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The three major HDD manufacturers are selling slower drives, without telling us

7 hours ago, leadeater said:

-I doubt any high volume data recovery firm cares what the specific disks are or has any real opinion on the matter, they will see a lot of Seagate disks just by the nature of the brand being highly common.-

Yes, that is a perspective and you are right! If it were the case and the drives were that bad, no one would buy hard drives anymore.

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10 hours ago, Kilrah said:

Of course not since the domestic lineups never included SMR drives before... Their use was limited to those archival drives, alledgedly becasue they were considered too poor to even go in domestic drives and their use required disclosure of that feature. The problem is that they decided to silently change this stance...

IIRC some 2.5inch external (internal too?) consumer drives did use SMR. No idea if they mention it in a seperate whitepaper/spec sheet to their website, but one I have I *was* able to find out. So some manufactures not mentioning it is bad. Why? It's physical and material performance related.

 

The car manufactures don't mention what material my brake pedal is made of... but if they turned it to plastic, which does not like high heels and breaks, people might get annoyed for not having a memo!

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21 minutes ago, seagate_surfer said:

You will be wise enough to know as long as you can pick the right drive, Would you drive a minivan down the race track? Disk drives keep track of various drive usage such as power-on hours, lifetime writes and lifetime reads from the host computer.

 

This is long term reliability data that's great for enterprise but only part of the picture, the short term performance data is still missing from the datasheets.

When the only performance spec is "Data Transfer Rate Up To X" and is the same over an entire line of drives how can I know that drive 1 will be able to take my 100GB of video footage at 200MB/s and drive 2 only at 100, for example becasue it's an SMR drive?

 

As a private and small business customer that's pretty much the only thing I care about. I don't even care much about reliability, I have dual backups so if a drive fails tomorrow or in 2 years doesn't matter much, what I need to know is how it performs for the job I'm doing today, and it's impossible to get that information from the manufacturer.

 

I really hope one day drive manufacturers start catering to the spec needs of everyone, not just enterprise. Having reliability data is great, but performance is just as important and is never quoted. Yet they do it for SSDs so it's not about "but we can't becasue it's workload dependent".

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6 hours ago, Kilrah said:

A year is short, and it's basically what people are finding out now. Until then it was not really a thing apart from specifically labeled archival drives.

 

Again SMR was always pointed out as being either a cost saving measure or a way to get more capacity. A 2TB 3.5" drive doesn't need SMR for capacity, and from what I can see the SMR variants aren't really cheaper than the CMR variant at retail. So people get less and it's normal they're frustrated.

 

In the past 10 years 5400 has been the standard for desktop drives. I remember the pain trying to get 7200rpm ones a few years ago, almost impossible to find any. Only the WD blacks and nobody carried them. 

Is not densities making it not as much a bad problem having a 5400? With more platters and higher magnetic fidelity? Or is throughput slower or seek time worse, but TBs per disk larger?

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7 hours ago, Kilrah said:

Nice summary indeed.

Thank you! 

7 hours ago, Kilrah said:

That's the whole problem discussed here, WD having silently pushed SMR drives into their NAS lineup, on models that are of low enough capacity that SMR isn't required and at the same price as CMR ones. You buy what is supposed to be good for the purpose and get something that isn't. Seagate might not be guilty of this but it's obviously sparking industry-wide scrutiny.

I don't know what happened to WD but this seems to sum it up:

 

bmhqubd2dlt41.png

7 hours ago, Kilrah said:

To me those "solution oriented" marketing guides are worthless when they aren't backed by tech info, i.e. pretty much always. If you don't mention what characteristics you consider appropriate for what use then marketing can then shove any tech into any category as fits the current availability, rather than what actually matters. Of course the tech info should be secondary and not invade the guides for clueless consumers, but should be available. And detailed enough to matter.

I see what you're saying, they tried to put it all in the same presentation. Yes, I guess they could have also put the links to the product specs when you click on the name or something, yeah...

