Should I buy a Seagate HDD?

mubs

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I know the unanimous vote is for Samsung, but:

The local Fry's has the Seagate ST3160023A-RK 160GB/8MB/7200RPM Retail Box 5 yr Warranty for ($100 + $7.75 tax) - $50 MIR = $57.75

For those without a Fry's nearby, Outpost.com (Frys' online channel) has it for $10 more.

If I get it, it would replace my WD 80GB/8MB/7200 (JB). I've never owned a Seagate drive, and am completely unfamiliar with their IDE drives (there's much discussion of the SCSI models everywhere, so I know sumtin about those).

Yes? No?

TIA!
 

Fushigi

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I have 1 Maxtor ATA, 1 Quantum SCSI, 1 Samsung ATA, 1 WD ATA, and 1 Seagate SCSI. For purposes of my comparison I'll add Quantum & Maxtor together. None of the drives have failed. As such, I must come to the conclusion that Maxtor drives are twice as reliable as the other brands and are infinitely more reliable than the brands I don't have installed. :lol:

Sorry 'bout that. Just thought I'd throw in the type of comparison you see elsewhere.

Anyway, I haven't heard anything about recent Seagate drives being any more or less reliable than their counterparts from other companies. The 5 year warranty is a nice kicker, and 160GB for <$60 is a screamin' deal as long as the rebate comes through. I think Seagates tend to be fairly quiet but aren't the fastest performers (haven't checked at SR, though). The ST3160023A uses 2 80GB platters so heat should be minimal. If your WD is a couple of generations old, I'd be reasonably confident the Seagate would outperform it.

So, which Fry's is closest to you? The one in Here or the one in There? There's only one Illinois store. I may just head over there this morning as they supposedly have a decent 1GB SD card for under $150. Prices continue to fall on flash media; GB SD cards were $250-300 a couple of months ago. I wonder if the prices will fall even more over the next few months or if the market is stabilizing.
 

mubs

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Hmm. 38 views, 3 replies. One anti WD, one pro WD - but this is about a Seagte drive :(

Thanks Fushigi. I'm really looking for two things - 1) reliability 2) don't want a slug. $50 spent on a slug or a drive that will fail is a waste of money.

I've owned several Maxtors and Quantums, one Deskstar, and 2 WDs (my current drives) and have not had a single failure. Never owned a Seagate, though. I think a few here do; vaguely remember some threads about it. Maybe Timwhit? Blake?

The Fry's I'm referring to is Over Here (Anaheim, CA) - 1.5 miles from where I live (a neighboring town). Other Fry's stores are 20 - 40 miles driving distance. My first purchase at Fry's was in 1993. 4 x 4MB Toshiba 70ns 30-pin SIMMs, Lifetime Warranty, at $150 each. Was a steal. Still have them somewhere.
 

Handruin

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I have a Seagate barracuda 18XL that is still operational. It's SCSI, so I don't think that helps any.

Lately I'm a believer that it won't matter which drive manufacturer you select because it'll be your luck of the draw. I can go on to tell you that over the years I've had 4 western digital drives die in one way or another. I've also had one Maxtor go bad. However, my drive sampling is very small and insignificant to gather any useful data from.

I plan on trying a samsung for my next drive since I've heard so much about their stupendous reliability. However, I would still buy another western digital, Maxtor, Seagate even Fujitsu. I'd probably avoid Hitachi, but that's my own personal decision.

I think $50 for 160GB is a good price and probably worth the money. Is there a chance the drive might fail...sure, what company's drive won't fail, it's only a matter of time?
 

Santilli

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Only drives tested before they go out, IIRC, by Seagate are SCSI.

So, depending on where they are made, you are gambling, but not much.
What's Fry's return policy?

For buying IDE drives, www.costco.com is the best, due to their return policy, any costco outlet. Compusa, with their absurd 14 days, and 20$%
restocking fee is the worst.

Seagate has been known to ship refurbs for replacement drives. When you think about that, for an ATA drive, that's the first time the drive has been factory tested. So, if you could find them, refurbished Seagate drives might be cheaper, and, at least factory tested.

I still like buying from Costco on ATA drives. If they ever fail, even if I don't have a receipt, I can walk in and at least get store credit, no questions asked.

s
 

Santilli

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Just checked Costco.com and no hard drives I could find right now.
Try going to Costco, and see what they have. Picked up a 160 gig
Quaxtor DM9, 5 year warranty for about 130 dollars, with a promiseless card, and cable included. Drive is middle of the road fast enough.

By the way, the current crop of 7200 drives are really close in speed, so the difference is really not that much. Pull up the SR tests, and look at sustained data transfer, which is the ONLY thing you can really tell apart with ATA drives anyway, other then cache size.

The only selling point for me on the DM9 was the warranty. I would much rather have a drive that lasts, then one that dies. If you want speed, go scsi.

s
 

Clocker

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I have a Seagate 80GB 7200 RPM drive that has been running almost continuously for 3 years. I have no problem with Seagate drives and would not hesitate to buy one again.

I'd probably lean toward them or Hitachi before I bought another WD or Maxtor product. For performance I'd go to Hitachi, for reliability I'd go for the Seagate. The only reason I say that is that the 75GXP controversy still echos in my head. Otherwise, I'd say reliability is the same as there is no real way to tell which is more reliable (based on the info available to us).

C
 

e_dawg

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I have used a 60 GB Seagate Cuda IV for 2 years without any problems. Very quiet, acceptable performance.

I would also say that it doesn't make much of a difference what brand you buy. They are all similarly reliable when they leave the factory (modern drives usually average <0.5% average failure rate and 500k hours MTBF); the differences are in how well the drive is handled through the retail channel downstream from the factory -- i.e., the path the drive takes (and the amount of abuse it must endure) before it gets to your house.

http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=BrandMostReliable

That's part of the reason why someone like Merc hates WD drives with a passion while I run an all-WD system and have had no problems with them. Not to mention the fact that it's the luck of the draw. Average failure rates of <0.5% and MTBF's of 500k hours does not preclude you from getting 10 bum drives in a row.

Bottom line: buy it. If it turns out to be unreliable, it probably had nothing to do with the fact that it's a Seagate.
 

sechs

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Just to stay on topic, I will cast another vote against Western Digital.

For the price, it not a bad deal. Fry's had been running deals on 7k250s which I would say were better.

While it's hard to touch Seagate's SCSI drives, it's pretty easy to so do on the ATA side.
 

CityK

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I (primarily) use two Cuda IVs. Ditto what electronic doggie said about them.

My personal biases (and I assure you that I am completely in no position to provide any type of informed opinion):

WD - too inconsistant in terms of noise for me to bother with them. Raptors don't interest me for a couple of reasons, but mostly due to an overall lack of value.

Maxtor - DM9s have worked out quite well everytime I've put them in a system. Their my build of choice if I'm going to put something together for someone....although, personally, when I upgrade I will be looking elsewhere

IBM/Hitachi - intrigued, but are priced with a premium around here so better value elsewhere. Plus, the miscellaneous reports of "there's a cat in my harddrive" make me wonder...then there is the ever lingering 60GXP fiasco that doesn't leave good impressions

Samsung - hard to get a hold of around here. Wish they were easier to procure so I could see what all Tannin's hub-bub is about Hee hee, that monkey Tea seem's to like them too

Seagate - I imagine that I would like their newer IDE drives too. Maybe not as "quick" as the others in terms of benchmark performance, but:

Overall, I tend to think that its pretty much a wash between all of them anyways....sure you might notice one performs slightly better here and there, but overall they're all the same. Meaning, to me, the emphasis should be placed on value.
 

mubs

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Thanks everybody, I value your opinions, that's why I asked. I bit the bullet (tastes yuck, and I lost a coupla teeth) and bought it. There was some controversy about the warranty in some forums - Fry's saying 5 years, and Seagate's web site saying 1. Mine has 5 years FWIW (serial# starts with 5; for those starting with 3, some have been 1 yr and some 5 yrs). I like that manufacturers are putting the serial # outside on the box.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that almost all of the drives I have purchased have been retail units, so well packed. The only exceptions were the 4 Quantum Fireballs, but these were packed as well as the retail units anyway.

If the Samsung's were available at such a decent price, that would have been my first choice. But I've personally never seen a retail Samsung either advertised or in store. That raises the issue of handling during shipping and in-store.

