Question 12TB HDD Recommendations - WD or SG?

Jan 30, 2019
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Hey Everyone! Toms Hardware forums have been a great help to me as I get my first PC build going.

I do not game. I do a lot of photo and video shooting with my DSLR and slowly have accumulated 10-15 external hard drives full of data over the years. I really want to get them all added to one massive hard drive on my new Computer. I would also like to set up the HDD in a raid format to back it up to another drive. The largest 3.5 HDD I have found is a 12TB - I have always used western digital so the Gold 12tb seems the way to go; but at $489.00 it is going to get expensive quick with needing at least 2. ( I know, some people have 150TB setups with god knows what invested into it, I am just not there yet- not in the budget)

My question is, what 12tb Hard drive would you recommend?
How good are these 12tb units compared to the normal 1-4TB units?
Would you consider using a Western Digital Gold or Seagate 12tb drive? I see barracuda and iron wolf options, but have no experience with their brand.

I am using a Samsung 860evo SSD for working files and the newest Samsung Evo Plus m2 drive for my OS.
I did consider just going with a NAS device but I have space for up to 10HDD's in my p600s case so why not use that for now right.
*My motherboard has dual LAN ports in case I do want to use a NAS and get the hard drives out of the case, or I guess when I max the 10 spots out!

Any info on how you would store 12-20TB of data, what Hard Drives you would use, or just any bits of info you think I would find helpful, feel free to chime in!

Thank you to all the great members on this forum for the wealth of knowledge.
 
As far as reliability goes, that's something that takes a bit of time to determine. Since drives of this capacity are relatively new to the market it's early to tell which brand does best or how they compare to smaller drives. I've used WD, Seagate, Toshiba and HGST (formerly Hitachi, since purchased by WD) drives. HGST is supposed to have a good reputation though any HDD can fail and the best operating principle is redundancy (which I see you've adopted).
 
Jan 30, 2019
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As far as reliability goes, that's something that takes a bit of time to determine. Since drives of this capacity are relatively new to the market it's early to tell which brand does best or how they compare to smaller drives. I've used WD, Seagate, Toshiba and HGST (formerly Hitachi, since purchased by WD) drives. HGST is supposed to have a good reputation though any HDD can fail and the best operating principle is redundancy (which I see you've adopted).
Thanks for the response!

That would make sense as I tried to search around before asking here. I just assumed not many people were using them and thats why not many reviews.
I have always used Western Digital for all my externals so it seemed like a no brainer to stay with them.

Redundancy is key. I have a 6tb mybook that is full that backs up most of these externals but I know at least 4-6tb is not backed up. Having one massive hard drive to load them all into and then sort to delete duplicates seems like the best way to tackle the mess I have created.
 
I would watch the quarterly HDD reliability statistics published by Backblaze. Seagate have had a poor reputation for reliability over the past decade, but their stats seemed to have improved. Be aware that a WD Gold drive is most probably a native Hitachi. You can determine this from clues on the label and on the PCB. Also, be aware that WD is selling some of their own models under a Hitachi label.
 
If getting only a single 12 TB drive, the HGST, Seagate Ironwolf, and WD Reds all come to mind...; guessing that one will last substantially longer than another is bit of a crapshoot, and, with a single 12 TB drive , you have no redundancy...but, a pair of 12 TB drives is not cheap, either.

You might even consider a RAID 0+1 or RAID 5 with three or four 6 TB drives for similar money... most MB's integrated RAID controllers rarely offer the more desirable RAID 6, or RAID 50 etc, as few folks recommend RAID 5 with large drives anymore, but,...at least RAID 5 (three ea. 6 TB drives at $169 each, 12 TB of usable space), can suffer the loss of one drive, at $507 total cost.... (The WD Gold drives are VERY expensive, with even the 6 TB models costing $75 more each)

Eventually, you might want to consider one of the 4,5,6 bay NAS units from Synology or QNAP...but, if your case has the space for 4 drives, you are set for up to four each multiple 4-8TB drives with the least expense, as drives are about $120-ish per 4 TB increment)
 
Jan 30, 2019
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Newegg has WD Red 10 TB drives on sale for $289....less than the typical ~$120 per 4 TB you are likely to find....
I checked the Red version out as my first start to this project was to just do a NAS device and keep working off my laptop. I soon realized the laptop is old and slow and would just be a bottleneck so I began the complete build to ensure I have MB with everything from usb C to thunderbolt ports. I am super new to this so I just assumed I needed the Gold for a desktop build as the Reds seem to state "nas specific" and offer a much lower 5200 speed compared to the gold 7200 speed. Being that I will mostly work off the SSD and just move stuff to the HDD drives this may not be a bad idea and quick way to save a few hundred dollars which I wouldnt mind! Can almost get 4 10TB Reds for the price of 2 12tb golds!
 