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8 hours ago, seagate_surfer said:

To be fair, manufacturers try to guide buyers on the right path for their use case, but much of that guidance information is lost when the buyer is often blinded by price.

Checking if the drive is 7200RPM vs 5400RPM and how many years warranty it has compared to the weight of the drive and how much cache it has is not intuitive and not something the consumer should have to know or do to be able to determine if it's SMR. It's pretty obvious by this news that most people weren't aware of what they were buying. The blame for that falls squarely on the manufacturers for failing to provide the information to consumers.

 

Just include the information in the spec sheet. List if the drive is SMR or PMR. Most people won't care and will continue to make their purchasing decision based on price, but those that do care will be able to make an informed buying decision and can consider buying a different model if PMR is important to them.

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5 minutes ago, Spotty said:

Just include the information in the spec sheet. List if the drive is SMR or PMR. Most people won't care and will continue to make their purchasing decision based on price, but those that do care will be able to make an informed buying decision and can consider buying a different model if PMR is important to them.

or given how long model numbers are just add a character that represents that so we don't have to go digging through product information sheets. have it fixed across an entire company.

 

Basically all this says to me is if you actually care about performance and don't want to get BS in the desktop space grab the black, X300, barracuda pro. I hate digging through product sheets

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6 hours ago, hitardo said:

Processors change series (or generation).

This way, you have a way to tell the difference.

 

HDD have families, but not generations.

This is wrong doing.

You know ever HD has a different number right?  Because they are a different product.   why would you assume all hard drives are the same just because they are the same size made by the same company?

 

 

 

QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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41 minutes ago, mr moose said:

You know ever HD has a different number right?  Because they are a different product.   why would you assume all hard drives are the same just because they are the same size made by the same company?

 

 

 

Because typically most HDD lines will go through dozens of revisions with slightly different model numbers but the same performance and reliability. The general expectation is that if something significant changes, it would either be introduced as a new line or it would be a bigger rebrand of an existing line. At the absolute minimum it should be added to the specs list on all of the big etailer's product listing. 

 

I don't understand all of the people arguing in favor of the company's doing this. Is it a life ruining bit of false/misleading marketing? No, but why would you ever not want the end consumer to have more information? I don't see anyone in either of the two threads on this topic arguing that they shouldn't sell SMR drives, just put it on the damn box so the more informed consumers actually know what they're buying. 

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Just now, Unixsystem said:

Because typically most HDD lines will go through dozens of revisions with slightly different model numbers but the same performance and reliability.

but different.  even if it's only one character it is still different.

Just now, Unixsystem said:

The general expectation is that if something significant changes, it would either be introduced as a new line or it would be a bigger rebrand of an existing line.

 

Who's fault is that? they didn't sell it as the same product.

Just now, Unixsystem said:

At the absolute minimum it should be added to the specs list on all of the big etailer's product listing. 

 

I don't understand all of the people arguing in favor of the company's doing this. Is it a life ruining bit of false/misleading marketing? No, but why would you ever not want the end consumer to have more information? I don't see anyone in either of the two threads on this topic arguing that they shouldn't sell SMR drives, just put it on the damn box so the more informed consumers actually know what they're buying. 

 

Because I don't see there being a problem.  no one has even been able to tell me what the performance difference is.  Some of the drives they say are SMR aren't even made anymore and if it wasn't for the issue with WD reds (which may not be SMR related) many people may not even have known about it. 

 

To me this whole argument is a bit like someone finding out the radiator in their brand new car is made from plastic rather than aluminum and is demanding it be listed in the specs because the performance difference is "Huge" (when it's actually noticable in domestic use).  

 

And just so there is no confusion, because people seem assume I am talking about WD drives, I am not, I have never talked about WD drives in this thread, all my comments have been about the PR seagate are getting because there is a problem with WD and NAS use.  I have pointed this out several times but it doesn't seem to matter. 

 

 

 

 

QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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9 hours ago, hitardo said:

Thank you for you great insight.

You are welcome! 

9 hours ago, hitardo said:

And I agree with you: consumer needs are significantly different from the enterprise.