I'll install the drive in a couple of days and will find out if it's a slug or not - strictly from everyday usage, not going to bench it.
 

Fushigi

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mubs said:
But I've personally never seen a retail Samsung either advertised or in store. That raises the issue of handling during shipping and in-store.
Microcenter carries Samsungs in their stores and usually has prices about the same as Newegg. They are OEM, though; not retail kits. Right now the 160GB is going for $99 at both places; no rebates.
 

freeborn

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mubs said:
Thanks everybody, I value your opinions, that's why I asked. I bit the bullet (tastes yuck, and I lost a coupla teeth) and bought it. There was some controversy about the warranty in some forums - Fry's saying 5 years, and Seagate's web site saying 1. Mine has 5 years FWIW (serial# starts with 5; for those starting with 3, some have been 1 yr and some 5 yrs). I like that manufacturers are putting the serial # outside on the box.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that almost all of the drives I have purchased have been retail units, so well packed. The only exceptions were the 4 Quantum Fireballs, but these were packed as well as the retail units anyway.

If the Samsung's were available at such a decent price, that would have been my first choice. But I've personally never seen a retail Samsung either advertised or in store. That raises the issue of handling during shipping and in-store.

I'll install the drive in a couple of days and will find out if it's a slug or not - strictly from everyday usage, not going to bench it.

The first digit on Seagate ATA hard drive serial numbers indicates where it was manufactured. 1 is usually a prototype built in the states, 3 is built in Singapore, 5 and 7 are built at different Chinese factories. What should be available for purchase are drives with serial numbers beginning with 3, 5, or 7.

Free
 

freeborn

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Sorry, my above post isn't quite right. By usually I mean the drives starting in 1 are usually prototypes but sometimes they are final component / firmware demonstration units as well. Either way I doubt any of them will ever be available for sale.

Free
 

Mercutio

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Let me be abundantly clear: I believe Western Digital makes a genuinely inferior product to that offered by any other drive maker.

I know some of the people here only buy one or two drives a year. I buy about 70. Tannin probably buys ten times that many for his shop. I've shared my ongoing frustrations with WD here, so has Tannin. Even Buck, our Western Digital historian, seems to say more positive things about Samsung these days.

Anecdotally, that would be enough for me. I trust Tannin's opinion on non-video-card matters, but he's not the only one I'm hearing from. Several other members here have complaints, as do quite a few of the small shops I deal with from time to time - I know of at least three shops in the Chicago suburbs which have removed WD posters and stickers from their windows and walls; most have replaced them with Seagate (WD and Seagate easily have the strongest reseller programs in the US). Two of those shops had been WD-only for over 10 years. At one of those shops the owner said his (WD) drive returns were up 30% from the same period two year ago.

Now, I think Seagate has problems of its own - the world's biggest drive manufacturer can't be bothered to make a drive I'd actually want, and given the quantity of drives I buy/use, I'd say that's a problem - but my observations lead me to think there's something seriously wrong with the product Western Digital is shipping.

I *did* just buy my first-in-about-seven-years Seagate drive a couple weeks ago, for a customer who read about the warranty change on a tech news site. It was a 7200.7. I didn't think it especially quiet or fast, and it cost more than anything else at its capacity. A thoroughly bland product I'd still normally call unworthy, but in this case, Seagate's pile of marketing did its work, just as it did for mubs.

As far as my ranking of the drive vendors, here's how they stack up for me right now:

1. Seagate SCSI (fast and well behaved)
2. Samsung (although they need a 200+GB drive soon)
3. Fujitsu SCSI
4. Hitachi (Hitachi makes the fast, high capacity drives I need more and more of, and I have not had problems with 180GXP and later drives)
5. Maxtor
6. Maxtor SCSI/all things Quantum (I've had reliability issues with these, and I generally avoid them)
7. Seagate ATA
8. Any of the various generic rebranders (usually of Maxtor drives) that have turned up recently, like Excelstor or Puma or Digital Research
9. Small pile of watery cat vomit
10. Western Digital
 

mubs

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Merc said:
At one of those shops the owner said his (WD) drive returns were up 30% from the same period two year ago.
I think that's it. Increasingly, I hear WD's quality has gone down the tubes in the last 12-18 months.

