Do you have a good external hard drive ?

John King

Member of SOFA
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
3,673
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
Sorry, you cannot just add the potential transfer speeds of different disks up and say "see, it's faster." It does not work like that, and transfer speeds are often not the relevant measure. (Note I'm referring here to a normal consumer machine, not some raid / mirroring configuration between the ssd and HDD).
First, it matters quite a lot what which files are where - if the files that are needed at any particular point for something important are on the slower drive, it simply WILL be slower - there's no 'additive' operation.
Second, the weak point of hard drives is not so much the transfer speeds, but the seek operation (physically moving the drive heads), which are quite a bit slower again than the transfer speed (compared to an SSD, where it's an electronic operation). Doesn't matter much for large files, but can matter a lot when reading and writing lots of small files (precisely those zillions of temp/cache files that are used a lot).
Now - mitigating on the other side is that for a lot of drive operations, it doesn't matter much - for one example, if you're playing a movie and it only needs 10mb/s and the drive can handle ten times that, mostly irrelevant. And of course, overall, if the computer's 'fast enough' and you don't notice any difference - that's also fine.
But it's pretty much unambiguous, SSD + HDD will usually not be faster (or only in very rare cases) than pure SSD or SSDX2 - and if files are poorly placed, could be worse (and potentially much worse). Putting files that are used a lot by the system (read and written) on the HDD instead of SSD is not the way to maximize speed (you woudln't want system swap on an HDD either).
Of course, if you do this and you're happy with it, fine - but it won't be faster.

I won't get into the 'ssd wear' issue - I think it's a false economy and mostly no longer relevant, but for those who want to believe it's worth giving up the speed for a few pennies of extra ssd longevity over years of use, by all means.

If by 'performance' you only mean speed, that first statement is not true (or not unambiguously true). Adding an HDD to an SSD system is mostly not going to increase speed.
BUT: that point does not contradict the second - there are lots of good reasons to have a system with a hard drive, LOTS of good reasons (more storage at less cost, backup, redundancy, and on and on. All of my systems except tiny laptop have ssd + hdd - and the tiny laptop uses network drives and an external for backups, too.
Again, I'm not advocating one should not use a hard drive. But if it's pure speed, SSDs only. Now personally I think pure speed only is a silly and not cost effective approach (hey, if that's what you want and you have too much money, put 1tb of RAM in your system for a ram drive and only use SSD/HDD for persistent data).

I did not make this claim. I think it is 'better' to have multiple drives, and for normal cost/benefit calcs, HDDs are extremely useful. A backup drive should always be there and a separate device (and HDD best bang for buck for backup). But I wouldn't claim that adding an HDD makes it faster, because it won't be true most of the time.
I think that you are (heatedly) in agreement with @doady ...

My main workstation cannot use NVME SSDs, as it's too old, but it has an SSD boot + program drive, plus five HDDs.

Adobe recommend putting the Bridge cache files on the same drive as the image files.

I will add a point. A HDD with a big cache and the same in all other respects will seriously outperform one with a small cache or (shudder) no cache at all.
 

Armoured

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
197
I think that you are (heatedly) in agreement with @doady ...
We may indeed be arguing over small differences. But I still hold that the claim that an HDD will speed things up is not (generally) true, and that the advice/idea of putting system caches, temp files, swaps and the like on an HDD instead of leaving on the system drive (SSD) is mostly just wrong.
Adobe recommend putting the Bridge cache files on the same drive as the image files.
A fair point, I've no idea what Adobe specifically recommends or why, I was only talking about . I presume Bridge cache files are mostly just image previews, but at any rate - if the software manufacturer has a specific recommendation - do that!
I will add a point. A HDD with a big cache and the same in all other respects will seriously outperform one with a small cache or (shudder) no cache at all.
Definitely true. Odd that manufacturers don't make this info more widely available.

I've kind of wondered why drive manufacturers don't use a small-ish SSD in the drive (would be small compared to the drive size but could be quite large compared to the cache memory). Eg cache memory in drives is, say, ~32-256mb, but an embedded SSD could be 2 or 8gb or more - slower than memory but still a lot faster than spinning drives.

This would be pretty much the same concept as Apple's fusion drive, but if embedded would be more simple and could be handled by on-board drive controllers (and more reliable).

My simplistic guess is that it's just money, HDD manufacturers compete to a large degree on price - and that users who want the extra performance nowadays would just jump to an SSD instead.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
3,673
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
HDD cache memory is like system memory, very hard wearing, and expensive.

SSD memory is nowhere near as hard wearing as system/HDD cache RAM. That's why SSDs are so cheap, relatively speaking.

The better SSDs have Seagate's (patented) write levelling firmware, and last a lot longer, for about $15 extra. These last 2x to 3x longer, last time I looked.

