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WD vs. Seagate And the winner is....

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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Seagate has bad results for some long years so I'm not really surprised. Some of their series in the past had like 10%+ RMA rate where most series have about 1-2%. Only their server drives are quite good but slow comparing to competition.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Ive had a poor opinion of Seagate based on one cruddy drive for some time. I noticed the bottom of the laptop was warm to the touch -- then traced the problem to the HDD sitting directly ober that hotspot. SMART data was fine but I knew that driveds days were numbered. I was trying to wait for Black Friday to see what the SSD market would do, but missed it by about 3 weeks. Less than 2 months from 1st symptom to drive failure. Nothing I have read since then has shown this to be unusual, looks like you are reading the same kinds of articles I have found.

On a side not I picked up a couple high capacity Seagates from the classies and hope they give me reason to reconsider. Bought a WD Black to put in the laptop though :)
 
OP
Alaric

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I've had bad luck with Seagate drives , as well. There will be folks chiming in with WD horror stories who swear by Seagate but that hasn't been my experience. And it seems I'm not alone. I wonder what the problem is. HDD technology isn't exactly a brand new , hit or miss situation. Cheap parts , cheap manufacturing , or just poor design?
 

MNMadman

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
I have been leading a charmed life. I've never had a hard drive or SSD fail. *knocks on wood*
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Looking at that data makes me wonder if the 3TB drives arent just failed 4TB or largers drives? Is this an acceptable/known practice in HDD as it is in CPU manufacturing? Clearly there was some problem that plagued the 3TB drives in particular, in more than just Seagate.

Usually that's changed by the number of plates and different firmware.
Sometimes the plates are different densities, but IIRC most 3TB just have a couple fewer plates than a 4TB.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Yeah Seagate just makes terrible drives. Really don't see any reason to ever buy one over a WD unless you're really broke or something.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Yeah Seagate just makes terrible drives. Really don't see any reason to ever buy one over a WD unless you're really broke or something.

It's sad really that it has come to that for that company. It wasn't always that way. I stick with HGST (Hitachi) and western digital, personally.

Even if you're broke, you can't put a price on piece of mind that your data is safe. (With proper back ups of course)
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
The data set in ATMINSIDE'S link certainly convinced me to avoid Barracudas.

I've been running my Seagate F1 for several years, but then it was designed with RAID in mind so maybe was more robust on the drawing board. Last two drives that went tits up for me were both WDs, one being an external in RAID that didn't survive a two foot drop. Other was just EOL.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
but then it was designed with RAID in mind so maybe was more robust on the drawing board.

WD Red's are designed for RAID as well. Typically it has nothing to do (directly) with robustness, but with TLER, head parking, and other similar features.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Looking at that data makes me wonder if the 3TB drives arent just failed 4TB or largers drives? Is this an acceptable/known practice in HDD as it is in CPU manufacturing? Clearly there was some problem that plagued the 3TB drives in particular, in more than just Seagate.
HDDs are not like CPUs where they are 'binned' lower. In fact they are not remotely associated how that works. One is a piece of silicon with thresholds, while a HDD, let's say a 4TB, it may have 4 1TB platters in it... the 3 TB would then have, 3 1TB platters, They would not leave the last platter in there if it did not work, and make it a 3 TB drive. :)

EDIT: Heh, I see ATM answered this too...
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005

As I already said in other thread, we can't tell how reliable drives has any manufacturer based on 1-2 series what in this case has its place looking at WD with only Red series on the list. WD Red had firmware issues which were fixed later last year. The most popular series are not even included in this comparison but if I remember it right, WD Red had the worst results from all WD drives in last year.
It's also hard to say if HGST or Toshiba have really these numbers in global mass production as their % of sales is really low comparing to WD or Seagate. Quality is also changing depends from factory so also country in which hdd are distributed.

Looking at the linked ranking you can't really say anything except the fact that Seagate numbers are really bad as it's the only brand covered with most of their offer.
 

TaCoSwInDeZ

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Location
Huntsville, Al
Luckily in my time I have only had two hard drives fail. One was a super old Maxtor 30 Gig drive that came in a HP Desktop from 98-99. That drive lasted 7 years of normal daily usage. The next one was a 160 Gig WD blue drive that I bought a pair of back in 2008 to use as a Raid 0 boot drive. It lasted about 4 years while the other one is still happily chugging along in my current rig to this day storing misc files and such like photos, music, documents. I have a backup of everything that I keep up to date so no worries if it dies unexpectedly. The 1 TB WD Black drive stores the windows TEMP and TMP folders as well as my steam and origin games. It's been going since 2012 at nearly 24-7 365 power on usage. Not too concerned if it dies either, just gives me an excuse to get a much larger drive.

After reading that report I sure am glad I never went with a seagate drive. I hate to feel that way but I am loyal to WD for the foreseeable future.
 
Last edited:

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
3TB drive numbers were the upper extreme for pretty much everyone except Hitachi. Except for those Barracudas - those are off my list as well now. Motors all from a common manufacturer? 3TB is somehow 'unbalanced' number of plates and kills to motor? Who knows - all I can say for certain is that I would think twice about 3TB from any brand now except Hitachi :)
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
They are balanced. ;)

HDD-Internals-640x676.jpg


That link from ATM, while it has some value, is also not a fair reproduction of how we use our HDD's. That link is from a place that stores backups. There exponentially more reads and writes going on those drives (they are using some form of RAID as well) versus what we see as a consumer.

