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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:25 am 
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Soon I'll probably need to replace my internal desktop platter style hard drive. I currently have a 2010 Western Digital WD Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Bare drive. 8 years seems like a fairly long life span for a inexpensive platter drive.

I use it in conjunction with two 250 GB SSD's. Basically the platter drive ('Data Drive') holds all data related to my home folder except 'desktop'. Applications are on the SSD's and I use symlinks to point to the 'Data Drive'. All audio files are located on Data Drive symlinked back to the original location. (See pic)

I've noticed lately that this 5400 RPM drive is a bit slow, certainly relative to the SSD's! But my understanding is that SSD's don't work well with applications like recording audio so I will want to replace the old platter drive with a new platter drive. The question is...

What platter drive should I get? I always try and shoot for 'best bang for the buck'. 500GB or 1 TB is large enough I think. Actually my backup is 500GB so it may make sense to get a 500GB replacement. I'd like a speed improvement especially as it relates to working with large audio files and samples.

I could replace with a similar drive I have for about $40-45, but I would like to see a performance boost if possible.
I appreciate thoughts on this.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:09 am 
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Hmmmm, never heard that about SSDs!?

You certainly don't want a 5,400 RPM drive.

You don't say which computer you have, but I'd get one of these...

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Toshiba/DT01ACA100/


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:40 am 
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What kind of system is this?

As a general rule you probably should opt for a 7200rpm mechanism, but that may not be a good fit for systems with inadequate cooling.

Green drives typically aren't 5400rpm mechanisms they vary their speed from 3600 to 5400 and frequently spin down, all to save power. In my experience they're some of the worst drives to use for professional video or audio production due to their habit of spinning down just when you want to use them.

The only SSDs that might have trouble with recording audio or video are the kind that do compression to increase their transfer rates, since audio and video don't compress well, the transfer rate can sometimes be lower than if they didn't do any compression at all. Most don't do that now.

Finding a 500GB drive in this day and age might be tough. Drives generally start out at around 1TB except for laptop drives (which tails back to the system) because the smallest platters being made are 1TB. As a result you have to go with old stock or, occasionally, an older design a manufacturer has kept in production.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:43 am 
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BDAqua wrote:
Hmmmm, never heard that about SSDs!?

Well that's interesting BD. I may have heard something years ago that no longer applies. The problem was related to limited write cycles in SSD's I think. Perhaps that is no longer an issue. In that case I may just start using an SSD for music. Let's see what others have to add. Thank you for the link to the Toshiba HD. Luckily this is pre-planning and not an emergency situation.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:55 am 
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MB & BD,

I guess I should have stated what this system is. It is my main Old School 2010 Hackintosh, GA EX58 (socket 1366) with Xeon 5650 CPU. I cool my system with 3 fans, a case slot fan and dual Noctua blowing by CPU heatsink and out of the case. Temps at idle generally around 35c-40c at 2.5 GHZ. Don't notice much of a problem with temps even under load.

Maybe my light use would allow me to convert the whole rig over to SSD. Naturally back up scheme no matter what I use is a critical part of the planning.

Any thoughts on reliable SSD's? I have two Samsung right now an 850 & 860. Too new to know what life they'll bring. You may recall in an earlier post that I recently suffered total failure of an Intel SSD and Corsair SSD in a one week span. No warning...just dead.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:55 am 
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5400 rpm 'Green' disk are great for me to keep films and tv programs in them. Going to sleep unused is great, and there is about no vibrations at all. Fast enough for playback.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:35 am 
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I haven't checked brand qualities in a while but the last time I researched maybe 2 years ago WD was one of the better, of course with its various internal color codings. Seagate used to be tops a decade ago but has fallen. Didn't see a lot of people saying much good about Toshiba, other than cheapest (which is why they get put in everything by default).

WD being "better" doesn't mean they are A+ but they tended to get reasonable reviews on various sites once you factored out the few lemons all manufacturers produce. People tend to review when they are disgruntled.

The last time I bought drives for "Time Machine" backups I went for WD blue. I have that constantly running, plus another blue for a weekly backup. The problem with greens as boot drives is their desire to want to go to sleep on you, plus slow rotation. People complain all the stop start reduces life. I have a pair of 4 TB greens I use for archiving media. They get plugged in twice a month, copy stuff onto then in one non-stop session, then back in the basement in the firesafe and other location.