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Red drives can be used in other situations, as it would be more accurate to say they're optimized for NAS use than NAS only drives. There'd be no particular harm done and the warranty offered on the Red series is longer too.
Good to know.
Then when I am ready to add a NAS device I can just swap them out too. Only downside is the speed, but at the price difference it may be the smart choice. Plus I hear those gold drives are REALLY loud compared to the reds which are just loud.
 

jmw.ppr

Prominent
Sep 26, 2017
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Seagate's reputation of spotty reliability goes all the way back to when 1.2GB eIDE was a huge drive. Since 2TB drives dropped in price making them the least expensive size per GB, HGST has consistently been producing the most reliable 7,200 rpm drives, and Seagate has produced the products with the highest failure rates among the big 5 names (Toshiba, Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital and HGST)

Western Digital has faired pretty well, and offers more spindle speed options and "green" feature drives, but for my money, I have stuck with HGST, and earlier (2TB) Hitachi or Toshiba drives in plain old 7,200 rpm flavor. The Back Blaze reports now support the choices I made, and I have not had a drive failure in way over a decade.

If you leave all of your assorted external drives alone, you already have a complete backup of everything up until now. I'd recommend making use of that as your backup, and partitioning your new 12TB so that you can fit a "live copy" of everything you have on your external drives on the 2nd partition, and leave the 1st partition as the part that's empty, because that 1st partition is the fastest section of the drive, and where you will put newer files you are more likely to frequently access.

The lower priced WD Red 10TB's are also a good option, especially for older archives that aren't accessed often, and things like still photos that are not really going to load noticibly faster because of slower rotational speeds, BUT, I personally am all about reliability first and foremost, and plain old 7,200 rpm drives that don't spin up and down all the time are consistently the least likely to fail. Saving $40 or $50 by getting a drive that is more prone to failure just doesn't make sense to me at all. A dead drive is worth exactly zero. The ones that consistently die while in warranty are also consistently replaced by some manufacturers {coffSeagatecoff} with replacements that also die quickly or are doa. Customer reviews show this very consistantly.

If I were buying a brand new drive 8TB or larger right now today, I would buy an HGST over all others, and the WD Gold would be a second choice. (But seriously, I'd buy the HGST or nothing)

I generally base the size of the drives I buy on where the sweet spot is for price per TB value, and still insist on straight 7,200 rpm drives, because they just do not fail. Perhaps lower spindle speed drives are okay as long as they don't spin down and back up all the time. The kicker motors are prone to fail when they have to keep starting up the drives all the time, and a drive that won't spin up has kept my data safe, but I can't access it any longer. Again, worth zero.

I have 500 GB 7,200 rpm pata ide drives that still work fine in external cases. In fact, the last drive I bought that actually died was a 1.2 Conner Peripherals drive, and they ALL died. That was right after Conner was bought by, you guessed it, Seagate.

Lastly, do remember that there is a higher "infant mortality rate" with ALL brand new drives. A drive that makes it past the 1st year will likely keep right on trucking, (if It's a goid 7,200 rpm model like those offered by HGST or WD) Seagate seems to have mastered the art of producing drives that die just a few months past warranty though, INCLUDING the pricy Constelation series.

Seagate used to be the gold standard when drive sizes were in the 10's or hundreds of megabytes, but never since. Now they consistently lure people in on price point alone.

Here's another fact to consider. Seagate went down hill when all of the original companies' (Shugart) board members list the controlling share, and were subsiquently let go. That's when Seagate's quality fell off sharply. Seagate bougjt Conner, and rhe 1st drive released by the new "Conner controlled by Seagate" was so prone to fail, Conner collapsed and clised it's doors. (Bur Seagate profitted tremendously from the sales of that very faulty drive)

The next company bought by Seagate was Maxtor. They were once a great manufacturer of high quality drives, until Seagate took over. Where is Maxtor now? Oops, as dead as their drives started turning up.

Guess who Seagate bought out most recently. Western Digital. So, guess why I'd buy an HGST over a WE Gold? Yup. Because I don't like my drives dying with all my data on them.
 
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Seagate's reputation of spotty reliability goes all the way back to when 1.2GB eIDE was a huge drive. Since 2TB drives dropped in price making them the least expensive size per GB, HGST has consistently been producing the most reliable 7,200 rpm drives, and Seagate has produced the products with the highest failure rates among the big 5 names (Toshiba, Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital and HGST)

Western Digital has faired pretty well, and offers more spindle speed options and "green" feature drives, but for my money, I have stuck with HGST, and earlier (2TB) Hitachi or Toshiba drives in plain old 7,200 rpm flavor. The Back Blaze reports now support the choices I made, and I have not had a drive failure in way over a decade.