To that end, I have posted some numbers in the past from some French website about their failures. And while the dataset is a lot smaller, its also a much more realistic environment as far as use...

Here is a snippet:
Hard Drives:
Article posted on May 10th 2013:

Average Failure rates:

- Toshiba 1,15%
- Seagate 1,44% (vs 1,65%)
- Western 1,55% (vs 1,44%)
- Samsung 2,24% (vs 1,30%)
- Hitachi 2,40% (vs 3,45%)

We mixed all formats of hard drives, which means that we were able to add Toshiba to the list despite a rather small amount of 3.5" drives they sold. This Former arrives in 1st position. Of note is the high failure rate jump for Samsung, compared to the lowering in failure for Hitachi.

Here are the 5 discs with the highest failure rates:

- 5,04% WD Caviar Black 1,5 TB (WD1502FAEX)
- 4,94% Hitachi 7K1000.C 1 TB (HDS721010CLA332)
- 4,87% Hitachi 7K3000 2 ToB(HDS723020BLA642)
- 3,57% Seagate Barracuda 320 GB (ST320DM001)
- 3,51% WD Caviar Red 2 TB (WD20EFRX)

If we look specifically at 2 TB drives here are the obtained numbers :

- 4,87% Hitachi 7K3000 (HDS723020BLA642)
- 3,51% WD Caviar Red (WD20EFRX)
- 3,01% Samsung SpinPoint F4 (HD201UI)
- 2,12% WD Caviar RE4 (WD2003FYYS)
- 1,97% WD Caviar Black (WD2002FAEX)
- 1,95% Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 (ST2000DM001)
- 1,30% WD Caviar Green (WD20EARX)
- 1,01% WD AV-GP (WD20EURS)

And the 3 TB drives :

- 2,85% WD Caviar Green (WD30EZRX)
- 2,71% Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 (ST3000DM001)
- 1,89% WD Caviar Red (WD30EFRX)

Article posted on October 30th, 2013:

Average Failure rates:

- Seagate 0,95% (vs 1,44% year before)
- Hitachi 1,16% (vs 2,40% year before)
- Western 1,19% (vs 1,55% year before)
- Toshiba 1,54% (vs 1,15% year before)

Hitachi HGST which was for a long time the definite last place, continues to improves its failure rate ever since it's buyout by Western Digital, but that's in large part due to the the sales of it's high capacity hard drives which significantly lowered (>2TB hard drives). Toshiba sees it's rate decrease, while Seagate improves it's rate which allows it first place.
Warning: Unlike others, Toshiba doesn't allow a direct return to the manufacturers (so it's failure rate might actually be considerably lower if it were to allow them)

Only one disk obtains a failure rate higher than 4% during this time period, it's the Seagate constellation ES 2 with a rate of 9.64%. The failure rate is high, however the sample relatively small.

Here are the rates for 2TB hard drives:
- 9,64% Seagate Constellation ES ST2000NM0011
- 3,38% Western Digital Caviar RE4 WD2003FYYS
- 2,36% Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003
- 1,45% Western Digital Caviar Black 2 WD2002FAEX
- 1,45% Western Digital Red WD20EFRX
- 1,38% Seagate SV35 ST2000VX000
- 1,35% Western Digital Green WD20EZRX
- 1,12% Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST2000DM001
- 1,09% Western Digital AV-GP WD20EURS
- 0,96% Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX
- 0,83% Western Digital RE WD2000FYYZ

And for 3TB hard drives:
- 1,99% Western Digital Red WD30EFRX
- 1,48% Western Digital Green WD30EZRX
- 1,29% Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001

(I have no idea why the 1TB hard drive statistics were not in the article)
 
OP
Alaric

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I'm most interested in the larger capacity HDD numbers. My next OS storage drive will probably Intel or Samsung SSD , with a big HDD for storing music , pictures , movies , etc.. So the important stuff will be on HDD , which makes the failure rate an important statistic for me. WD Reds seem to occupy a lot of the best spots.
 

Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
I remember I used to run nothing but Seagate Barracuda drives in my setups. I started noticing a whine/squeal from them. Then of course the squeal of death followed by a slight clang and then nothing.

I replaced them with WD and Hitachi drives. Needless to say my Hitachi drives still run fine, but a few of my WD drives were sent in for RMA. I might just pick up an HGST 3TB for my games as my WD black 1TB is getting a tad cramped, lol.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
3TB drive numbers were the upper extreme for pretty much everyone except Hitachi. Except for those Barracudas - those are off my list as well now. Motors all from a common manufacturer? 3TB is somehow 'unbalanced' number of plates and kills to motor? Who knows - all I can say for certain is that I would think twice about 3TB from any brand now except Hitachi :)

Care to explain how changing the number of plates will unbalance the spindle?
When you put a perfect disk on a spindle and rotate it, no matter the number of disks, it will be balanced.