Enterprise level drives are built to last 3-5 years running 24/7. Domestic drives have a 10-20% duty cycle ...

BTW, I agree about using SSDs for system use. Just ensure that it's imaged reasonably regularly!
 

Armoured

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
197
HDD cache memory is like system memory, very hard wearing, and expensive.

SSD memory is nowhere near as hard wearing as system/HDD cache RAM. That's why SSDs are so cheap, relatively speaking.

The better SSDs have Seagate's (patented) write levelling firmware, and last a lot longer, for about $15 extra. These last 2x to 3x longer, last time I looked.

Enterprise level drives are built to last 3-5 years running 24/7. Domestic drives have a 10-20% duty cycle ...
I'm kind of riffing off of your points, so grain of salt, but yeah - seems likely that my idea of the embedded SSD (internal fusion drive) probably falls down on the pricing/reliability/marginal gain overlap. I.e. those who really need it, roll their own for maximum speed/pricing advantage, and almost everyone else doesn't need it that much and it's not worth the extra money/failure rates/service costs (from perspective of both consumer and manufacturer).

Rather like a bunch of keyboard warriors on the internet arguing about marginal speed / performance advantages who are running equipment more than seven years old. ))

(I think I've violated some internet rule against self-awareness with that comment)
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
3,673
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
^ :roflmao:

Spot on there, mate.

The newest operational PC in our house is 11 y.o., but with very significant upgrades.

The oldest dates back to around 2000!

My laptop is a 2003 IBM. Still works. If you hit a burglar with it, you would be up on a murder charge. STEEL hinges!!!

Our cars are 15 and 12 y.o. They will last us a long time yet.

I'm not into mindless consumption!
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
1,390
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
Angus
I'm kind of riffing off of your points, so grain of salt, but yeah - seems likely that my idea of the embedded SSD (internal fusion drive) probably falls down on the pricing/reliability/marginal gain overlap. I.e. those who really need it, roll their own for maximum speed/pricing advantage, and almost everyone else doesn't need it that much and it's not worth the extra money/failure rates/service costs (from perspective of both consumer and manufacturer).

Rather like a bunch of keyboard warriors on the internet arguing about marginal speed / performance advantages who are running equipment more than seven years old. ))

(I think I've violated some internet rule against self-awareness with that comment)
Especially when in our case as Micro Four Thirds users, we're editing relatively small 24 MP RAW files (compared to our full frame friends)
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
3,673
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
Especially when in our case as Micro Four Thirds users, we're editing relatively small 24 MP RAW files (compared to our full frame friends)
Angus, my main PC still works acceptably well with 200-250 MB scanned and upsized files.

I'm sure I will rapidly get used to the new speed machine that I'm planning to build in the next year! ;) :) .
 
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
5,055
Location
Sydney, Australia
Enterprise level drives are built to last 3-5 years running 24/7. Domestic drives have a 10-20% duty cycle ...

I have recently been looking at hard drives at places like PC Casegear [all the local sellers of PC bits have closed since 2020]
I see drive like WD describes as Black, Red, Blue, Purple etc but unless I missed it I did not see enterprise

Are these the red ones ?

From a beginners point of view telling those drives apart for the use I have is not as easy as I thought.

I think for my use since the PC will put the drives into sleep mode a high load/unload value would be good, is that correct?

So for home backup use and time machine on an apple which WD drive would be the best for longevity ?
For me my data is only photos and a few documents. Every thing else I can afford to loose.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
3,673
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
I have recently been looking at hard drives at places like PC Casegear [all the local sellers of PC bits have closed since 2020]
I see drive like WD describes as Black, Red, Blue, Purple etc but unless I missed it I did not see enterprise

Are these the red ones ?

From a beginners point of view telling those drives apart for the use I have is not as easy as I thought.

I think for my use since the PC will put the drives into sleep mode a high load/unload value would be good, is that correct?

So for home backup use and time machine on an apple which WD drive would be the best for longevity ?
For me my data is only photos and a few documents. Every thing else I can afford to loose.
You need to get in touch with a company (e.g. mwave.com.au) who will advise you honestly about the good stuff, and what you should avoid (usually the cheap stuff, but not always).

I've built up a good relationship with a couple of such companies. I know what I want to achieve, and they advise what will do it (mostly). It still pays to know exactly what you want, or you will end up with a crappy $95 motherboard ...
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
305
Location
Texas
Real Name
Kyle
We may indeed be arguing over small differences. But I still hold that the claim that an HDD will speed things up is not (generally) true, and that the advice/idea of putting system caches, temp files, swaps and the like on an HDD instead of leaving on the system drive (SSD) is mostly just wrong.

