I am very aware that internal backup - for various reasons - is far from perfect. For that very reason I have a WD20EARS in an external USB3 casing. I chose USB over eSATA because of backwards compatibility, interchangeability and portability. Speed wise it makes no difference compared to eSATA - benchmarks show that the Caviar green is just as fast over USB3 as it is directly attached via SATA and thus eSATA too. I have considered a NAS, but decided it was too expensive, too slow and not very useful in a situation where there is only one computer to begin with. Unfortunately the WD20EARS is the disk that has gone awry. While trying to fix that disk and/or replacing it I will need another form of backup and since my current back-up scheme is not perfect I think it would be wise to add another disk for redundancy. Like I said before, not everything fits on the SSD (games) so I will need some performance in the HDD too, not just bulk data. When I get the disk fixed or replaced I will have double backups and possibly use one of the greens as off site backup.
I have gone back and forth on the subject for a bit now. I noticed that the recent Greens and Blacks are not known to be very reliable. A quick check on Newegg revealed that other disks are, unfortunately, equally or even more unreliable. Another reason to go for the double setup. Asymmetry might also help a bit, since any hidden flaw in a certain type of disk or batch will only affect one of the pair. Currently I am a bit torn between these options:
- Caviar Black 2 TB WD2002FEAX (135 euro)
- Caviar Green 2 TB WD20EZRX (+90 euro = 225)
Pro: performance where it counts, added warranty
Con: seek noises 'like a Fukushima geiger counter", 2 TB
- Caviar Green 2 TB WD20EZRX without head park via wdidle (90 euro)
- Caviar Green 2 TB WD20EZRX (+90 euro = 180)
Pro: a bit more quiet, bang for the buck
Con: about 10% (sequential read) to 30% (random read) slower, only a 2 year warranty, 2 TB
- Caviar Green WD30EZRX without head park via wdidle (112 euro)
- Cavair Green WD30EZRX (+112 euro = 224)
Pro: lots of space, quiet
Con: slower, 2 year warranty
One question is how much the performance will affect real life usage. Due to the nature of bulk storage (and game files) most reads will be sequential - in which the Green has less of a disadvantage. Sequential also probably means less seek noises for the Black, so that works for both disks.
I am kind of considering ordering the first option (Black + Green 2TB). Due to local law I have the right to try any equipment for 7 days. When I return everything before the 7 days run out it will cost me nothing - except the cost of return. I do not intend to abuse this legislation, but it is nice to know that I am not stuck with a noisy drive it the Black turns out to be a disaster. I am not sure yet though and due to work related obligations I do not have time for testing the coming days anyway.
You can prevent them from spinning down if need be.
If WD Greens have a peculiarity in this respect, it's most likely not shared by all low-power drives.
At first I thought you meant the hack where you access the disks every few minutes, but you probably mean the wdidle3 method, right? Can you tell me whether this is still viable on recent Cavair Greens? These things have been known to change without notice.