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Which WD HD's will work best in a Desktop 24/7 RAID 10 and RAID 1 environment? Red, Green, or AV-GP?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
I am in the process of speccing out a new computer build and I am having a lot of issues deciding on which hard drives to use. I have conducted multiple searches, read lots of reviews, and have been unable to decide, so I thought I would turn to the expertise of OC.net to get some input.

My computer is being designed to be an overall powerhouse. In everyday use, I handle lots of media watching and downloading, CAD/CAM, video editing, Microsoft Office, Gaming, Enterprise compatibility and technical support and more. Currently the main focus of this build is to enhance the reliability over my current system (which is outdated and by no means a powerful computer) as I have no backup solutions in place. My main concern is protecting my collection of 805 Movies and 73 complete TV Shows (4667 Episodes), with my regular data coming in as a secondary concern. Currently all of my media resides on a single (full) 3TB Western Digital Green WD30EZRX drive with my data on a (not full) 1.5TB Western Digital Green WD15EARS drive.

My current plan is to have 4 3TB drives in RAID 10 so I have the 6TB space to expand my media collection for the foreseeable future along with the redundancy offered by RAID 1.
I will also have 2 1TB or 2TB drives in RAID 1 for my regular data and extra operating systems.
To round out my hard drives, My OS, along with critical applications will reside on an SSD.

I have been considering the WD Red, Green and AV-GP hard drive lines as they all offer the 3TB disk capacity I am seeking for my media as well as slightly smaller drives for my data.
The 24/7 design of the Red and AV-GP's is also very attractive as my system is almost always running
However, I have read and heard mixed reviews on all of them, which is where I need some advice.
I am not considering the WD Black or RE drives as they will push my build into a price range well upwards of $3000.

I am currently very happy with my 3TB Western Digital WD30EZRX, as after 400 days of on time it has not skipped a beat. I would purchase 4 more, however I am concerned about the possible longevity of these drives in a 24/7 on environment with a RAID implementation. This has led me to explore the Red and AV-GP series, however these have showed me some concerns as well.
I have read on these forums that the AV-GP's, since they are optimized for video surveillance and streaming applications, do not handle error checking since the check time is a critical issue. As far as the Red series, I have read that since they are designed specifically for a NAS environment, that they should not be installed in a desktop build due to the differing firmware from normal consumer drives.

Are these concerns legitimate? Which drives would be the best choice?

tl;dr
3TB Western Digital WD30EZRX is my current hard drive and is full of my media collection
Moving to a RAID 10 array (4X 3TB) for my media and a RAID 1 array (2X 1TB/2TB) for normal data.
WD RE and Black HD's are too expensive.

Will WD Greens perform and have longevity in a 24/7 RAID environment?
If no, I am considering WD Red or AV-GP HD's.
Will WD Red's work and perform well in a COMPUTER RAID array even though they are designed for a NAS environment?
Do AV-GP's really not support error recovery and how will this effect my arrays should an error occur?
Is there anything else with these drives that I should know about that I don't already?
In your opinion which option would be the best choice?


Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 20
Hey mate,

Ok so i'm gonna recommend against a RAID10 and recommend a RAID5 with a hotspare. You'll end up with more available disk space with the same level of redundancy. Go with the green drives, it's a really good choice to be honest, I think the other ones are blue's if they're still available.

I really don't think you'll end up using the extra IO from the RAID10 to be honest, it's just not very cost effective either. You'd be better off doing the work on your RAID1 OS array and moving it onto the RAID5 when you're done.

Either that or get 2x 256gb samsung 830 drives in RAID0. That would fly.

Comps
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
How much will the parity offered in RAID 5 decrease my disk space? Also I will just be using the built in RAID controller on the Asus Z77 Sabertooth, which I don't believe supports RAID 5.