My main boot drive right now is a 1TB 7200 rpm HGST which I bought for a MacBook a maybe 4 years ago but is now residing as an external boot drive for an iMac.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:52 pm 
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That's great. I was worried it was an iMac. I've seen iMacs actually develop screen issues due to drives baking a defect into the screen due to their inadequate cooling systems, and of course the drives are slowly baked to death.

WD Black is a good choice because it comes with a longer warranty, though it sounds like its a little over your price point (though if you can get one on sale they often go down that far):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FJRS6FU/

WD Blue is a good second option although like most drives it comes with a 2 year warranty:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088PUEPK/

The 500GB Blue is a previous generation they've kept around for customers who won't buy 1TB drives. It'll be slower and offer worse $/MB but if you want a slightly lower price point (shrug).

The big problem with Seagate is they've committed themselves to SMR which has horrendously slow writes except for the portion of the drive that's PMR. I'm talking I/O timeouts slow. Its supposed to keep data organized on its own and ferry data from the PMR area to SMR when you're not using it, freeing up more space in PMR for future writes but in my experience with their 4TB drives that just doesn't happen. The PMR fills up and then it's express train to timeout town. I don't think the 1TB drives are affected because SMR has such a high density that it's >1TB/platter, but if you want to risk it they're a little cheaper than blues:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LNJBA2I

I haven't particularly noticed anything bad with Toshibas but I don't normally purchase them. I almost got some X300 4TB drives for my media server but ended up having to spend money on other things (so that system sits, driveless, in a box). They're usually a little more than Blues but not as much as Blacks:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013JPKUHA/

I know they have cheaper models but I try to steer clear of the bottom bin. I didn't follow that for my 2nd-to-last SSD and I'm still kicking myself due to all the problems that popped up.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:43 pm 
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I wouldn't disregard SSDs. They have limited write endurance, but it's much higher than it used to be, and they're more reliable in other ways that may offset that limitation. The Samsung 860 Pro (1TB) is warranted for 1200 TB of writes, so think about how much you'll be recording over the next n years and do the math to see if that's a reasonable choice.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Quote:
But my understanding is that SSD's don't work well with applications like recording audio so I will want to replace the old platter drive with a new platter drive.


This only becomes an issue once you get near filling up the drive with files. If you only do audio work sporadically or maintain enough free space and the drive has enough downtime to activate TRIM or its internal garbage collection algorithms, this isn't a problem until you've gotten at or near the rated write capacity of the drive (e.g. 1200 TB or 1.2 PB for the Samsung EVO 860 line). As long as there is free space and enough "zeroed" cells (a.k.a. cleaned by TRIM/GC or as of yet unused), you'll see no issues at all. And if you choose a good SSD with a DRAM cache, chances are that unless you're recording audio at a phenominally high number of tracks and/or bitrate, you aren't going to run into issues at all in day to day work.

And because SSDs have very very much higher IOPS vs. platter drives (high hundreds at a minimum to tens of thousands at peak vs. platter drives maybe hitting a couple hundred IOPS at best), they should easily excell at multitrack audio.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:21 am 
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Thanks to everyone for the input, I really appreciate it.

Put simply I think my choice might come down to something like the 1TB WD Black HD for $60 VS. the 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSD for $78.

Any further thoughts given the specific choice?

The price for the SSD is only $18 more for the SSD but obviously half the the storage albeit better performance. I think I have been stuck in this "SSD as boot drive & Platter drive for large storage" paradigm for so long I'm resisting the shift to the SSD a bit. It does seem to meet my needs though. Quieter too!

Unless someone offers good reason not to, my plan was to simply clone my current 'Data Drive' to the new replacement (HD or SSD) and leave all symlinks in place. All documents, pictures, music and other audio files would remain on the new 'Data Drive'. Is there any reason I am unaware that might make an SSD in this kind of 'symlink data storage' scenario inadvisable?

I suppose the original rationale for this type of set up no longer really exists given the idea was to save money by using the SSD as boot and cheaper/larger HD as storage.

I think I just talked myself into confusion :?

