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I very very rarely have the money to buy computer parts, so when I do, I buy Dos Equis long-lasting parts.  My 5-year-old Radeon HD 5770 1GB that I got for $200CDN plays almost all the latest games at near-max settings @ at LEAST 30fps, with some help from my Athlon II X4 620 @2.6ghz.  

 

But my ~8-10 year old WD 500GB HD with 40,000 Power-On-Hours (that's 4.5yrs of being powered-on) is finally starting to show some bad sectors (seven of them).  I don't actually know exactly how old it is cause I got it second-hand.  

 

So I just so happen to have $100 to spend on a brand new drive for my PC.  Now I'm thinking either a 128GB SSD (they have them below $100 at TD), or equivalently priced HDD.  The speed boost of an SSD is nice, but what I really want is lasting value.  I've read articles that say both; That lower-end consumer-grade SSDs in my price range last no longer than an equivalent HDD, and that some people are getting 100TB/10 years out of their 840GB SSDs with no end in sight.

 

So for ~$100, for maximum durability and length-of-life, would I be better off with a cheaper SSD or a typical HDD?

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Posted

So for ~$100, for maximum durability and length-of-life, would I be better off with a cheaper SSD or a typical HDD?

 

Well.... I would say it depends on how you plan on using it. For $100 you could get a WD Black, or something equally good, which I would expected to last a very long time. On the other hand, there's nothing saying a 128GB SSD is unreliable, but if you constantly have to swap data off of it, it's clearly going to be in use more than say, a 1TB drive.

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Well.... I would say it depends on how you plan on using it. For $100 you could get a WD Black, or something equally good, which I would expected to last a very long time. On the other hand, there's nothing saying a 128GB SSD is unreliable, but if you constantly have to swap data off of it, it's clearly going to be in use more than say, a 1TB drive.

 

If I got a 128GB SSD, I'd be using it as my main system drive, with how ever many games and programs I could install on it, any other games would go on the dying 500GB (its dying, I know, don't care, its still relatively fast), and any videos/movies/music would go on an external HDD.  Every couple of months I might uninstall a 10-20GB game and replace it with another, but aside from that, I wouldn't be changing the data on the SSD very often.

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Modern SSD's should last years, and years unless you have some sort of abnormal ridiculously high write workload on them constantly. The samsung 840's are pretty decent SSD's too, I have two of them. The 256gb 840 (tlc) in my gaming desktop as my os/programs drive (my games are mostly on a dedicated WD black 750gb), and a 128g 840 pro (mlc) in my laptop as the only drive.

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If maximum durability and data preservation are important than consider getting two HDDs and putting them in RAID1.

 

For $118 you can get 500GB of safe storage.

 

p.s. if an HDD fails, data can still be extracted from it depending on the circumstances. If an SSD dies, all the data is most likely gone, unless it's just a controller failure.

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If maximum durability and data preservation are important than consider getting two HDDs and putting them in RAID1.

 

For $118 you can get 500GB of safe storage.

 

Hmm, no I don't care about data preservation.  I care about wallet preservation.  I'd rather not have to buy a new HD in 5 years, is all.


It's hard to find a quality SSD in that price range, but of anything, I'd recommend this:

 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=365475&CatId=5300

 

You might want to jump on it fast though since that one is $50 more on Newegg.  Seems to be a pretty decent deal.

 

you got my hopes up, until I saw the ".com".  The ".ca" version says they're out of stock :(

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Hmm, no I don't care about data preservation.  I care about wallet preservation.  I'd rather not have to buy a new HD in 5 years, is all.

 

When would you like to buy a new one? :laugh:

 

Hard drives seem to be one of the few components which don't follow the bathtub curve. That is, I've never gotten a drive which failed immediately, or even quickly, but a lot of them have died after, say, two years. But, with mechanical hard drives (and SSDs, to some extent), it's usually a known manufacturing defect, or poor design choice (ala the "Deathstars"). If other people are getting good lifespans out of 840s, and you get one and it works... you'll probably get a good lifespan too.