That's for sure, they are two separate worlds.

9 hours ago, hitardo said:

And, NAS - for consumers - is not a cold storage, in my opinion.

NAS is accessed more frequently.

That's not what i said, sorry if you misunderstood me. Cold storage is not the only use for SMR, but I didn't mean to say that NAS is cold storage, just the opposite. In response to whether IronWolf is SMR or not I said: 

  • The characteristics of an SMR drive are not the characteristics of a NAS-type HDD.
  • There are also cheap non-SMR hard drives in the cheapest line of all, the BarraCuda! And they have only a 2 year warranty too.
  • Basically the SMR market is "the lowest cost per GB" market, and IronWolf does not meet that characteristic, also remember that SMR is not for performance focused tasks and that is also another feature that does not fit. IronWolf does offer an excellent performance on high performance tasks because it is a NAS type HDD that offers a level-like-Enterprise (the Pro is even closer) performance. So the NAS drives cannot be SMR because of the nature of SMR itself and the projected tasks of what the HDD will be doing inside a NAS device.

It was you who started this thread and in response to your first comment I said:

  • external HDDs are cheaper, because you are not supposed to buy an external storage device and try to connect it in your NAS equipment, that's not how things work. "Cold storage" means data that is not accessed frequently. So, you don't need performance if your application will be cold storage...

I said this because I wanted to reinforce the fact that a backup unit must remain inside the backup enclosure and not outside, because when you take them out and put them to work on something they weren't made for, the things that happened in the Louis Rossmann video happen, then I said:

  • For example, buying SMR drives for your NAS device would be ugly due to all the rewrites that may be involved. So don't do that and buy NAS drives if you are going to put them inside a NAS device. And also, chances are that the units within external devices are SMR units, and that fact may not be obvious, but now you know! So please don't do hardware shucking and if you do (because people don't listen), forget about NAS usage.
9 hours ago, hitardo said:

And WD Red (up to 6GB) are commonly used in NAS application.

Yes, I saw that the WD NAS line was what started this hot new topic. The truth is that I totally ignore what WD is doing, but SG has not yet made the newest technology available to the public because those HAMR-type HDDs don't just rely on SMR, but also in other techniques and technologies like CMR, MACH.2 and TDMR and they reach SSD transfer speeds, but are currently unique to data centers. The Exos 5E8 also explicitly says that it is SMR, but it is also on a Enterprise level, it is not supposed to use this type of models in normal machines because a normal machine is not ready for them, they lack some features to fully extract everything they can offer. I also said that Archive v2 hard drives for cold storage were the old school drives for business, but it is no longer available on our website.

9 hours ago, hitardo said:

And your text confirms my theory:

They want to separate further their non-Pro to their Pro families of products.

 

Cheers.

I've reinforced this up, but once again. Standard drives can handle roughly 55TB of writings per year, and that's on regular weekdays (about 8-hr shifts to 12-hr shifts), 5 days a week and they can easily do that, regardless of whether they are SMR or not. A home NAS may need more than 3 times that horsepower and data centers 10 times that amount. One does not simply buy standard units for use at a projected NAS level.

 

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8 hours ago, Spotty said:

Checking if the drive is 7200RPM vs 5400RPM and how many years warranty it has compared to the weight of the drive and how much cache it has is not intuitive and not something the consumer should have to know or do to be able to determine if it's SMR. It's pretty obvious by this news that most people weren't aware of what they were buying. The blame for that falls squarely on the manufacturers for failing to provide the information to consumers.

Just include the information in the spec sheet. List if the drive is SMR or PMR. Most people won't care and will continue to make their purchasing decision based on price, but those that do care will be able to make an informed buying decision and can consider buying a different model if PMR is important to them.

Yes, I also think so from my own perspective of a single worker and it is only an opinion! But Seagate has made this clear since the technology was first introduced in 2013 and so far it doesn't look any different. Checking the RPM and the warranty is not written anywhere, I only made it up after comparing all the spec-sheets of all HDDs one by one available on the website. Seagate's policy is clear, they won't reveal which ones use SMR or PMR, but I hope everyone willing to be more informed than the average consumer can find this, and can also use it to help them make a better purchase decision.

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8 hours ago, GDRRiley said:

or given how long model numbers are just add a character that represents that so we don't have to go digging through product information sheets. have it fixed across an entire company.

 

Basically all this says to me is if you actually care about performance and don't want to get BS in the desktop space grab the black, X300, barracuda pro. I hate digging through product sheets

I should have included you in the answer I made for Spotty above.😅👍

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17 hours ago, Kilrah said:

...In the past 10 years 5400 has been the standard for desktop drives. I remember the pain trying to get 7200rpm ones a few years ago, almost impossible to find any. Only the WD blacks and nobody carried them. 

I wouldn't say "nobody". I never would use 5400 rpm drives in a desktop computer (I did use them for backup drives, though). Back when I was still using HDDs, I had no trouble getting 7200 rpm WD Blacks, even 7200 rpm 2.5" Blacks, but I had to order them online (usually from Newegg) since I couldn't get them locally, despite living in a megalopolis.

 

I have to pretty much buy everything I need for my computers online since shopping in the Phoenix Metro area is like shopping in BF, Outer Mongolia. It's why I keep a spare of every kind of drive I use on hand so, if one dies, I can get back up and running right away with the spare and have more time to replace the spare, especially since sometimes they are out of stock everywhere.

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One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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This looks like a job for ZIL logs. (SMR is worst with bursty loads). 

 

In full seriousness, I had to research what part to get for a replacement drive yesterday. If it's a NAS drive I should be able to assume ok performance. 

 

Garbage tier stuff can go for WD greens and other eco options that are meant for bulk storage. 

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1 hour ago, Lady Fitzgerald said:

I wouldn't say "nobody". I never would use 5400 rpm drives in a desktop computer (I did use them for backup drives, though). Back when I was still using HDDs, I had no trouble getting 7200 rpm WD Blacks, even 7200 rpm 2.5" Blacks, but I had to order them online (usually from Newegg) since I couldn't get them locally, despite living in a megalopolis.

 

I have to pretty much buy everything I need for my computers online since shopping in the Phoenix Metro area is like shopping in BF, Outer Mongolia. It's why I keep a spare of every kind of drive I use on hand so, if one dies, I can get back up and running right away with the spare and have more time to replace the spare, especially since sometimes they are out of stock everywhere.

Both HDDs I had in my desktop, one 6 year old (1TB) and one 3 year old ish (2TB), both was 7200 rpm Seagate Barracuda drives.

 

Also, Seagate NAS drives, Ironwolf, is 7200 rpm from what I can see.

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I am not against SMR.

I think - as said before - if there is a use case for it with enough demand, that technology will survive.

HDDs are not going anywhere!

 

However, I am against manufacturers decreasing significantly the performance of a product, without letting the consumer know.

It is important to highlight that these HDD remained on the same family of products, without a change in labelling, marketing name, or even specification sheets.

 

This is not transparent, and consumer will be mislead by previous tests, reviews, and experiences.

Always willing to help :)

From Portugal with love.

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11 hours ago, mr moose said:

You know ever HD has a different number right?  Because they are a different product.   why would you assume all hard drives are the same just because they are the same size made by the same company?

 

 

 

No one from consumers looks at the version numbers. Not to a point it would seriously matter. We just generally look at series, like "WD Black" or "WD Red". And if there are some notable differences they should be openly disclosed. For example, when I was initially looking at WD UltraStar drives, they stated rather obviously which are classic drives and which are helium filled with HelioSeal designation. But they are all called UltraStar as whole.

 

I then picked a cheaper 5400RPM Barracuda 8TB because I had doubts that UltraStar HelioSeal drives are as quiet as specs said at 7200RPM, despite helium. Silence was my top priority. I think I found out it's SMR from Geizhals itself since I was looking for them there, because Seagate page didn't mention it at all. But it didn't bother me and I was fine with it because the drive is meant for hoarding. It's still fast enough and used as individual drive doing reads mostly. I was educated because I was buying new HDD after some 10 years and figured things have changed a lot and I was also specifically looking for quietest HDD so I had to dig through spec sheets of all of them and didn't care in the end. Who expected them to silently swap recording method within same series without mentioning it? Of course you just buy same series without going into details.

