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What would be the ideal parity drives?


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I'm starting to plan a new unRaid server, so i wanted some advice into what would be the best parity drives, im planning to start small (fewer drives) and grow the server as the storage need increases, it will be used mostly to store large MKV files, so i was thinking on using 2x 10tb drives for parity, was checking the following,


WD 10TB Red 5400 rpm SATA III 3.5" Internal NAS HDD (WD100EFAX) - atm my preference out of being 5400rpm drive, hopping its not a very noisy drive

WD 10TB Gold 7200 rpm SATA III 3.5" Internal Datacenter HDD (WD101KRYZ) - a little worried about it being noisy out of 7200rpms, but has higher mft than the red, and price difference is only $65, only buying two, so if you think its worth it, ill go for it.

Seagate 10TB IronWolf 7200 rpm SATA III 3.5" Internal NAS HDD (ST10000VN0004) - cheaper than WD Red, but being 7200rpm idk how its going to be noise wise. 

Seagate 10TB 7200 rpm SATA 6 Gb/s 3.5" Internal Enterprise Hard Drive (ST10000NM0016) - Cheaper than the WD gold, but not by much.

Im also considering waiting for the 12tb, to have a more flexibility down the road into what i can add to the server.


Im probably going to start the data drives using WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBBGB0080HBK-NESN that constantly go in sale around $190, but as times goes by ill put whatever is good by that time.


Thanks for any suggestions,

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It's totally a personal choice of course but I don't see the need for dual parity until you get to a large number of drives. For example, I have a large unRAID server where I have maxed out the number of drives allowed on a Pro license, which is 30, 28 data and two parity. For an array that large, I feel its worth while to have dual parity. On a smaller array I don't think it's a good value proposition, you want to max out your storage, so consider using that second parity drive as a data drive instead. As for what drive is the 'best' for parity, that's up to you and what you can afford. Right now, my large server has dual 8TB Seagate archive drives for parity and they work fine, someday, when prices come down, I'll upgrade to 10TB drives, but no until they are sub $400 CAN and that may be awhile.

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I would suggest that you not try to get parity drive larger than your data drives. Sort of a waste. If there were an incredibly deal on 10T I might feel different, but right now 10T are at a premium. 


And I agree with @ashman70 concerning dual parity. Instead, consider getting an extra drive to take backups. 8T of backup is far more likely to save your bacon than 8T of dual parity, particularly in a small array. If you've already got backup plans, feel free to ignore this advice.


I bought several of the 8T Seagates that I shucked from the 8T Expansion (which are an incredible bargain at $180 US). They are the best value going.


If you'd like to take a step up in quality, look at the HGST 8T NAS at $270. 3 year warranty and HGST is definitely the reliability king. I'd pay a premium, but not 50% more.

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The general rule of thumb is to get parity drives as large as, and as fast as, your largest and fastest data drive.  Writes to the array will always be limited to the speed of the slower disk (data or parity).  That said, having faster parity drives can help if you need to support multiple writes simultaneously.  If I were building a new system I'd use 8TB WD Reds for parity (or HGST in a splurge) and the 8TB Seagate Archive drives for data.

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Thanks for the replies, i see all of you recommend going with the same size as the data, i personally thought into going in 10tb just for the parity to have the ability to add 10tb down the road.  My idea was to start with 2x10tb parity + 8x 8tb WD passport drives, i try buy my data drives around $200 or so,  atm my preference is the 8tb wd drives, but i also have used the 8tb seagate shingle drives, both are very close to $200.   Probably in a couple of years the 10tb are reaching the $200 mark, and i would just continue without changing the parity drives, but by your suggestions, is best to stick with 8tb even for pairty now, and when i start buying 10tb data drives to change also the parity drives.

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I have an Areca ARC-1200 controller. With it I can create a RAID0 drive from two smaller drives. So I currently have 2 4T drives creating an 8T drive I use for parity. When I step up to 10T, I'll be able to take 2 existing 5T drives, make a 10T parity, and buy a new 10T data drive. And when I am ready to go to 12T, I'll take 2 6T drives and do the same. Then with 16T, I'll use 2 8T drives. I like that I am never wasting parity capacity, and able to make immediate fulll use of a single larger capacity drive. If I were buying today I'd look at the ARC-1203-2i. Same basic card but PCIe 2.0 instead of 1.1. Shame they are so pricey. Shouldn't be.

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1 hour ago, Abula said:

best to stick with 8tb even for pairty now, and when i start buying 10tb data drives to change also the parity drives.

The first 10TB you put in your server would replace your 8TB parity1, and you could then add that 8TB back to the array as data, so you would only be "losing" 2TB temporarily. You purchased 10 but gained 8. Second 10TB would do the same for parity2, gain 8 more TB. 3rd 10TB purchase would net the full 10.


By the time you need 8 more TB storage, hopefully the price of the 10's will be similar to what you are currently paying for 8 anyway.


Don't overbuy capacity beyond 1 drive size, unless you feel the need to keep cold spares on the shelf.


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