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Buying a 2nd Hard Drive

Posted on 2006-10-27
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I currently have a Zenith 9CJS motherboard and a 75gb WD raptor, I am running a bit low on space so I am going to add a 2nd hard drive for storage.  Also, I am not ready to upgrade my entire system just yet but I may be getting a new MB/CPU & RAM within the next year.  I am currently looking at getting a Seagate Barracuda 500GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer and since I haven't been really paying attention to what is going on in the HD world I am a bit confused by the multitude of flavors this drive comes in.

That all said I have a few questions:

1 - If I buy a SATA II drive will it downgrade to SATA I w/o any problems when I plug it into my current system?

2 - I have seen AS, NS and SV versions of this drive what the heck is the difference?  

3 - Should I go with the enterprise version "Seagate Barracuda ES" or the "Seagate Barracuda 7200.10"?  Not sure if the ES is an older drive model or if it is truly the enterprise version of the .10 release.

4 - From what I have read the Seagate seems to be the way to go, is there a contender out there that I should be looking at as well?

Thanks in advance for the input!

E
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Question by:EWilson12
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garycase earned 500 total points
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"... 1 - If I buy a SATA II drive will it downgrade to SATA I w/o any problems when I plug it into my current system? " ==>  SATA II is SUPPOSED to be fully downward compatible with SATA-150;  and in most cases works just fine.   There ARE some incompatibilities ... but most drives have a jumper that restricts the transfer rate to SATA-I speeds, which resolves this.

"... 2 - I have seen AS, NS and SV versions of this drive what the heck is the difference?  " ==> Seagate uses a variety of designations for their drives ... NS (Network Series), SV (Security Video), ES (Enterprise Series), etc.  (not sure what the AS stands for).   From a practical perspective, there's little difference;  although the SV ("Security Video") line, which is designed to optimize the recording of surveillance video,  does have modified retry logic so it won't lose frames while trying a drive reset;  similar to the shorter timeouts on the ES drives so they won't cause false-alarms with RAID controllers.

"... 3 - Should I go with the enterprise version "Seagate Barracuda ES" or the "Seagate Barracuda 7200.10"? " ==>  Depends on whether or not you're planning to use the drives in a RAID array.  The ES series drives work better with RAID controllers, since they won't delay as long for reset operations that might cause a RAID controller to "think" a good drive has failed.

"... 4 - From what I have read the Seagate seems to be the way to go, is there a contender out there that I should be looking at as well? ..." ==>  Everyone has their favorite drives, but Seagate's are excellent drives and their 5-year warranty certainly makes them the drive of choice in my book.

... since you're buying a fairly large drive, I presume you want to get "plenty" of storage --> so don't forget that Seagate also has 750GB drives :-)
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by:EWilson12
ID: 17820482
For the last 10 years I was a die hard Maxtor fan for desktop use and Seagate Barracuda/Cheetah for servers.  But that was before Maxtor got bought and Seagate started pounding the desktop market with the introduction of SATA.  Don't get me wrong I love my Raptor for it's speed but I have had too many WD's crash and burn for me to be a die hard WD fanatic (plus there is no 500gig raptor).  I considered the 750 but $400 for a desktop HD is slightly higher than what I am willing to spend, someone owes me a $200-$250 favor and the 500 fits nicely into that category ;)

I think I'll go for the ES/NS drive with the thought that I may go with a RAID 1 mirror on my next machine.

Thanks,

E

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by:garycase
ID: 17820733
You're welcome.   I've had better luck with WD's => but nevertheless I also buy Seagates for other storage these days, simply because of the 5 year warranty.   I do, however, have Raptors as my system drives on my two main systems ... and may even do a RAID-0 on my next system with two Raptors :-)

... I certainly agree the 750GB is too high on a cost/gigabyte basis (at the moment ... that will undoubtedly change).
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