A fair point, I've no idea what Adobe specifically recommends or why, I was only talking about . I presume Bridge cache files are mostly just image previews, but at any rate - if the software manufacturer has a specific recommendation - do that!

Definitely true. Odd that manufacturers don't make this info more widely available.

I've kind of wondered why drive manufacturers don't use a small-ish SSD in the drive (would be small compared to the drive size but could be quite large compared to the cache memory). Eg cache memory in drives is, say, ~32-256mb, but an embedded SSD could be 2 or 8gb or more - slower than memory but still a lot faster than spinning drives.

This would be pretty much the same concept as Apple's fusion drive, but if embedded would be more simple and could be handled by on-board drive controllers (and more reliable).

My simplistic guess is that it's just money, HDD manufacturers compete to a large degree on price - and that users who want the extra performance nowadays would just jump to an SSD instead.
Seagate makes a SSHD but I’m not sure how big the SSD part is. I used one once but it wasn’t that much better than a HDD. Probably needs a bigger SSD than it has.

https://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/hdd/firecuda/
 

exakta

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
965
The WD Enterprise class drives are Gold.

Red are for NAS, Black for gaming, Blue is generic, Purple is for surveillance, Green for energy efficiency, Ultrastar for data centers.

The WD Elements desktop drives that I've owned had a Green drive inside.
 

BrentC

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
323
Location
Brampton, Ontario
I personally think everyone should have a NAS for back and for access from any device on the network including phone and tablets.

I have a Synology NAS for back, access and streaming my movie library. They currently have 3 Seagate NAS 3TB drives that are the original drives I installed in it about 8 years ago. With a 4th as a hot spare. Never had one issue with them. Since they are NAS drives they have reduced vibration so they can work next to other drives.

My portable backups and travelling drives are all Samsung T5 SSD with USB3. These have been great superfast drives that keep my LR catalogue and pictures on. This way I can connect to any computer I want and access through LR.

I keep one T5 in a safety deposit box that has all important documentation.

But a NAS, to me, as someone who deals with very large and critical storage systems, is one of the best for backup and data access. And it doesn't have to be expensive.

For me having data available to all family members, from any device and be secured and redundant is a priority. It is much better than having a ton of single HD/SSD lying around and needing plugin everytime you use it. Also the NAS allows you to setup scheduled backs at whatever time you want so your devices are backed up without you having to worry about doing it manually. All our computers are back up on a nightly basis while we sleep.

I also have it setup so if I connect a SSD USB drive to the NAS it will automatically back it up
 

speedy

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
2,690
I personally think everyone should have a NAS for back and for access from any device on the network including phone and tablets.

I have a Synology NAS for back, access and streaming my movie library. They currently have 3 Seagate NAS 3TB drives that are the original drives I installed in it about 8 years ago. With a 4th as a hot spare. Never had one issue with them. Since they are NAS drives they have reduced vibration so they can work next to other drives.

My portable backups and travelling drives are all Samsung T5 SSD with USB3. These have been great superfast drives that keep my LR catalogue and pictures on. This way I can connect to any computer I want and access through LR.

I keep one T5 in a safety deposit box that has all important documentation.

But a NAS, to me, as someone who deals with very large and critical storage systems, is one of the best for backup and data access. And it doesn't have to be expensive.

For me having data available to all family members, from any device and be secured and redundant is a priority. It is much better than having a ton of single HD/SSD lying around and needing plugin everytime you use it. Also the NAS allows you to setup scheduled backs at whatever time you want so your devices are backed up without you having to worry about doing it manually. All our computers are back up on a nightly basis while we sleep.

I also have it setup so if I connect a SSD USB drive to the NAS it will automatically back it up
Ha ha. Are you me? I've just built myself a Synology 4 bay NAS, with 3 of 3TB Ironwolf drives in it, in RAID 5 configuration. Giving me 6TB of actual storage. Sick to death of having portable drives all over the place, with data spread around who knows where. Can access it from any computer/phone from anywhere, & pretty easy to back up. Bit wary of WD after their current scandal of drives mysteriously wiping themselves.
 

JensM

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
1,159
Location
Oslo(ish), Norway
Real Name
As screename
The portable ones I have are from the WD My Passport series, the oldest ones are from 2009, and never a hiccup between them. They are rather small (250 and 500 MB) so not much used these days. The rest is of the 1 and 2 TBs variety and pulls BC duties.
 