Edit=========================
Let me add some detail. I'd really be interested in how some of you folks set up your systems. I have two 250GB Samsung SSD's. On one I boot to High Sierra, on the other Mojave. I do this mostly because I have a hackintosh and I'm always trying the new OS before committing & because keeping systems on separate drives is frankly easier to set up. As I mentioned earlier I originally set up the 500 GB WD HD as a Data Drive on to which I store all Documents, Pictures, Music, Movies & Audio files. This means I use symlinks from both SSD's to access that data. I have had a couple minor issues I've had to account for such as incompatible iphoto or itunes library between High Sierra and Mojave. That means I end up either only using those programs from one or the other OS, or I keep two separate libraries.

So the reason I'm even discussing this is perhaps this plan is old and outdated. It was predicated on cost saving relative to the higher cost and lower capacity of SSD's at the time. However, if I convert to a more traditional 2 SSD approach and no longer have a sort of central storage (Data Drive) that might mean a lot of duplication of files???

Do you all have multiple drive systems? How do you approach what I am attempting to describe?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:19 am 
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I'm stuck in the cave days, all HDDs here, Mac Pro 2010 with 3 2TB & 1 TB Internal, a dozen or more external SATA, FW, USB drives.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:54 am 
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If you use an SSD I would plan on leaving most of the space empty, say 30-50% or thereabouts. If 500GB allows you to do this with your expected usage, then I'd go with 500GB. If you're like my niece and use up every last KB of space on every mounted drive and then scream bloody murder because things suddenly stop working, well, then you probably should go with a 1TB HD.

My Macs just have single drives, although I did just get an optical bay adapter for my macbook so I can reuse the old SSD out of my PC (though if it continues to be a pain it may have yet make a trip to a bonfire) without losing my 1TB HD. Low profile optical drives are too damn slow for my tastes, and the bay adapter was only $9.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:46 pm 
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An advantage of a larger SSD is that (thanks to wear leveling) you'll have greater total write endurance.

On newer SSDs like the Samsung 850/860 I've not seen any significant performance difference between a full drive and an empty drive, assuming TRIM is enabled (definitely enable it!).

You shouldn't have any problem cloning the old drive to the new drive, depending on how you do it. I'd use the ditto command in the terminal, where '/Volumes/Old Drive' represents your current drive and '/Volumes/New Drive' represents your new one:
sudo ditto -X '/Volumes/Old Drive' '/Volumes/New Drive'

This will preserve metadata, links, timestamps, etc. and won't cause problems with volume size that you might want to deal with if you did a bit-for-bit copy. You might want to rename the new drive to match the old drive's name after you pull it out. Sometimes you'll find something that handles paths uncleverly.

Ditto does, however, copy only the contents of the volume, and only works on Macintosh volumes, so if you have multiple partitions you'll still need to set those up manually and copy their data separately, or do a bit-for-bit copy.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:40 pm 
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My concern about leaving empty space is to aid in wear leveling operations, since there'll be more blocks available with less use on them since there's little chance of writing to unallocated space. Samsung's drive software actually supports this theory, it's not quite so wacky a concept. But it really comes down to your use. I generally use 7200rpm HDs for scratch operations primarily because my scratch tends to need a lot of space and 1TB of scratch space for $50 vs. $150 is kind of a no-brainer if a HD fits the need. Especially if I don't technically have the $50 in the first place. Which I usually don't.

SuperDuper works pretty well for duplicating HFS+ and even APFS volumes and will clone the recovery partition. Like ditto it'll only copy used space from the source volume and leave the rest intact. Best of all its got a pretty simple to use GUI and is free for normal use (erase the destination volume at the start of every operation). Paying unlocks the incremental sync option which lets you just copy files that have changed on the source from the last time the destination volume was created. But its not so good at handling anything besides the HFS+/APFS & recovery partition - Boot Camp and other OS partitions are studiously ignored.

Most current 7200rpm HDs aren't noisy, you have to go back quite a ways to find mechanisms that are audible beyond the hourly-ish thermal recalibration (which is typically a quiet rattle-ish sound that takes under a second). I heard that some of the previous gen Toshiba 3.5" drives make an audible whine, but the last few generations of 2.5 and 3.5 Seagate and WDs are damn silent in my experience.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:05 pm 
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Quote:
SuperDuper works pretty well for duplicating HFS+ and even APFS volumes and will clone the recovery partition. Like ditto it'll only copy used space from the source volume and leave the rest intact. Best of all its got a pretty simple to use GUI and is free for normal use (erase the destination volume at the start of every operation). Paying unlocks the incremental sync option which lets you just copy files that have changed on the source from the last time the destination volume was created

