I understand the points being made about LAN limited speed- but keep in mind two things.
First, Drives slow down and the higher performance drive would likely remain above your LAN speed preventing this from becoming a bottle neck when the drive was old and full. Not the case with a 5400rpm that would drop below the gigabit LAN speed if full, and reading or writing data to the slower area of the platter. You would then have a bottle neck, often under 100MB/sec. With some 5400rpm drives it could be as low as 50MB/sec. If you don't want to take my word for it there is statsitics, independent data, and professional 3rd party PC hardware tech review sites that publish the test results showing I am right. Just because a 5400rpm drive can do faster than a LAN speed- does not mean it always will. It's likely at times it will not. I've personally experienced this myself.
This is an extension of above really for my second point^. Not only do hard drives slow down, but other performance limiting factors happen. For instance if your running a software raid set up in your media server or doing "pooling" or "parity" there is often an extra process that must happen that might chip away a little at your performance. There is a good thread here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1476704/slow-write-speeds-on-flexraid-raid-f-snapshot-raid/0_100#post_23442384
I see many people asking why do they get slower write or read speeds from their servers all the time around here and the common denominator is always 5400rpm drives. I am not advocating spending tons of money or always having to go the high performance route - but when you can get better performance for a lower price it makes perfect sense. It's been that way for a while now yet there is so many proponents of 5400rpm drives still even though the 7200rpm models are available at superior performance, and lower prices. My personal belief is they are more reliable too but that is not a fact I can prove so I will leave it alone.
For my personal server my hardware it pretty modest. I use a $60 CPU, an $80 mobo , $80 Sata card, $25 DDR3 ram, $60 PSU, and $99 hard drives. I've paid as little as $80 for a 3TB 7200.14 Seagate and never more than $109. I picked the best components for my budget (IMO) and I've always valued performance and value (price) which is why I have chosen the parts I did. My goal was to get the best possible performance at my budget. My server is cheaper than most I'd guess. I am proud it's so affordable and capable.
I see others making mistakes or spending extra $ on components that are lower performance and I scratch my head without understanding. If I question it I usually first get some BS about how someone thinks it's more reliable, then I get flamed. It's the same story every time. This thread being no different. I understand my posting style is a cause for much of this and accept it. Call it a flaw I have. But never once does anyone stand up and show me where I am wrong - or point out a serious real world benefit to buying a more expensive lower performance 5400rpm HDD.
Here's what I know:
If you do the math on energy savings there is almost zero real world benefit with a 5400rpm hard drive. The real cost savings are pennies and meaningless considering you would never recoup the extra you paid for the more expensive 5400rpm drive even if the drive lasted in excess of 5 years. The idea of energy savings (and heat and noise to some effect) is mostly marketing propaganda. The temps, the noise, and the energy consumed is pretty close between a modern 7200rpm and a 5400rpm drive. A much more important factor is the price, the reliability, and the performance. In these three areas the 7200 usually wins or is equal.
So - while I am clearly wrong when I get overly agressive with my words trying to make my point clear by overstating my opinion as fact in some cases, I don't think my opinion is wrong about 5400rpm drives. That's why 95% of the defense of 5400rpm drives is often personal attacks at my credibility and posting style, and very little data or statistics or scientific facts to support 5400rpm drives as a good choice. It flows both ways. I have yet to see anyone, anywhere- post anything meaningful about how a 5400RPM is a better choice. Perhaps on the TLER issue, but even then you can use a 7200.14 in a NAS box or a desktop raid set up. I'd upgrade if I was doing serious server hardware RAID but that's beyond the scope of this forum I think.
Originally Posted by assassin
Excellent take on the subject wsume99.
Good points ? Yes. But the idea that he proposes about 5400rpm drives exceeding LAN in the real world is a bit optimistic. In my personal experience a WD RED or GREEN will slow down after time and once full to speeds under gigabit LAN.
I'd be very curious to see your Flexraid server with a WD GREEN drive that was 80% full copy paste to an SSD over your LAN. I'm guessing your under my 100MB/sec+ My experience was near 60MB/sec which is far more common and likely. Removing this bottle neck without spending any more $ seems to make sense if you were buying today. I know you and I have built servers around the same time and back when we did it- that was how you did it and what you had to work with. I've since upgraded mine, replaced my 5400rpm drives and I can say that at least for me personally- There is a really big difference.
Just my .02cents.
Originally Posted by assassin
Another point is that while 5 degrees doesn't seem like much for a single drive it really adds up when you have 10 or 20 drives which is typical in some HTPC servers. The same can be said with a small increase in noise or that fans that are required to cool that 5 degrees per drive.
But there is not a 5 degree difference. The results are nearly the same. A 7200.14 has the same surface temps as a 3TB GREEN drive, the same noise (minus the clicking of the green
) It's not a big deal at all. The difference if any is not significant. Each generation of HDD's comes out is a little bit cooler than the last- and a little bit more energy efficient. The 4TB seagate adds a platter and an extra 1TB of capacity with nearly the same energy and heat, and in some cases even improves in these areas. A RED drive is more modern than a GREEN drive and is also just a tad bit cooler I believe. But - at the end of the day none are significantly different enough to make it a concern. As new models are introduced the older models just get exposed as less competitive and this will never change- but we have reach a point where most modern drives today are acceptable for this to be a non issue in all but the most extreme circumstances.
I own the same case as you. (ANTEC 300) and I am certain even a budget $39 case like that is more than up to the task of keeping quiet and keeping cool a multitude of HDD's. Most server cases are designed to do this and if they are not then your choosing the wrong case for a server IMO. My Norco case certainly can keep 20 high performance hard drives at full bore cool- and with my optional 120mm silent fan blade it's as quiet as my Antec300 (which is quiet with fans on low or medium).
There is no run away temps or noise like your suggesting with any properly designed build if you choose 7200rpm drives. It's not an issue.
Some in this thread will cite that they don't want to "wait" on very large data transfers so that getting the fastest drive is of paramount importance. While I appreciate this viewpoint many others will only occasionally be moving very large data in or to their servers. For many more they will just plan on doing this transfer at night or when the server isn't being used. For some (such as myself) I don't really care as I have never had an issue with moving data and playing a movie, for instance.
In any event for a HTPC server that mainly serves movies and media to the Home (the "H" in HTPC) the bottom line is that ANY of these drives are plenty fast for playback many times over with multiple simultaneous streams as you alluded to in your excellent post. We aren't talking business servers in need of the ultimate level of performance here.
I can give you this point. I'm willing to accept you don't mind waiting twice a long for a transfer or that the transfer speed is less important to you. But keep in mind I am not advocating high performance. Rather I am advocating for maximum value. Maximum value to me is getting the most possible performance and capability for a given cost or a given budget. I'm advocating getting more and paying less. Perhaps if the extra performance cost more- your argument about not needing it might make more sense. But when the higher performance costs less it's really hard to argue against that. So in this regard- spending more on a 5400rpm drive make less sense.