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Hmm, no I don't care about data preservation.  I care about wallet preservation.  I'd rather not have to buy a new HD in 5 years, is all.

 

You said you wanted maximum durability and length of life. 

 

So what do you mean by that then if it's not about data preservation?

 

The thing is, when it comes to data storage, it's all about the risks and ways to mitigate them.

 

The length of life directly depends on the stress you'll put the drive under and the endurance of the materials it is made of, its quality.

 

With RAID 1, you have two copies of data. If one drive fails (and they all do sooner or later), you'll still have a backup.

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Hmm, no I don't care about data preservation.  I care about wallet preservation.  I'd rather not have to buy a new HD in 5 years, is all.

There is no way for you to know how long a drive (SSD or HDD) will last in your specific environment. There are a million factors at play (the individual drive, heat, usage, power cycles, etc.)

 

If you want a drive that will last the longest get a SAS HDD, but that is overkill I am sure. HDDs outlast SSDs because we dont yet have enough data on SSD reliability. So the spinning disks are the best choice if you hope it will last a super long time.

 

You should only be buying SSDs if you need the low access times they excel at.

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I would go with SSD over mechanical, especially if you don't need massive amounts of dynamic storage. While SSD has write wearout, you can alleviate that with proper config and resources and also many SSD's have spare capacity or allow you to allocate spare capacity to handle wearouts gracefully giving many many years of use.

 

Sadly, I rarely see a mechanical drive last more than a a couple of years these days

 

The 840 is a great SSD for 99 bucks.. very fast.  SSD's are probably the single most performant upgrade you can do to any PC with a decent CPU/GPU

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I would go with SSD over mechanical, especially if you don't need massive amounts of dynamic storage. While SSD has write wearout, you can alleviate that with proper config and resources and also many SSD's have spare capacity or allow you to allocate spear capacity to handle wearouts gracefully giving many many years of use.

 

Sadly, I rarely see a mechanical drive last more than a a couple of years these days

Where are these drives?

 

I have drives over 5 years in age in active usage right now. In a 24/7 RAID 5 server setup with tons of DATA being written.

 

An SSD can buy me IOPS, but they can't give me reliability. We just don't have the data there yet and they have a rather finite write life. The lifespan of HDD platters is very very long.

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You said you wanted maximum durability and length of life. 

 

So what do you mean by that then if it's not about data preservation?

 

The thing is, when it comes to data storage, it's all about the risks and ways to mitigate them.

 

The length of life directly depends on the stress you'll put the drive under and the endurance of the materials it is made of, its quality.

 

With RAID 1, you have two copies of data. If one drive fails (and they all do sooner or later), you'll still have a backup.

 

Bingo!

 

That is correct. With RAID 1, you have two drives of same data copies. If one of the drives failed, all you do is replace the bad drive with a new one then copy the data over ...  you wouldn't worry about the lost data anymore.

 

It doesn't matter how long the drives last... it could die any time, no matter when.

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It's hard to find a quality SSD in that price range, but of anything, I'd recommend this:

 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=365475&CatId=5300

 

You might want to jump on it fast though since that one is $50 more on Newegg.  Seems to be a pretty decent deal.

 

It's a really good deal imo

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Where are these drives?

 

I have drives over 5 years in age in active usage right now. In a 24/7 RAID 5 server setup with tons of DATA being written.

 

An SSD can buy me IOPS, but they can't give me reliability. We just don't have the data there yet and they have a rather finite write life. The lifespan of HDD platters is very very long.

 

 

I've purchased more RED, Green and Black drives then I care to count at both work and home.  yet, even the first gen 30gb SSD I have still works..    If you stick to low capacity 300gb or less black drives, you may have better luck but come on, we'd be lying if we said commodity disks with large capacity are long lasting drives by any means.

The lifespan of the platter is incredibly long, but that's just a single aspect of spinning media..  SSD has had a ton of innovation these days and will have more. I wouldn't recommend buying used when new prices are so affordable and I can't for the life of me recommend high density spinning disks with the experiences I have had if lifetime is your goal.