PakkyT

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
4,775
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Bit wary of WD after their current scandal of drives mysteriously wiping themselves.
Well that is a special case and there is nothing mysterious about it. This only applies to the "Live" line of drives accessible from the internet and it is hackers who are maliciously locking people out of these drives or erasing them. It isn't something that is just happening randomly to all WD drives. So any offline WD drives are safe from this attack. So bad firmware on the "bridge" portion of these drives rather than anything wrong with the spinning drive itself.
 

speedy

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
2,690
Well that is a special case and there is nothing mysterious about it. This only applies to the "Live" line of drives accessible from the internet and it is hackers who are maliciously locking people out of these drives or erasing them. It isn't something that is just happening randomly to all WD drives. So any offline WD drives are safe from this attack. So bad firmware on the "bridge" portion of these drives rather than anything wrong with the spinning drive itself.
I'm sure that's of great comfort to those who woke up, to find all their data had vanished. And still have no proper explanation as to what actually happened.
And we won't mention the small matter of them misrepresenting the drive speed of their products https://www.extremetech.com/computi...tal-caught-misrepresenting-hdd-rpm-speeds-too
 

StirlingBartholomew

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
35
Your best source is probably the BackBlaze data. In 10/2011 I bought a new iMac 27inch 2011 with a 1TB Seagate internal which Apple recalled and offered to swap out at no cost. Before rushing to judgment I did some research and found out the Toshiba unit they were putting in to replace the Seagate was like my Toshiba external drive which made audible noise sort of a low humming sound. I work in a quiet place. Decided to let the internal Seagate run for a while and see what happened. That Seagate is still installed in my iMac. It isn't the boot drive. I boot from a Thunderbolt external SSD. The Seagate was used as the main drive for seven years never gave me any trouble. I still use it but not as a startup disk. My most recent external drive is a tiny Toshiba 3tb. It sounds like the toshiba I bought a decade earlier. Makes an audible humming sound.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
1,125
I have recently been looking at hard drives at places like PC Casegear [all the local sellers of PC bits have closed since 2020]
I see drive like WD describes as Black, Red, Blue, Purple etc but unless I missed it I did not see enterprise

Are these the red ones ?

From a beginners point of view telling those drives apart for the use I have is not as easy as I thought.

I think for my use since the PC will put the drives into sleep mode a high load/unload value would be good, is that correct?

So for home backup use and time machine on an apple which WD drive would be the best for longevity ?
For me my data is only photos and a few documents. Every thing else I can afford to loose.
I have the same requirements as you mainly photo's, and decided to go with the Lacie thru Amazon,it arrived the next day (see earlier post if interested)Also it was $15 to go from 4 to 6 tb but the reason I bought it was the 5 year guarantee on both the machine and data recovery if it went kaput .
Of course it was perplexing installing it so I called seagate which owns lacie (I swore I wouldn't buy another seagate product but like most of the women in my life I'm sure this one will be the keeper:dash2:) the interesting news is that while talking to the tech guy whom was awesome (gave him a 10 on feedback) I mentioned I had four dead seagate HD"s he sent me a ticket I have 30 days to pack them up and send them in and they will recover my data and send it back to me.
I did by a WD 4tb from walmart as I need two separate backups , now just a few hours on the phone with adobe and I hopefully can quit freakin out for at least a year or two before something else comes up.
 

PakkyT

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
4,775
Location
Massachusetts, USA
I'm sure that's of great comfort to those who woke up, to find all their data had vanished.
Yes it sucks that they lost data, but the point is your blanket statement implying that WD drives just mysteriously lose data is not correct. It was specific older drives no longer supported by WD which were hooked up to the internet, had their final FW updates released 6 years ago, and were specifically attacked to exploit a flaw in the FW. None of that has anything to do with buying a simple USB based backup drive as we are discussing here unless someone was suggesting a specific internet connected version, then the warning about the WD Live drives may be pertinent.

And still have no proper explanation as to what actually happened.
Also not correct...
https://www.extremetech.com/internet/324249-western-digital-code-widespread-hard-drive-hacks
 
Last edited:

Alpha Whiskey Photography

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 5, 2013
Messages
645
Have 2 Western Digital Mybooks from 2008 that still work. And a couple of WD Passport 4TB drives from a few years ago that still work. And a couple of 8TB Lacie Porsche drives (one providing backup for the other). Still work (touching wood).
SSD drives are probably the way to go although the cost of high capacity ones is obviously far more expensive per gb than HDDs. I've heard other people say their SSD external drives overheat a lot.
Don't know if that's true.
My iMac has an SSD, and I swapped out the HDD from my old MacBook Pro for a higher capacity SSD. Reformatted that HDD, bought a housing for it and now its another external hard drive. So, for the cost of a 1 TB SSD drive my old MacBook runs like new and I got an extra external drive. Bargain. :)
(NB apparently you can't do this for a MacBook post-2015 as the body is sealed. Planned obsolesce, as with everything else these days :) ).
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom