Hard drive models and vendors: Which one to buy?

AmazonAfter I was hit by a stalled hard disc a few months ago, I keep my eyes always open to spot articles about recommendations for reliable hard drives. Today I found an interesting article about that topic.


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There are 3 major vendors HGST (Hitachi), Seagate and Western Digital (WD) selling different hard drive models. Some with 1 TB capacity, some with 2 TB and more. Since UEFI systems supports drives from 3 TB upwards, many people will buy such hard drives. But it’s sometimes a question of a drives price, whether you choose a 3 TB against a 4 TB model. But this could be a worse decision.

Backup company Backblaze (backblace.com) uses 25,000 hard drives for its online backup services. Last year, they published the article What Hard Drive Should I Buy? with helpful insights. Now Backblaze published a new report What is the Best Hard Drive?, discussing reliability data obtained from their “hard drive farm” during 2014. The following bar graph, obtained from Backblaze report gives us interesting insights.


(Hard drive failure rate in 2013/2014; Source: backblaze.com)

Whilst Seagate was the manufacturer with the most hard drive failures in 2013 (see 1st report), the bar graph shown above gives us further hints. Seagate has not only a significant higher failure rate as the competitors. It seems also, that failure rate of 3 TB drives is much higher as for 4 TB models (although statistics is a nasty thing, and the figures shown above doesn’t correlates the amount of drives from one type and one vendor). As a conclusion, it seems a good idea to skip 3 TB hard drives and use 4 TB discs – and it may be wise, to select a vender with the most reliable products.


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