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Hard drive size sweet spot may be 18TB, Sept. 2021


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What hard drive purchase makes sense today, Sept. 2021? 

For me, it is 18TB Seagate Exos, w 5yr warranty.  Amazon $400.  ($22/tb)

 

Shucked drives?  Currently I am seeing no bargains.  Back in July Aug. 2021 Costco had Seagate 8TB for for $130  ($16/tb).  Now everywhere seems to be $170 ($21/tb).  No warranty when shucked.

 

Internal w 2 to 3 yr warranty: Also currently 8TB for $170  ($21/tb).

 

Why do I prefer to pay $22/tb for an 18TB vs waiting for an 8TB sale ($16/tb)?  Because:

     1) 5yr warranty

     2) Lot more TB in a single unraid enclosure (tower or case).

 

Of course all of this may not apply to those who do not need more storage to fit in their enclosure.  

I only buy Amazon as last resort, since power corrupts.

 

If anyone knows what is going on with the Amazon seller "Seagate Store": Is it the same as "Seagate Technology Inc."?  When I did online warranty check on the serial of the 18TB I received, it did show 5yr factory warranty.  But I am curious if this is a way for the factory to circumvent the dealers and compete with their own dealers?  My guess is they use a loophole in the dealer agreement, by creating "Seagate Store" as a company, and we do not know if it is the same owners?

 

I gave up on trying to figure out which of the 3 major makers make more reliable drives.  So I buy the cheapest which tends to be Seagate more often.

Edited by xrqp
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I see some slightly older model Seagate Exos X16 16TB drives around $325 or around $20.32 TB.

 

I see some saying the warranty starts from date of manufacturing and not date of sales. It all depends if you get an OEM or Retail unit. That seems rather difficult to find out on some of the Amazon listings. I also see statements where "The limited warranty extends only to the OEM and may not be assigned or transferred without Seagate’s consent."

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@xrqp did you order from "Seagate Store" which now shows as HyperHawk storefront on Amazon? I've been going through the Q&A on the X18s and X16s trying to figure out which resellers are with full 5 years and which are OEM meaning no direct coverage from Seagate.

 

It's a bit of a hassle, but its a savings of $75 for 1 drive or $225 for 3, which I'm looking to pickup. I'll definitely need to setup Parity Tuner if I expand to 16TB or 18TB drives.

 

 

 

I had a power outage last week Thursday that killed an 8TB drive completely, despite being on UPS. It won't power up even in other systems or enclosures. The other 3 drives are fine. I ordered an 8TB drive that could be delivered Friday. The preclear took 33-35 hours for 1 Pass to ensure the drive was suitable. I started the data rebuild this morning. Should be finished in another 6-8 hours. It will be nice to be back on a protected array.

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On 9/5/2021 at 4:18 PM, BRiT said:

did you order from "Seagate Store" which now shows as HyperHawk storefront on Amazon?

Yes.  I did not even notice until you mentioned it, but my order record shows it is from HyperHawk.   I would be upset about the switch (if it was a switch or hidden), except I got the 5yr factory warranty, so it is OK.  Ordered Aug. 30, recvd Sept 6, warranty to Sept. 30, 2026.  I think they go by mfg date plus 1 month to sell, plus 5 yr., or something similar.

It is difficult to know if you are getting factory warranty, or dealer warranty which is more risky.  In this case, if Seagate factory did not show for the serial number I received, I would have returned it.  But it is scary since the listing does not say "factory" warranty.

 

On 9/5/2021 at 10:01 PM, Lolight said:

I don't consider SMR drives to be a bargain, even at $130 per 8 TB prices.

Is Exos an SMR?  If it is not SMR, then that's one more reason it is a sweet spot for me.

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5 hours ago, xrqp said:

Is Exos an SMR?  If it is not SMR, then that's one more reason it is a sweet spot for me.

I was referring to the 8TB drive sold by Costco.

There are currently no SMR drives in capacities of 10TB and larger.

With the exception of the recently announced Seagate 20TB model (still unknown at this point when it will hit retail)

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4 hours ago, xrqp said:

You are correct, this Exos is CMR.  Here it the Amazon listing title:

Seagate Exos X18 18TB Enterprise HDD - CMR 3.5 Inch Hyperscale SATA 6Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 512e and 4Kn FastFormat, Low Latency with Enhanced Caching (ST18000NM000J).

All of Seagate NAS (IronWolf/IronwWolf Pro) and Enterprise (Exos) HDDs in any capacity are always CMR.