 

If you need MASS amounts of storage and have more budget, then go Raid 0+1 with a NAS and multiple disks.. but be ready to be hitting the store and have annual rebuilds with commodity disks.

 

I've got synologies, deskstations and drobos that all have disks replaced almost yearly..    Our san with SAS is a bit better, but its funny how a SAN pushing its 3 year lifecycle is starting to spit out disks weekly almost yet its SSD cache is still performing admirably well..

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You said you wanted maximum durability and length of life. 

 

So what do you mean by that then if it's not about data preservation?

 

It's not about data preservation, its about how long can I use the drive before it becomes completely unreadable and I have to buy a new one?  

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It's not about data preservation, its about how long can I use the drive before it becomes completely unreadable and I have to buy a new one?  

There's no exact science to it, but technically a SSD will give you much much longer life than a HDD.

 

Mechanical parts wear out, as you've experienced, and as long as you dissipate the heat well inside your case, you should have no problem getting 5-10+ years out of a SSD.

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I've purchased more RED, Green and Black drives then I care to count at both work and home.  yet, even the first gen 30gb SSD I have still works..    If you stick to low capacity 300gb or less black drives, you may have better luck but come on, we'd be lying if we said commodity disks with large capacity are long lasting drives by any means.

The lifespan of the platter is incredibly long, but that's just a single aspect of spinning media..  SSD has had a ton of innovation these days and will have more. I wouldn't recommend buying used when new prices are so affordable and I can't for the life of me recommend high density spinning disks with the experiences I have had if lifetime is your goal.

 

If you need MASS amounts of storage and have more budget, then go Raid 0+1 with a NAS and multiple disks.. but be ready to be hitting the store and have annual rebuilds with commodity disks.

 

I've got synologies, deskstations and drobos that all have disks replaced almost yearly..    Our san with SAS is a bit better, but its funny how a SAN pushing its 3 year lifecycle is starting to spit out disks weekly almost yet its SSD cache is still performing admirably well..

 

I have no idea WTF you are talking about.  I didn't know drives had colours.  I do not know what a synology, deskstation, or drobo is.  I do not know what NAS, SAS, or SAN is.  

 

But I do know that I've been using HDs since 8MB capacity was something to talk about, and ever since my old 20GB Maxtor, they've all lasted at least 5 years.

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You should only be buying SSDs if you need the low access times they excel at.

 

Well, no. If you own a laptop it would be silly not to buy an SSD. They're quieter, they use less power, there's no concern about shocking them into failure. They're also price competitive with 7200 RPM laptop drives for the space you get, which isn't true of desktop drives.

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It's a really good deal imo

Not really. If you are patient, there will always be better deals.

 

I would also go SSD - if you're not in a rush, you can find great deals. SSD for boot drive/programs, and HDD for data storage (documents, pictures, videos, etc.). And also, you're looking at it the wrong way - you always have to assume the drive is going to die, so make sure you have a backup solution in place.


Well, no. If you own a laptop it would be silly not to buy an SSD. They're quieter, they use less power, there's no concern about shocking them into failure. They're also price competitive with 7200 RPM laptop drives for the space you get, which isn't true of desktop drives.

If you need the storage space, SSD's are not worth it, especially in a laptop - where you typically have only one drive bay. And what world do you live in where 7200 RPM 2.5" drives are similiarly priced to a 2.5" SSD? HDD's are by far cheaper ($/GB wise). You can get a WD 320GB 2.5" 7200 RPM HDD for $60 on Newegg.

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If you need the storage space, SSD's are not worth it, especially in a laptop - where you typically have only one drive bay. And what world do you live in where 7200 RPM 2.5" drives are similiarly priced to a 2.5" SSD? HDD's are by far cheaper ($/GB wise). You can get a WD 320GB 2.5" 7200 RPM HDD for $60 on Newegg.