If you leave all of your assorted external drives alone, you already have a complete backup of everything up until now. I'd recommend making use of that as your backup, and partitioning your new 12TB so that you can fit a "live copy" of everything you have on your external drives on the 2nd partition, and leave the 1st partition as the part that's empty, because that 1st partition is the fastest section of the drive, and where you will put newer files you are more likely to frequently access.

The lower priced WD Red 10TB's are also a good option, especially for older archives that aren't accessed often, and things like still photos that are not really going to load noticibly faster because of slower rotational speeds, BUT, I personally am all about reliability first and foremost, and plain old 7,200 rpm drives that don't spin up and down all the time are consistently the least likely to fail. Saving $40 or $50 by getting a drive that is more prone to failure just doesn't make sense to me at all. A dead drive is worth exactly zero. The ones that consistently die while in warranty are also consistently replaced by some manufacturers {coffSeagatecoff} with replacements that also die quickly or are doa. Customer reviews show this very consistantly.

If I were buying a brand new drive 8TB or larger right now today, I would buy an HGST over all others, and the WD Gold would be a second choice. (But seriously, I'd buy the HGST or nothing)

I generally base the size of the drives I buy on where the sweet spot is for price per TB value, and still insist on straight 7,200 rpm drives, because they just do not fail. Perhaps lower spindle speed drives are okay as long as they don't spin down and back up all the time. The kicker motors are prone to fail when they have to keep starting up the drives all the time, and a drive that won't spin up has kept my data safe, but I can't access it any longer. Again, worth zero.

I have 500 GB 7,200 rpm pata ide drives that still work fine in external cases. In fact, the last drive I bought that actually died was a 1.2 Conner Peripherals drive, and they ALL died. That was right after Conner was bought by, you guessed it, Seagate.

Lastly, do remember that there is a higher "infant mortality rate" with ALL brand new drives. A drive that makes it past the 1st year will likely keep right on trucking, (if It's a goid 7,200 rpm model like those offered by HGST or WD) Seagate seems to have mastered the art of producing drives that die just a few months past warranty though, INCLUDING the pricy Constelation series.

Seagate used to be the gold standard when drive sizes were in the 10's or hundreds of megabytes, but never since. Now they consistently lure people in on price point alone.

Here's another fact to consider. Seagate went down hill when all of the original companies' (Shugart) board members list the controlling share, and were subsiquently let go. That's when Seagate's quality fell off sharply. Seagate bougjt Conner, and rhe 1st drive released by the new "Conner controlled by Seagate" was so prone to fail, Conner collapsed and clised it's doors. (Bur Seagate profitted tremendously from the sales of that very faulty drive)

The next company bought by Seagate was Maxtor. They were once a great manufacturer of high quality drives, until Seagate took over. Where is Maxtor now? Oops, as dead as their drives started turning up.

Guess who Seagate bought out most recently. Western Digital. So, guess why I'd buy an HGST over a WE Gold? Yup. Because I don't like my drives dying with all my data on them.

I appreciate this feedback greatly!

I found the HGST which seems to be the cheaper and as per your recommendation, better option.
When I checked NewEgg for the WD Gold it offered me an Ultra Star version? It claims this is the newer version, would this make the WD Gold old now and the Ultra Star the better WD option? I am not seeing anything stat was that supports the extra 40$ especially when the HGST seem good reviews. Tough choice to make with $450+ on the line just for storage!

WD Gold 12tb 470$ - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822232560&Description=12tb gold&cm_re=12tb_gold-_-22-232-560-_-Product

WD Ultrastar 12tb 490$ - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822234361&ignorebbr=1
HGST 12tb - 450$ https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5EM6HG4804&Description=12tb&cm_re=12tb-_-14Y-0291-00001-_-Product
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
I would watch the quarterly HDD reliability statistics published by Backblaze. Seagate have had a poor reputation for reliability over the past decade, but their stats seemed to have improved. Be aware that a WD Gold drive is most probably a native Hitachi. You can determine this from clues on the label and on the PCB. Also, be aware that WD is selling some of their own models under a Hitachi label.
Backblaze data is not a reliable source for reliability. They don't even mount the drives properly and have used consumer grade drives in an enterprise setting which alone invalidates results since they are typically not made for 24x7 data center use.

I have used multiple brands and have had no issue with Seagate or WD. in my repairs I have run into some lines that were more faulty than others (for example when the 7mm 2.5" drives first came out Toshiba had a line that would fail more often than not). Otherwise between Seagate and WD I have seen similar failure rates when used properly.

Just to give an example my current storage is 2 2TB Seagate 7200.14 drives that are almost 7 years old.
 
