fwiw on the topic of using a 5400 RPM drive for games I'd say go for it if you want the lower power/noise. The areal density is so high on modern hard drives that even the 5400 RPM drives beat the snot out of the 7200 RPM drives from a few years ago.
That's the reason I started looking at them, especially considering that I'd have a 128GB SSD to hold any apps/games that actually need/want the speed.
Personally I'd target the 1TB to 2TB drives with 512b sectors (drives announced in 2010 or even 2009) as I tend to use hard drives for a very long time and there are still several XP PCs in my hand me down chain.
The drive will spend 3 years running Win 7 and 3 to 5 years running Linux 2.6+. There's no way it will ever be used on an XP system. From what I can see, so long as you take a moment to think about the partitions in Linux (no thought required in Win 7), the 4k sector drives perform as good or better than their 512b sector brothers. Is there any other reason to avoid 4K sector drives?
With the western digital drives you have to be very careful and may even have to rely on luck to know what internals you'll get as they release new drives with the same model number
I was aware of this, and it was one of the reasons why I had picked the Advanced Format drives, as they would supposedly provide some assurance that older platters wouldn't be used. Is this correct?
If I were to buy a WD I'd get the Blue and go for a capacity that has no overlap with older platter sizes if such a thing exists
For Blue drives, I was considering the EALX
. It's $10 more than the EALS, but with the SATA 6Gb interface and 4K sectors. Neither of those are big selling points, but I'd think they would be much less likely to re-use old platters.
As to short stroking a 2TB drive or even the 1TB drive go for it. The only drawback is loss of capacity.
I was thinking more of the weaker version of short stroking. Namely something like:
[ 260GB ] => G: (Games) <= Outermost cylinders
[ 180GB ] => D: (Apps)
[ 1400GB ] => E: (Storage)
[ 160GB ] => Y: (Backup/Long-Term) <= Innermost cylinders
I'd still have the full 2TB of capacity, but when gaming, the drive would never see a need to seek beyond the outermost partition, since the OS and other services are stored on the SSD.