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On 9/5/2021 at 10:01 PM, Lolight said:

I don't consider SMR drives to be a bargain, even at $130 per 8 TB prices.

I have had disk errors and disk failures lately, and it seems to be with 8TB SMR drives (mostly shucked).  On-line I only see info about how slow they can be.  Can't find much about failures.  But I think they fail more too, and fail within about 2 years.  I am regretting them.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/12/2021 at 3:58 AM, xrqp said:

I have had disk errors and disk failures lately, and it seems to be with 8TB SMR drives (mostly shucked).  On-line I only see info about how slow they can be.  Can't find much about failures.  But I think they fail more too, and fail within about 2 years.  I am regretting them.  

 

I have ~60 harddrives with 24 of them being 8TB Seagate Archive drives that is using SMR technology. They are all 8 years old and not a single one of them have failed so far, so I do not think SMR have a general failure problem. 

 

These Archive drives are actually the oldest drives I have. The rest of the drives is a mix of Western Digital Red, Seagate Ironwolf and Exos ranging from 8 to 18TB. I have had failures in all of these series of drives. but nothing out of the ordinary. In general I consider all of them quite stable. 

 

But it is a small sample size. Would be interesting to see some larger statistics on this. 

 

Edited by RecycledBits
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On 9/6/2021 at 12:25 AM, xrqp said:

What hard drive purchase makes sense today, Sept. 2021? 

For me, it is 18TB Seagate Exos, w 5yr warranty.  Amazon $400.  ($22/tb)

[.....]

 

For me it is mostly either Seagate Exos 18TB or Toshiba MG09 18TB Series of hard drives. Here in Europe they are priced very similar and they both comes with 5 years warranty. I prefer these larger drives for the same reasons as you and would like to add power consumption. Larger capacity = Less drives = Less hardware (HD's, HBA's, Cabinets etc) = Smaller electrical bill. 

 

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Hey RecycledBits, thanks for your post.  I had not thought about the energy saving of one 18TB vs two of 9TB, but it makes sense.  

 

I would give more weight to your experience since you had a lot more drives than me.  Were many of your 8TB SMR used in unraid array? 

Not sure if that makes any difference.  Other posts said SMR worked very well in unraid.  

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  • 4 months later...
On 9/24/2021 at 11:05 AM, RecycledBits said:

 

For me it is mostly either Seagate Exos 18TB or Toshiba MG09 18TB Series of hard drives. Here in Europe they are priced very similar and they both comes with 5 years warranty. I prefer these larger drives for the same reasons as you and would like to add power consumption. Larger capacity = Less drives = Less hardware (HD's, HBA's, Cabinets etc) = Smaller electrical bill. 

 

Prices on 18TB definitely seem to be the new sweet spot. I bought 2x 18TB Toshiba MG09ACA yesterday for €269/pcs from Mindfactory. That’s under €15/TB, haven’t seen that in a while. Especially since this is a enterprise drive with 5 year warranty. I’ve bought WD Elements and shucked before, but those prices aren’t this good anymore. Can’t believe 18TB will be the new “normal”, feels like yesterday 8TB drives were considered massive.. 😅

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Price is dropping in USA for the Seagate.  These prices are USA per drive, before tax, but include free shipping:

2021-9   $390

2021-11   $370

2022-2   $320  (for me, with tax, is $350)

 

Kim, agreed that the jump from 8TB to 18TB was a big surprise (and very welcome).  For decades in the past, the sweet spot size increase was usually much smaller - or incremental.  This is a huge jump of great significance to data hoarders, like I suspect many unraiders are.

 

I see your source has the Toshiba 18TB at €269 ($308) including VAT tax and including shipping.  That is excellent and beats my USA price.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This thread got me looking at 16-18Gb drives in detail.  I have a couple of disks in my server that are getting close to 10yo and it might be an idea to replace/upgrade them before they start throwing errors. 

 

In peoples experience, how are the Seagate Exos reliability wise in UnRaid?  I've always used Seagate but either the Ironwolf series or Barracuda.  The Exos seems to be cheaper than the IronWolf Pro and competing Toshiba models at the moment so they are tempting.  

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6 hours ago, dalben said:

The Exos seems to be cheaper than the IronWolf Pro and competing Toshiba models at the moment so they are tempting.  

Keep in mind when comparing prices that many Exos drives are being sold without a direct Seagate warranty attached - only warranted by third party sellers.

Retailer often omit this important detail.

Sometimes they also sell the new-old stock with unknown storage/handling history.