 

I said competitive. There's not much of a practical difference between a 128gb drive and a 320 gb drive, when if you  have digital media you've probably got a few hundred gigs of movies / music. For the desktop, a 128GB SSD costs about the same as a 2TB 3.5'' drive. One you can use for mass storage, one you can't.

 

There's also the fact that, as I noted, a lot of 7200 RPM 2.5'' drives are going to be louder and more power hungry, and possibly hotter than their 5400 equivalents, so you're not getting much in savings by not buying an SSD.

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Well, no. If you own a laptop it would be silly not to buy an SSD. They're quieter, they use less power, there's no concern about shocking them into failure. They're also price competitive with 7200 RPM laptop drives for the space you get, which isn't true of desktop drives.

Which still agrees with my statement. SSDs excel at very low access times allowing them to be fantastic at random I/O in small chunks, ie. your typical laptop/desktop usage case.

 

This isn't the same case in all server usage cases. Random IO performance matters little in a storage server, for instance.

 

Also, SSDs don't always use less power...

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I said competitive. There's not much of a practical difference between a 128gb drive and a 320 gb drive, when if you  have digital media you've probably got a few hundred gigs of movies / music. For the desktop, a 128GB SSD costs about the same as a 2TB 3.5'' drive. One you can use for mass storage, one you can't.

 

There's also the fact that, as I noted, a lot of 7200 RPM 2.5'' drives are going to be louder and more power hungry, and possibly hotter than their 5400 equivalents, so you're not getting much in savings by not buying an SSD.

I still don't understand...Here's a list of 7200 RPM 2.5" HDD's:

WD 750 GB = $79.99

HGST 1 TB = $89.99

Seagate 750GB Hybrid = $119.99

 

These aren't sale prices, just normal prices. Shop around and you can do much better. Sure these laptop HDD's are more expensive than 3.5" form factor counterparts, but still far cheaper than SSD's ($/GB). And, the heat these drives produce/power is negligible. You're not talking a huge increase in battery life.

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wait wtf is a hybrid, is that an SSD and an HDD in one?  how do they show up in the PC, as two drives? as two partitions?  i hope to god not just one partition that automatically manages between SSD and HDD...

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wait wtf is a hybrid, is that an SSD and an HDD in one?  how do they show up in the PC, as two drives? as two partitions?  i hope to god not just one partition that automatically manages between SSD and HDD...

A hybrid drive is a regular HDD with a little bit of NAND (flash) cache. Basically it runs an algorithm that learns what your most used data is and then stores it on the NAND.  So you'll get a bit more speed for your most used data, but overall, it's nowhere near the performance of a SSD.

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025402/ssds-vs-hard-drives-vs-hybrids-which-storage-tech-is-right-for-you-.html

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There's two concepts being talked about, and this leads to the common misconception that HDDs are more reliable than SSDs.

 

One concept is failure rate, I'll call that reliability. The numbers clearly show that SSDs are superior in this respect. The lack of moving parts does wonders for continuing-to-work-properly. Early SSDs had potential issues with unreliable controllers but the technology has long matured to be more stable than spinning platter drives.

 

The other concept - which people who claim that HDDs are more reliable think of - is how long you can safely keep the data on the media, I'll call this longevity for lack of a better term. Here, HDDs do much better than SSDs because of the way that flash cells work. SSDs have a finite and definite lifetime measured in write cycles, and when that fails it fails spectacularly. Plus the cells lose charge over time if not refreshed. In contrast, HDDs - being magnetic - don't really have a pre-predetermined time-to-nonfunction, and the data still exists on the platters even after the drive stops working, so you can if you really wanted to extract the bits directly. As a result, you can estimate pretty accurately when an SSD will stop holding your data with just the average load on the disk, whereas an HDD can hold data indefinitely, *if* it doesn't fail.

 

So what's more reliable? SSDs, no question about it. An average SSD's failure rate is better than the best HDD's failure rate. (still just talking about ~2% here, so the difference is mostly fractions of a percentage point). What is likely to keep your data longer? HDDs probably.

 

But the real question is: why don't you have enough copies so you don't have to care which storage media is slightly better at keeping your data safe?

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