Author Topic: Hard drive (NAS vs Desktop)  (Read 2072 times)

Offline stucco

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Hard drive (NAS vs Desktop)
« on: March 21, 2014, 02:05:18 pm »
Hi - A bunch of vendors have come out with NAS specialty hard drives recently, including WD and Seagate.

My question is, since FlexRAID is a software RAID, would it actually do better with the normal desktop drives over the specialty NAS drives?

i.e. Would WD Green actually work better than WD Red?

I'm using Snapshot RAID.

Offline Bigtruck747

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Re: Hard drive (NAS vs Desktop)
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2014, 09:58:06 am »
Hey stucco!

I'm trying to get an answer to the same question.

I have two WD Green drives in my computer right now, and I'm trying to figure out what I should use for a parity drive.

I've read a thread that a person should a drive with faster "access time" for parity, rather than a storage drive.

I hope someone can give us an answer!

Offline AndreasK

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Re: Hard drive (NAS vs Desktop)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 03:52:48 am »
Hi Stucco,

This is a really old thread but I thought i'd reply since no one else has.

One of the main software differences with NAS HDDs is that they implement a version of Time Limited Error Recovery to help play nice with hardware RAID controllers.  With software RAID like FlexRAID or off the shelf NAS units, this is actually less of a problem since the software is more forgiving when waiting for a HDD to recover from errors.
Im not sure what FlexRAID's time limit is for this error recovery process.

On the hardware side, you could say that the NAS/Enterprise drives offer a lot more from a reliability standpoint than desktop versions, mainly because they know that a lot of drives will be packed close together potentially resulting in higher vibration and operating temperature.

Some of the added features for example:
- Vibration control measures and compensation
- Burn-in testing
- Platter axis secured at top and bottom (as opposed to just bottom)
- Head fly height adjustment (compensates for thermal platter expansion and ensures consistent write quality)

Finally, some of the enterprise level NAS drives have a better unrecoverable bit error rate specification (1 in 10^15/16 vs 1 in 10^14) meaning that you are less likely to see unrecoverable errors on the drive for longer, especially with today's multi-TB drives.

Unfortunately, to access many of these additional features, you also need to accept higher spindle speeds resulting in higher power usage, temps and noise.


Personally, I'm using FlexRAID purely as cold backup with the added benefit of parity protection, so am happy to use desktop drives. But in my off-the-shelf NAS unit, I have WD Red Pro and WD Se drives. I hope that the extra money spent now results in less frustration (rebuilding/restoring) and cost (drive replacement) later.

Hope that gave you some good input


Offline Brahim

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Re: Hard drive (NAS vs Desktop)
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 07:27:02 am »
All RAID do better with disks that have lower access time. As we can generalize between desktop and NAS drives, look at the specs of each specific disk.