Also, maybe you missed it, but the RAID 10 is just for my media, not any normal files or work. RAID 1 is just for my files and documents and alternate OS's. RAID 10 was the easiest way for me to get 6TB of redundant disk space without breaking the bank. Further the RAID solution is so I don't need to implement any extra backup solutions to a NAS, external drive etc.
post #4 of 20
http://www.ibeast.com/content/tools/RaidCalc/RaidCalc.asp

Throw your disk space etc in there and it'll work it out for you biggrin.gif but it's around 6gb of usable space with a 3gb x 3 disk setup. You could then have a hotspare if you wanted, although not sure if the RAID on the motherboard will manage the hot spare though. Hell you could just go with 4 disks.

Yes, that motherboard does support RAID5

Also, why are you going with the sabertooth, there are better boards out there for less money...

If it's going to be hosting an alternate OS then RAID 5 can be flaky when hosting an OS, the array will be fine if a disk fails however your OS may become corrupted.

Comps
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well RAID 5 is a thought for my media storage then, however I've been reading that RAID 5 is not good with large capacity dives, not to mention the rebuild time on a disk failure would be an issue for me, hence my decision for RAID 10... I think I would still keep my second array in RAID 1 for all my normal data.
I don't want to get off topic on this thread, but I'm going with the sabertooth mainly because I'm somewhat partial to Asus, The TUF and thermal armor dust and ESD protection offered is a bonus for me, all it's cooling capabilities, as well as support for all my hard drives and expansion needs for the near future. It's really the board I've wanted since I first saw it. Any suggestions for other boards?

Have you heard anything about the other drives mentioned in the OP?
post #6 of 20
I would avoid Raid 5 unless you are going to get a Perc5 or other Raid card. It will need memory on board too!
I just set up 4 1TB SAS drives in my server over the weekend, the Raid5 initialise to about 20hours with the drives chattering away the whole time!
The greens should be ok for media storage but I wouldnt run steam or other games from them in a raid situation, Ive had alot of problems from 2 500gb greens raid1 and steam.
The reds and RE edition are the way to go for a full on raid.
I would get the 4x 3tb and COPY the stuff over to it, just to be safe!
Good luck thumb.gif
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Raven
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post #7 of 20
Go for the RED drives and RAID 5 if you can. You should be fine using the on board motherboard controller for the RAID but you can pick up a RAID card if you want. The Perc5 was mentioned above but it won't work, no 3TB support. You can also try something like FlexRAID if you are so inclined.
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post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
As my price for this build has skyrocketed I'm going to be keeping with my onboard RAID controller. So I won't have any problems running the Red's in my CPU even though they are designed for NAS usage? And all of my games will be on my SSD anyways. The RAID 10 4X 3TB is only for my XBMC media center and possibly some music storage.

@BugBash What problems have you had with the Greens in RAID specifically? I've heard that WD has been silently removing some RAID features from these drives...
post #9 of 20
Trying to introduce a friend to TeamFortress2,
Installed steam on the PC with the 2 500gb greens, TF2 would work for a few rounds then lock up changing levels.
On restart, XP would then want to run its disc check which would never finish. uninstalled, format and fresh install, same again after a few rounds.
I have 2x 2tb Greens in raid1 in my sigrig, they have only ever been used for media and are doing fine at that job
I read the same things about removing raid features, Hitachi drives seem to still have most of the goodies but as they have been bought up, that may change in the future..
Im running a HP P212 raid card with 512mb cache and batterybackup. The cache memory is best for raid5, the card can get the data and parity ready to write to all drives in one hit, without it write performance is abysmal..
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post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thats a very interesting problem... I'm glad that I made the choice to not have RIADed SSD's then because I do play a good amount of steam games.
Since no problems with the RED drives have been brought up I think those are going to fill out all of my drives on this build. The 24/7 design over the Green's plus the NAS RAID environment seems pretty robust. Not to mention I would like to have both of my arrays running the same drives for simplicity sake. The dedicated support line is also a plus.

Any further comments on the Red or Green drives?
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