WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

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doveman
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WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:44 pm

I've seen the reviews for the WD20EARS and they are clearly very good in terms of noise and I'm tempted to get one.

I'm currently running my HTPC with a WD6400AAKS and want to upgrade to a 2TB HD as I'm running out of space. I only want to have the one HD in this PC (mainly because I'm not that handy and haven't got the time to work out how to suspend more than one at the moment), so I'm wondering if the WD20EARS will be a good replacement or if the 5K300 (about £7 more) or some other drive will be better. Noise is the main factor, as it's an HTPC that is often running in the background recording, and whilst I do sometimes use it for 2-player LAN games, speed isn't a major concern.

Maybe one day I'll be able to put an SSD in it as well, but that's not an option at the moment.

nzdcoy
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by nzdcoy » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:52 pm

Never heard anything come out of my WD20EARS in the past two months that I have had it if that helps, it is sitting less than 2 feet from me

doveman
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:38 am

I should hope nothing does come out of it. Oh, you meant noise :lol:

No seriously, thanks for the post as it's good to have confirmation that the WD20EARS really is quiet. What I was trying to ask though, is whether it's the best drive in a single drive system (IE holding the OS and data) or if there's better (IE faster booting, faster resuming from standby), but still as or almost as quiet, options.

fumino
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by fumino » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:06 am

the hitachi would be a faster OS drive. there was some benchmarks comparing the two on hardforum a while back... cant find the link at the moment though.

nzdcoy
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by nzdcoy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:54 am

doveman wrote:I should hope nothing does come out of it. Oh, you meant noise :lol:

No seriously, thanks for the post as it's good to have confirmation that the WD20EARS really is quiet. What I was trying to ask though, is whether it's the best drive in a single drive system (IE holding the OS and data) or if there's better (IE faster booting, faster resuming from standby), but still as or almost as quiet, options.
^^ I am doing that at the moment :P

Only time I find a bottleneck is when I am copying a TV show from one OS partition to another partition, while watching another file. Long term I am going to have the data and OS on different HDD's, but that will be when I get around to sorting this home server thing out.

I don't pay attention to the boot speed- usually I turn it on while doing other things around the house.

From standby is only a couple of seconds max to uptime on w7 ult

kuzzia
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by kuzzia » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:13 pm

Well, if you don't mind the 0,5 seconds longer for a program to boot, then a WD green should be fast enough. Heck, I run Win 7 on a WD green 500 on my primary computer! And I don't imagine that a HTPC needs to run super fast.

But I think you should look at the way you use your HTPC and consider whether you can withstand the extra 0,5 second (or whatever time it is) for a program to boot.

doveman
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:40 pm

Well, if we're only talking 0.5 sec extra (or thereabouts) I'm not going to get hung up about that. I just wasn't clear how much slower these drives tend to be than faster ones.

Like nzdcoy, I normally just boot my HTPC when I get up and I'm making a cup of coffee. I tend to leave it in standby a lot of the time anyway, so it doesn't even have to do a full boot that often.

It can be a pain with only one drive when editing a recording and saving the edit to the same drive (or compressing a programme), but that's going to be the case whichever drive I get and I can always plug in my e-SATA drive when doing that for now (until I can get a SSD).

So cheers for the help, I'm happy to get the WD now, knowing that I'll be getting a really quiet drive that will suit my purposes just fine :D

nzdcoy
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by nzdcoy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:58 pm

doveman wrote:Well, if we're only talking 0.5 sec extra (or thereabouts) I'm not going to get hung up about that. I just wasn't clear how much slower these drives tend to be than faster ones.

Like nzdcoy, I normally just boot my HTPC when I get up and I'm making a cup of coffee. I tend to leave it in standby a lot of the time anyway, so it doesn't even have to do a full boot that often.

It can be a pain with only one drive when editing a recording and saving the edit to the same drive (or compressing a programme), but that's going to be the case whichever drive I get and I can always plug in my e-SATA drive when doing that for now (until I can get a SSD).

So cheers for the help, I'm happy to get the WD now, knowing that I'll be getting a really quiet drive that will suit my purposes just fine :D
^^ Just sat down now, with the room quiet and booted the PC.

you can hear some seek noise at boot, but it is in a pretty cheap external enclosure ~50cm away from me with no dampening or vibration reduction or whatnot, pretty sure if it was in a case of almost any kind it would be virtually inaudible.

I have never noticed after the PSU fan revs up after it gets warm in there- its the PSU from an antec ISK310-150 if that helps

netmask254
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by netmask254 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:23 pm

I'm not familiar with Hitachi 5K300, however my suggestion is that never use WD20EARS for your system disk unless it's a temporary solution.

I used a WD15EARS for system disk (Windows 7 installed) for ~half a year, just like you, I prefer single mechanical hard disk in system. (1) It's significantly slower than my previous Seagate 7200.11 320GB. Not only caused by the lower 5400rpm, but because EARS uses a so-called "Advanced Format" (which isn't beneficial to the end user at all) which results a significantly higher writing latency. (2) When combined with Windows 7, the system randomly blue-screen when boot up and the direct cause locates in hard disk.

Anyway, I'm waiting for a SSD...

doveman
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:35 am

Hmm, thanks for the warning, that certainly gives me something to think about!

It's strange that nzdcoy doesn't seem to have this problem with W7 but not sure that I want to take the risk. I'm still running XP on my HTPC but might want to change that soon, so want to be sure I've got a drive that won't give me problems.

doveman
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:41 am

I'm not sure but I'm wondering if the problems netmask254 had were because the partitions weren't aligned properly.

I need to have 3 Primary partitions (2 XP, 1 Win7) and a Data partition. Can I simply partition and format the drive under Win7 and then expect it to work properly under XP? Or will it require the jumper on for XP and off for Win7, which obviously would be a major pain?

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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by MikeC » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:06 am

Been using a WD20EARS in a HTPC for about 4-5 mos. 100g partition for Win7, the rest for all docs/data. No problems whatsoever related to HDD. It is essentially inaudible in open shelf below TV from >3' away in any normal use -- including saving or transferring big HD movie files. Since it never gets turned off (idles @ ~40W), boot time is irrelevant, tho it is not slow; comes back from sleep in a sec or 2.

doveman
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:16 am

Cheers Mike. Sounds good. I'm close to buying one, just want to check I'm not going to run into difficulties with my XP/Win7 dual-boot first.

doveman
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:26 pm

I found this post which I'm struggling to understand, but someone cleverer than me might be able to decipher it to help answer the question of whether XP/Win7 dual booting is possible and safe with this drive.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freewar ... oning.html

Another possible complication is that I need to use grub4dos as my boot manager, so I need to know that this won't have any problems with this drive.

doveman
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Re: WD20EARS vs Hitachi 5K300

Post by doveman » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:10 am

On the grub4dos point, I think from this http://reboot.pro/12915/ I can take that it will boot fine providing the boot partition is below 1TB, which is all I need, and the tinybit's build will allow booting from above the 1TB point as well.

As far as I can make out, if I partition/format the drive in Win7, I won't have any problems dual/triple-booting XP/Win7 either.

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