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News Sneaky Marketing Redux: Toshiba, Seagate Shipping Slower SMR Drives Without Disclosure, Too

dannyboy3210

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I very much hope they start making it easy to tell which drives are SMR/PMR/CMR because it has become a massive pain in terms of how much research you need to do before buying a drive nowadays... Even then I accidentally bought an SMR drive a few months ago when I had been sure it was PMR/CMR at the time >.<
 
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truerock

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I would love to know the geometry of my Western Digital HDD.
I would like to know the power rates and sleep logic.
I would like to know the weight... I would like to know the technical specifications for my Western Digital HDD.
 
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grimfox

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This really sucks. I was planning on getting several drives to update my NAS. When I saw the article about WD I decided I would have to jump ship and move to Seagate. Now it doesn't look like I can do that either. I understand SMR is not an issue for my uses. My drives are primarily used as a plex server. However, the problems it seems to cause with RAID or ZFS are a serious concern. It's not really RAID if you can lose all your data because your drives are using an incompatible tech! I was planning on a RAID5, looks like I may need to down grade to a RAID1 or shell out for 8TB and wait to expand the array until I have more cash.
 
Given that SMR drives suffer from abysmal random write performance, which is a key type of write pattern that impacts performance in desktop operating systems, the drives will result in noticeably slower performance for PC users.
Really though, random write performance has always been pretty abysmal for mechanical hard drives, and this is just worse. However, we have been getting to the point where most system these days tend to be shipping with an SSD boot drive, and for bulk data storage the performance of these drives should be reasonable. I guess they could potentially be problematic for someone wanting to install an extended game library to a hard drive though, and some RAID setups seem to have problems with them.

Obviously, the use of SMR should be indicated, and not just randomly substituted into existing drives. Hard drive companies have been doing similar things for years though, cutting corners on existing models of drives, changing platter counts and so on, without really providing any indication of such changes. The changes made here can have a bigger impact on performance though.
 

evilpaul

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Hgd

Only if the firmware proves somehow defective with zfs and other file systems as someone claims with wd EFAX drives
I'd be surprised if at least some states' law didn't allow for a successful class action. A lot of people wouldn't buy SMR drives for a NAS intentionally. They're technologically inferior, cheaper to produce products not suited for NAS use according to industry experts like Backblaze. https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-buying-guide/
For example, buying SMR drives for your NAS device running RAID 6 would be ugly because of all the rewrites that may be involved.
Unless they're only marketing the SMR drives for single drive NAS for use as archives, then it looks like they are duping buyers to me. I'd hit up a lawyer for advice if I'd bought some Red drives for a NAS and ended up with SMR.
 

bit_user

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I would love to know the geometry of my Western Digital HDD.
I would like to know the power rates and sleep logic.
I would like to know the weight... I would like to know the technical specifications for my Western Digital HDD.
They do have datasheets, if you search for them. I know I've seen at least active & idle power specs on some.
 

bit_user

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This really sucks. I was planning on getting several drives to update my NAS. When I saw the article about WD I decided I would have to jump ship and move to Seagate. Now it doesn't look like I can do that either.
It's not all drives. AFAIK, the WD Red Pro (7200 RPM) drives are supposedly unaffected. Presumably Gold and Black, as well.
 

grimfox

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It's not all drives. AFAIK, the WD Red Pro (7200 RPM) drives are supposedly unaffected. Presumably Gold and Black, as well.
As you can see in the link below there's a slight cost difference between the non-pro and pro drives.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare?CompareItemList=22-234-409,22-234-344,9SIAFVF98B1921,22-234-345,22-236-599

Sure I can just get Pro drives. And I probably will. But for the security of not losing my array I'm paying a hefty fee of around 30%. For a single drive it's not awful. But by definition it's not a single drive. It's a NAS drive, so you are buying at least 2, more likely 4 or more. At 4x 4tb pros I pay $136 extra. More than the cost of one non-pro drive. I'm sacrificing essentially 4tb for that security. The only upside is that I might pay slightly less in shipping because I bought 1 fewer drives reducing my total shipping weight.
 

bit_user

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Sure I can just get Pro drives. And I probably will. But for the security of not losing my array I'm paying a hefty fee of around 30%.
I get that, and I'm not saying it's ideal - just not as bleak and hopeless as you seemed to paint it.

For a single drive it's not awful. But by definition it's not a single drive. It's a NAS drive, so you are buying at least 2, more likely 4 or more. At 4x 4tb pros I pay $136 extra.
Yup. I've been there, too. I know how the costs multiply.

Look, there could well be other options. I haven't been following that closely, but I gather you can probably still find non-SMR non-pro drives, if you look.

Good luck.
 

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