Question What the most reliable 7200RPM heavy use desktop drive in 2021?

Jun 11, 2020
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So I've recently updated my system, but the HD drives (WD Green) are old and S.M.A.R.T is reporting relocated sectors so I need to swap them out.

I'm not a gamer, I use the drives for media: fairly large audio and video projects, and my system and apps are on a fast SSD already.

Every seagate barracuda drive I've owned has destroyed itself beyond repair, and looking at customer reports for current 3TB/4TB models, it looks like things haven't changed.
I've had much better luck with WD, but they're deteriorating slowly. Looking at the current WD Blue, they don't seem much better than the old Greens, i.e ok for low use storing movies or backups, but built to budget (to fail)

Conversely, I've packed my NAS with used WD RE drives and they are awesome. Still all running fast and %100 smart scores, no errors.

So looking at the better models (Seagate Ironwolf, WD Red, Red Pro, Purple etc) which all have longer lifespans as a selling point.
But according to threads here, users seem to say they are not recommended as daily use desktop drives.
I can't even see WD Black anymore at my locals, the black range seems to have gone SSD. And with the ludicrous price of 3TB SSDs, I cannot go there.

So if not Barracuda, and not WD Blue because they're crap. And not Red, Red Pro, Purple, or Ironwolf because they are not appropriate, then what?

My instinct is to get more used datacenter 3TB or 4TB drives. WD RE, WD Gold, Ultrastar etc.
I know they have firmwares geared towards RAID configurations, but they are also geared for speed and reliability, with many extra hardware features and sensors etc.

Can someone convince me why this would not the be best solution given the need for speed, reliability, and price?
 
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Jun 11, 2020
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Are these for use in your desktop system or in your NAS box, since you mention both?
For desktop. I know exactly what I need for the NAS, have them already and am happy.
For desktop it seems the only thing recommended is either expensive SSDs, or spinning disk drives with high failure rates and short life spans.
I really just want to know, what's so bad about using an enterprise drive when they are clearly much better.

A WD RE is built for constant use and to be reliable in mission crtitical scenarios. A used one will be cheaper, faster and far more reliable than a brand new Barracuda or WD Blue.

So why shouldn't I use them? And if not then what else?

The specs of an WD Red Pro or Ironwolf are also much better than standard 'desktop' drives. Do I really have to care that their firmwares are geared towards NAS use?
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
So, I heard that garbage too, plenty, in the past.

The only "problem" with using enterprise and NAS type drives in your desktop is the fact that they tend to not spin down as often, or at all, like the more power saving consumer type drives do. Most of the "don't use this.....for this" is just marketing BS.

I have Seagate Ironwolf drives in both my desktop AND my Qnap NAS box. I also have Seagate Ironwolf SSDs in there as well, plus some Samsung drives.

In my NAS box I have two 16TB Ironwolf Pro NAS drives and in my desktop I have an 8TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS drive as well as a Seagate 8TB Exos enterprise drive. I haven't had any problems with ANY of them, in ANY way, in either system. They've been in there for a few years now, some a little longer than others. Plus I have a Samsung 970 EVO Plus running the OS as well as some other drives too including other WD drives taken out of My Book enclosures and a couple of Ironwolf SSDs too.

Especially in a system that sees a lot of continuous use and rarely gets shut down, there isn't a lot of difference other than the fact that the drives are much better quality and built for extended TB written and longevity. I've seen a lot of recommendations against it, but I've never seen any compelling evidence proving WHY that recommendation holds water.

One thing is that you will of course want to probably delete any existing partitions on the drive and reformat it to one that is compatible with your version of Windows, generally NTFS, before using it, as most these drives come with incompatible configurations out of the box. Certainly there are likely differences in whether they are or are not and you mileage may vary depending on the drive and it's "intended" use case.

I personally see no reason to not use any drive that will work so long as you are not particularly worried about noise or power consumption, because these types of drives are generally a bit noisier and rarely if ever spin down like a consumer drive, but you probably already know that from your NAS box.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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Especially in a system that sees a lot of continuous use and rarely gets shut down, there isn't a lot of difference other than the fact that the drives are much better quality and built for extended TB written and longevity. I've seen a lot of recommendations against it, but I've never seen any compelling evidence proving WHY that recommendation holds water.

Ok thanks. That helps a lot. This was my gut feeling too. Enterprise drive's it is then!
 

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