Edited by Lolight
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16 hours ago, Lolight said:

Keep in mind when comparing prices that many Exos drives are being sold without a direct Seagate warranty attached - only warranted by third party sellers.

Retailer often omit this important detail.

Sometimes they also sell the new-old stock with unknown storage/handling history.

 

Thanks, I wasn't aware of the warranty situation.  I'll have to rethink what works best.  I went through a period a few years ago where I replaced quite a few drives within the warranty period, but as stated I have a couple of others that are reaching 10yo.  

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On 2/17/2022 at 6:21 AM, Lolight said:

Keep in mind when comparing prices that many Exos drives are being sold without a direct Seagate warranty attached - only warranted by third party sellers.

Retailer often omit this important detail.

Sometimes they also sell the new-old stock with unknown storage/handling history.

 

Is that something new? I have personally never experienced this with Seagate. They have always honored the 5 years warranty and I always just choose the cheapest supplier here in Denmark. 

 

The only time I have experienced something simular was with WD drives. It was impossible to see from the model number and it came as a very big surprise for me that the drive only came with 1 year warranty (and died after 1½ year). This was around the WD Red SMR scandal and I haven't purchased WD since. 

 

 

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Of the 8 drives I got (all 18TB Exos), 3 had to be sent back for exchange due to immediate failure.  38% dead on arrival, is bad.  I only buy from vendors giving easy returns, and free shipping if defective.  So I keep on ordering.  As soon as I receive a drive, I go online, input serial number, and check warranty.  So far, all 8 have had 5yr warranty.  If not, I would return.

 

10 to 15 years ago, I thought WD was better than Seagate, but for the last 7 years, I think they are equal, and am not at all sure if one is better than the other.   I did try to determine if one is better, but I could not determine.  Hence the warranty is important for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Newegg has user reviews of the 18TB Exos, and I interpret it as one "Dead on Arrival" for every 5 ordered.  My experience is worse, but I still ordered one more today for $310 from serverpartdeals.com w free ship to USA.  before, my usual source was Amazon, but they have none today.  I am depending on the 5yr warranty and hoping if not DOA it will be OK.  If DOA I return it.  Of course I'd rather that the DOA rate be much much lower. 

 

Maybe the 18TB HGST, for $350 from serverpartdeals.com are a better choice?  I don't see much info about the DOA rates, but the low quantity info shows them to be much better in that regards, but only 17 reviews at newegg, so not too meaningful (1 DOA per 17).

Edited by xrqp
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On 3/21/2022 at 4:05 AM, xrqp said:

Newegg has user reviews of the 18TB Exos, and I interpret it as one "Dead on Arrival" for every 5 ordered.

Maybe the 18TB HGST, for $350 from serverpartdeals.com are a better choice?

If those reviews resemble reality then those drives have been subject to some extreme storage/handling conditions.

What was your experience and with which re-seller?

Why would you even consider dealing with that re-seller?

Do you have a good reason to assume that serverpartdeals.com offer drives backed by Seagate's 5-year warranty?

Edited by Lolight
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/22/2022 at 2:34 AM, Lolight said:

1. If those reviews resemble reality then those drives have been subject to some extreme storage/handling conditions.

2. What was your experience and with which re-seller?

3. Why would you even consider dealing with that re-seller?

4. Do you have a good reason to assume that serverpartdeals.com offer drives backed by Seagate's 5-year warranty?

I numbered your lines to reply to each.

1.  I do not think we can know the reason for failures, if it is bad production, shipping mishandling, warehouse conditions etc.  At least I did not research that.

2. On Amazon, all in 2021,  i bought from "tech on tech" once (and had a exchange w 2nd one good), and "hyperhawk" 2 or 3 times and had exchange w 2nd one good, about 2 times.  I also bought from non-Amazon as described above in the thread, and I think it was no return problems from non-amazon, I can't remember for sure.  

3.  Low price.  I know I can test it when I get it, and I can check warranty, and if problems, it is fairly easy for me to return. UPS store is very nearby.

4.  As soon as I receive, I always go online, enter the serial and model and check warranty, regardless of vendor.  So far I have not had any problem with that for the Seagate 18TBs.  I also do Crystal Disk Info to make sure it is unused.  I also do unraid preclear once or twice.  No warranty problems, no preclear problems.  Only DOA problems so far. 

 

I think a vendor who sells a lot, could trick Crystal Disk Info by resetting some of the hard drive metadata (maybe it is in firmware or a protected area of the disk). Do you think that there is a good chance they can do that?

Edited by xrqp
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