat it too.
My server is quiet. It runs really cool. It's not small, and I did do a fan blade upgrade to 120mm with SilentX fans to make it very quiet- but the result is for me none of the issue you speak about are of any concern at all. And- even if they were there is little to no difference between a 7200rpm and a 5400rpm or 5900rpm. Your 4TB Seagate is a great drive- but it's not any significantly more amount cooler, quieter, or less vibration. It's slightly better than average, but so is the 3TB Seagate too. Both are great drives. It's like comparing two great cars in the same class. They are both good.
But the 5900RPM modern Seagate 4TB is the cream of the crop in performance- it's way better than most 5400rpm/5900rpm drives- and it's approaching the territory where the performance and speed isn't a factor. In the real world a 4TB WD should go about as fast as your Gigabit LAN will go. So - beyond this is not that important. A 5400RPM GREEN or WD RED drive once full should slow down more than your LAN speed limit and thus be a bottle neck on performance. The difference in read or write speeds between a 3TB WD GREEN or RED and a 3TB Seagate is pretty noticeable- There is a real world benefit that is obvious if you try to copy or paste a few bluray's. I have to remind myself to exclude the 4TB Seagate when I make generalizations about lower spindle speed drives (like WD, Hitachi, Samsung, Toshiba and other Seagate "green" models ). It seems like the combo of Seagates better tracking system on 1Tb platters combined with the extra 700rpm (WD/others @ 5400rpm versus Seagate @5900rpm) seems to make the drop in performance much less extreme and is a better balance IMO. It still lacks the performance of the 3TB though, and sometimes lacks the cost per TB value. It does win the capacity battle by virtue of simply being bigger- and this is probably the major reason you'd want one over the 3TB. Not because it's better, but because it's bigger.