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The "WD" UltraStar DC HC520 12TB appears to be a rebadged, native HGST HUH721212ALE604.

https://www.centrecom.com.au/western-digital-ultrastar-dc-hc520-12tb-hdd-huh721212ale604

The "WD" Gold 12TB WD121KRYZ is also a native HGST.

See the WWN on the label. The absence of DCM and DCX are other clues which point to HGST.

https://akiba-pc.watch.impress.co.jp/img/ah/docs/1086/094/twd121kryz1.jpg

I am realizing this is not as straight forward as I once thought!

What is the difference between 4kn and 512e and SAS and SATA?

Digging on the HGST website and comparing the part numbers to the amazon or new egg listings / pricing I am seeing the ISE, SD, SE and TCG Options on the HGST change the price a lot as well.

Link to a good visual breakdown of options and price for HGST 12tb drives: https://diskstorageworks.com/Ultrastar-He12.asp

I am all for the HGST seeing that WD is simply relabeling them and charging their premium. Just need to be sure now of which 12TB HGST with what options to work best.
 
SAS is a drive connector used in some servers or workstations, while SATA is the standard for 'regular' PCs. The codes 4k vs 512 refer to the sector size, where newer (high capacity) drives use larger sector sizes than the old standard so as to maximize the efficiency of their internal layout. New versions of Windows recognize this and no further adjustment is needed (aside from formatting the drive which you'll need to do anyway). The $450 desktop SATA drive would be the best fit for a typical consumer desktop.
 
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jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
SAS is a drive connector used in some servers or workstations, while SATA is the standard for 'regular' PCs. The codes 4k vs 512 refer to the sector size, where newer (high capacity) drives use larger sector sizes than the old standard so as to maximize the efficiency of their internal layout. New versions of Windows recognize this and no further adjustment is needed (aside from formatting the drive which you'll need to do anyway). The $450 desktop SATA drive would be the best fit for a typical consumer desktop.
SAS is the default for SAN/NAS and servers. It is Serial Attached SCSI and has a much higher bandwidth throughput than SATA, tends to have better reliability and features like hot swapping.

OP does not need SAS.
 
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SAS is a drive connector used in some servers or workstations, while SATA is the standard for 'regular' PCs. The codes 4k vs 512 refer to the sector size, where newer (high capacity) drives use larger sector sizes than the old standard so as to maximize the efficiency of their internal layout. New versions of Windows recognize this and no further adjustment is needed (aside from formatting the drive which you'll need to do anyway). The $450 desktop SATA drive would be the best fit for a typical consumer desktop.
SAS is the default for SAN/NAS and servers. It is Serial Attached SCSI and has a much higher bandwidth throughput than SATA, tends to have better reliability and features like hot swapping.

OP does not need SAS.

Thank you guys for answering all this for me and helping me understand the differences.

Do I need to find a specific model HGST to ensure its quality?
This 12tb HGST states it is a Western Digital product right on it!? Is this one any good?

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA9948RW9813&Description=12tb HDD&cm_re=12tb_HDD-_-1Z4-001J-003H1-_-Product
 
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So from these 3 options, which one would you choose?

Instant Secure Erase (ISE)
12TB - Part# 0F30144 Model# HUH721212ALE600
LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CC48DYL/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A10XTVRAJRWPGO&psc=1

Secure Erase (SE)
12TB - Part# 0F30146 Model# HUH721212ALE604

Self Encrypting Drive (SED)
(supports BDE and TCG Encryption)

12TB - Part# 0F30145 Model# HUH721212ALE601


I am unsure what the ISE, SE, and SED do! The SED looks a bit more advanced, but what is different between the ISE and SE models?
I would love to order this ISE model as its priced at 405$ right now, just want to make sure that it is a solid choice, Its either this or the WD Gold 12tb which is around 490$ right now.
Saving the 80$ would be great, especially if the HGST is the better option!

Thank you guys for helping me with such an amateur topic!
 
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Those are variations on a niche feature generally not relevant for consumer use.

https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/collateral/tech-brief/tech-brief-instant-secure-erase-overview.pdf

It simply aids in more quickly scrubbing a drive of info which may be sensitive. For your case I'd just save the money.
I did not see an HGST option that did not have one of these features. If there is an even cheaper version than the one I linked above I would be all over that.

This one:
LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CC48DYL/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A10XTVRAJRWPGO&psc=1
 

13thmonkey

Titan
Moderator
This may have been covered, raid is not a backup, raid is all about availability, if you can afford to wait for the shipping time to replace the disk and restore from a backup then you don't need raid.

If you delete a file on a raid drive, it's gone, corruption, it's gone, malware, it's gone. A backup is isolated, updates on a schedule and typically allows you to look at historic changes. So if a file gets deleted/corrupted/locked/whatever, you can set it up in advance so that you can look at last weeks version of that file and recover it.
 

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