Merc said:
...but in this case, Seagate's pile of marketing did its work, just as it did for mubs.
I know I'm not as smart as most of you here are, but please, can we give me a little more credit than that? If you bothered to read my posts above, you'll see that I have never owned a Seagate, ever. And 5 yrs or 6 months, I would not ever have considered a Seagate ATA if it had not been for the price. Not all of us have the disposable income you do, you know.....
 

Mercutio

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Serious question: given the regular rounds of Seagate bashing engaged in on SF and SR (er, last time I was there, anyway), would you have purchased one absent the recent change to Seagate's warranty policy?
 

mubs

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I'll repeat again: the warranty had zero (0, zip, zilch, nada) effect on my decision.

95% of the decision was based on price (corroborated by many of the comments above that most brands of drives are alike in most respects) 3% on performance (didn't wan't a slug at any price) and 2% on reliability (not warranty, but Deathstar like characteristics).

If a WD was available at this price, I would have bought it, notwithstanding your love of the brand.
 

mubs

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Don't know if you're being sarcastic, Sechs. I was browsing Newegg for Samsung hard drives and found the 160GB retail for $110. The bastards pulled the link, and the product does not even show up anymore. I would have thought they'd leave the page alone, just updating it to zero stock or a "discontinued" comment. Weird.
 

e_dawg

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Mercutio said:
Let me be abundantly clear: I believe Western Digital makes a genuinely inferior product to that offered by any other drive maker. [snip: various rational, supported arguments]

So would you at least consider using a bag of WD drives as the weapon of choice with which to beat someone (oh, like maybe PW) senseless? :)

But seriously, I do value your opinion, Merc, and I have been hearing increasing rumblings about WD drives over the past couple years... as a result, I will be a little more hesitant towards purchasing a WD to save myself the hassle of finding out about WD's possible reduction in quality firsthand.

I would also like to try a Samsung due to all the positive feedback I've been hearing on the Net. If only availability were better in Canada. The one retailer whom I know carries Samsung drives is not exactly the most confidence inspiring (I think CityK would agree).

Otherwise, with all things considered (availability, pricing, performance, acoustics, and various subjective evaluations of quality), there still isn't a clear winner from where I'm sitting. Things like a big rebate can definitely tip the balance in favour of a particular brand at any given time.
 

timwhit

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Personally, I wouldn't buy any more WD hard drives. I do like the current Seagate drives. I have 2 200GB 7200.7 and they are working really well. Wasn't it Gary that was speaking of them so highly not all too long ago?
 

mubs

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Good find, e_dawg. But your link points to a refurb, my link pointed to a new unit. At least your link proves my supplier isn't providing bad stuff. :D

On another note, I really hate to cause anguish, and I know I pained Merc a lot. So the Seagate is still sitting in it's original packing while I mull my options. I have ~ another week to return it. The cheapest I can find a "good" (in Merc's opinion - Samsung and #2, Hitachi) 160Gb is ~$95 + tax + shipping. That's twice what the Seagate cost me.

And if I do decide not to keep the Seagate, I'm leaning more towards the Hitachi 7k250 160Gb rather than the Samsung. There I go again, ruffling feathers. :(
 

Handruin

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I'll vouch for ya mubs. :) I saw the link when you posted it, and it was a retail Samsung kit. If I'm not mistaken it was roughly $110 USD for the 160GB model.
 

Buck

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I saw the retail kit too through the link you provided.

Mubs, just buy the Hitachi drive. If it doesn't work out, you can blame me.
 

Santilli

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9. Small pile of watery cat vomit
:excl:

ROFL :excl: :wink:

My cat is WAY faster then any ATA drive...

I agree with Merc, and thank God you guys have saved me the money, and hassle of finding out what I know already: Seagate Scsi/sca ROCKS :excl:

s
PS A BIG thanks to all of you for helping me put together R2 D2...Splash in particular. And Splash, you really need to talk to that Killer Whale friend of yours...
:lol:
 

e_dawg

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e_dawg said:
I would also like to try a Samsung due to all the positive feedback I've been hearing on the Net. If only availability were better in Canada. The one retailer whom I know carries Samsung drives is not exactly the most confidence inspiring (I think CityK would agree).