 

They could just come forth with the info about it on their webpage and also give a headsup to few major tech sites and info would spread like wildfire. Sure some small % would take it negatively, but most would probably accept it as good gesture of being honest and warning people that change has been done and that you have to pay attention to version number in this very specific case. It would literally cost them nothing to send such "article" to tech sites and some small cost for updating the webpage. They've opted not to and now it's the real PR nightmare going on. Where all this could rather easily be avoided. Saying they just didn't know something like this would happen is just BS. They live from designing, manufacturing and selling HDD's. That would be like saying Volkswagen doesn't know how internal combustion engine works. They damn well knew what they were doing.

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On 4/18/2020 at 3:23 PM, hitardo said:

Geizhals, a German-language price comparison website, lists seven Seagate SMR drives

- Barracuda 2TB – 7,200rpm – SATA 6gig – model name – ST2000DM008

Source: https://blocksandfiles.com/2020/04/15/seagate-2-4-and-8tb-barracuda-and-desktop-hdd-smr/

 

@Demonking apparently, the HDD you mentioned is affected.

 

Model: ST2000DM008 

By the link you posted: https://www.newegg.com/seagate-barracuda-st2000dm008-2tb/p/N82E16822184773?item=N82E16822184773

Always willing to help :)

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8 minutes ago, jagdtigger said:

@hitardo

I think you should add this to the OP:

https://www.ixsystems.com/community/threads/list-of-known-smr-drives.83993/

 

A lot of good info is accumulated in that thread.

Thank you!

It seems to have good information - but I am not able to verify it all.

 

At the moment, I was not able to edit the original post.

I will do it later.

Always willing to help :)

From Portugal with love.

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And the whole problem literally happened because of this. Do you actually care if drive has EAXF at the end of model number or that it's EEXF ? No, of course not, for RAID you just look if it's of same series (Red) and specs like RPM. This is why this whole controversy and problems even happened in the first place. People looked at the shops, picked WD Red drive based on those specs coz they already had those, stuck them in their NAS or whatever and the thing shit its pants. It's only after all this happened that info came out that "hey, after certain model number, those are actually SMR drives that don't work too well with existing CMR drives". From a 3rd party not vendors themselves! And people who bought a whole new thing from a new batch where they were all SMR's there probably wasn't even a problem where in mixed setups it was. I mean, how often does anyone buys a single WD Red drive for purposes of using it as a single drive? They should've seen this coming and they could avoid it all by just being open about it. People would forget about the fact they are SMR from now on much faster than about not just 1 but ALL the HDD vendors lying about it and hoping they wouldn't get caught. For speeds users would often blame their setups or local problems so I bet they were hoping no one would notice it. Why else they'd be so quiet about it and hiding it everywhere. Hell, you can't even see that from speed specs because they always only state read specs iirc and SMR mostly affects write ones so that also gets hidden within available specs.

Edited by Spotty

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* thread cleaned *

 

Any more childish insults and this thread will be locked.

Edited by wkdpaul

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On 4/18/2020 at 10:14 AM, hitardo said:

I, personally, will contact my local authorities and file a complaint!

I don't know about Portugal, but in the US you would only have a case if you actually bought one of the products thinking it was a different product.

And even then, it's a false advertising case and you would have to prove that it caused you harm. Beyond that, to get a lawyer to do it you would have to have a case that makes the value of that harm greater than $10,000 USD, otherwise it's just a small claims court thing.

This very post undermines that effort, because it proves that you knew what you were buying before you bought it, and could not possibly have fallen into a false advertising trap.

Just my two cents anyway. My recommendation would be a boycott: Just don't buy any hard drives from those manufacturers. If enough people do that, then they'll start identifying them so they can start getting customers again.

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