Thanks MB, haven't tried that in a long time, been using CCC.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:21 pm 
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I also think concerns about SSD reliability and performance quirks, while interesting, don't fairly represent the state of the SSD market in 2019. These drives just always work and are always fast, to a couple decimal places of approximation. It's fun to ruminate on the last sliver of differences, but in reality I don't think they'll affect many people in the real world, outside of users like Google and Facebook. Yes there are a few exceptions, but really very few these days. It's to the point where I'm pretty comfortable assuming a new good quality SSD (Samsung Pro series, etc.) will outlast the computer it's installed in even if I abuse it. And yes, on OS X you still need to enable TRIM, but that's about it. After that, it's just down to cost and capacity, and each month is going down while capacity is going up. The world of mass storage is (incredibly!) starting to not kind of suck*.

I will still buy spinning hard drives, but I don't expect to buy any for use outside RAIDs or for massive bulk storage backup. For the latter use, they're basically filling the space that used to be inhabited by tape drives.

- Anonymous

* Seriously! I've been waiting 30 years for storage to not routinely ruin my afternoon or actively annoy me. It was slow. It was bulky. It was fickle. Handle it carefully. It was unreliable. Now we're sooooo close! It's exciting! I'm usually a total curmudgeon about computing technology, but SSDs are just a ray of sunshine.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:57 am 
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One more specific question on this drive choice. I have 2 ssd’s I’m considering. The choice is between a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO for $135 or a 512GB Samsung 860 Pro for $115.

The 500 GB Platter drive that is being replaced is currently about half full, so whichever SSD I chose will start life in my system with around 250 GB of data copied to it. The way my system is set up it will not be a boot drive.

Which one to buy? Will the extra space of the 1TB EVO add enough lifespan because of the additional unused space to be relatively equal in lifespan to the 512GB Pro? I think both SSD's have a 5 year warranty.

Thanks for your thoughts...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:32 am 
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I'd certainly gamble on the extra $20 being worth it.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:59 am 
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BDAqua wrote:
I'd certainly gamble on the extra $20 being worth it.

Thanks BDA. I didn't really do a great job of highlighting the critical part of my question. The Pro model has a greater lifespan than the EVO model. I'm just wondering if the Pro model greater lifespan OR the larger capacity of the EVO model is more likely to result in a greater overall lifespan? It may be a moot question in practical terms anyway, given that both drives carry a 5 year warranty.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:38 am 
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Ah, would help if I could read better also! :oops:

Can I calculate the life span of an SSD drive?

Let’s take the Samsung 850 PRO as an example...

https://www.compuram.de/blog/en/the-lif ... take-care/

Raw NAND Capacity 128GiB 256GiB 512GiB 1024GiB
NAND P/E Cycles 2,000
Raw NAND Endurance 250TiB 500TiB 1000TiB 2000TiB
Lifespan with 20GiB of Host Writes per Day with 1.5x Write Amplification 23.4 years 46.8 years 93.5 years 187.0 years
Lifespan with 100GiB of Host Writes per Day with 3x Write Amplification 2.3 years 4.7 years 9.4 years 18.7 years

https://www.anandtech.com/show/8747/sam ... o-review/4

So, it appears to me that the plain 1TB with 2/3rds the cycles of the 500GB pro but 3 times the free space after thec 250GB is taken out, would theoretically have the longer life.

The Pro has 50% more cycles, but 1/3rd the free space.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:20 am 
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If I did my math right then the standard 1TB should last twice as long as the 512GB Pro?

3*256=768
2*768=1536


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:12 pm 
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Unless you're writing massive amounts equal to or more than the rated drive writes per day (DWPD), go with the EVO. The Pro has better write endurance per cell, but you're far less likely to hit the write endurance wall on the EVO unless you actually fill the drive to >80% capacity frequently. It's the reason I went with a 2 TB 860 EVO for my PS4, which constantly records gameplay while playing (in the background) vs. a 1 TB Pro.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:49 pm 
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I agree that the difference between Evo & Pro in terms of lifespan depends on your use of the device. If you can keep "most" of the drive free space over its lifetime, the Evo is likely to last just as long as the Pro (assuming the Pro is kept mostly full).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:55 pm 
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Just whatever you do, avoid the new Samsung QLC (quad layer cell) SSDs. They're dirt cheap, but are slower than a good platter based HD for throughput. Literally their only advantage is seek time. Stick with the EVO line.

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