Scratch that. I have found another retailer that carries Samsung in Canada! Rejoice, my fellow Canucks. NCIX has the 40, 80, and 120 GB in stock: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?minorcatid=109, and even has the 40 GB 2.5" mobile 5400 rpm from Samsung as well!
 

CityK

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NCIX has had them for a while. But they still don't have the "C"'s :x

Vibe has also been carrying Samsungs for a while (both "N" and "C" variants).

Have noticed other B.C. or AB stores also seem to stock them.

Why there is nothing is downtown T.O is beyond me. And I'm certainly not going to buttf*cK Markham again (with the risk of repeating my previous experience) just for Sammies.
 

CityK

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CityK said:
And I'm certainly not going to buttf*cK Markham again (with the risk of repeating my previous experience) just for Sammies.

From a PM I sent edawg back in Feb:
------------------------------------------

So I goes there on Saturday afternoon. Looks like your typical small computer store front - some stuff on display, and guys working in a cluttered back room (half visible to the public). If you have ever been to infonec (Tomkein and something area) then you know what I mean....the two stores resemble each other in a number of ways.

Problem - Almost instantly after verbally placing my parts order with the guy at the front, it hits me that things aren't done quite like a normal store (i.e. where you walk in, buy your parts and then leave).

Clerk: Asks for a deposit and says you can come pick up your things in about an hour and a half....or maybe an hour if the order picker rushes.

Me: Huh? What are you talking about. Can't I just get the parts now?

Clerk: No, sorry - we don't have anything here, someone has to go to the warehouse to pickup the parts.

Me: You mean you don't even have any (insert your this or that part here) in stock here?

Clerk: No, sorry.

Me: An hour and a half!

Clerk: I know, I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about it. There's a donut store just around the corner that you could wait at if you want.

Me: No, I think I'll head back home. Wish you had stuff here. Too bad. Oh well, maybe some other time.

-------------

Now after that uneventful/unproductive excursion, I wonder to myself ---> obviously ComputerLinkSystems is purchasing from some importers warehouse in the area (which, in that depressing landscape, there are many of in the region). Hmmm. Who could this be, and how can I get in on this action, and thus cut out the middlemen?
 

i

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Hah. That's interesting. I visited a computer "store" in Markham back in 1991 or 1992 (can't remember exactly) and that was pretty much how things went then. The manager had to disappear for an hour or two before returning with the item we'd phoned ahead about.

Of course it was a 40 MB IDE hard disk, with an 8-bit ISA controller card.

Something of an antique even at the time. (Don't ask.) :)
 

Bookmage

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Hrm...
out of the dozen or so drives I've had...
each brand comes down to the drive model and where/when I bought it.
I currently run 15ish? WD drives from 80GB JB to 120AB to 200JB with very few problems. They were purchased from various places online to several different retail stores depending on the rebate of the week. I also own seagates and maxtors but lesser of those two. When I started building my storage servers 2 years ago, IBM was getting over its drive problems and the WD200GB JB was one of the best drives at the time. Now I own 8 of them and only one died and that cuz of a power failure. I purchased 7 drives from Dell when they had a good deal and split them between friends. They were 3 x Seagates, 3 x Maxtors and 1 WD. the WD failed within a month and the dell replacement drive is still running w/o warranty. All three maxtors failed within the one year and one seagate got killed when the owner accidentally "kicked" his comp while moving around. The RMA process was about the same and I will never buy another drive from dell again.
My server ran 2 x 30GB Maxtors for 3+ years and one slowly gave me problems in teh last year. It failed last december and I shelved it away. Teh warranty expired last september and I swapped it with another drive. Recently I pulled it back out to run some software tests and the maxtor software told me it was failing and to contact maxtor.

Recently I've been looking at Samsung drives for a new media server and really wish they would make a 200+GB version. As it happens, I will probably end up using 6-8 x 120 on an old 3ware raid card and need to decide if the 8mb cache is worth the extra $? It is an older 5800 3ware card w/o raid5. I'm lookin at Samsung, Hitachi, and then a tie between Seagate, WD, and Maxtor in that order. The tie breaker would be the cost per GB.
 
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