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Need an opinion on choice for OS harddrive: Seagate 250gb VS WD 320gb

post #1 of 2
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For all WD Raptor fans - I'm looking to REPLACE Raptor, not get one.

The story goes... I got WD740GD (the older 74gb Raptor with 8mb of cache), which I've been using for quite a while already. Speed is alright but I haven't really noticed much of an improvement over my WD 250gb when I replaced it. However, it does bother me in terms of noise - although it's quiet when idling, I can hear it quite well at night when it's reading or writing something (the computer is in my bedroom, turned on 24/7, and all other components are nearly silent). I was thinking about selling my Raptor and buying the ADFD one but I've seen lots and lots of complaints that these drives are also not the quitest ones, so I'm done with Raptors and going back to 7200rpm drives.

So, for replacement I decided to get one single-platter 160gb-320gb hard drive.

My top choice would be Samsung F1 320gb/250gb, both of which utilize a single platter but I haven't been able to find any store that carries them. It seems, they're not available in Canada.

I'm kind of stuck between two options right now: Seagate ST3250410AS 250gb and the recently released WD WD3200AAKS-00B3A0 320gb.
I usually try to stick with WD. The 5-year warranty of Seagate is nice and all, but I've read that most of the time Seagate's failure rate is slightly higher and their acoustics are worse than WD, although Seagate is slightly better in terms of performance. WD seems to have slightly faster seek times but about 10-15% slower reading times, and I'm not so sure which one's more imporant for the main OS drive (again - the performance is important, but WD or Seagate - they must be silent either way).
Both of these utilize single platter and get very good online reviews. Also, according to those same reviews, both of these drives are quiet, though I'm not sure HOW quiet. For me, I don't need the 0dba kind, which simply is unrealistic. As long as the drive can work without reminding me of its presence - it's fine. Or is it more of hit or miss kind of situation, where one drive can be completely silent, while the other will be like a space shuttle on take off?
Which one of these would be a better performer for my needs?

Can you make other recommendations for fast and quiet single-platter 160gb-320gb hdd?

As of right now, I'm running EP35-DS3R with e6400 at 2.8ghz and 3x1gb Buffalo Firestix 800mhz. I'm planning to replace e6400 with either q6600/q6700 or e8400 and run it at 3.5ghz, so it seems like harddrives will really be the only bottleneck in my system.
Most of the stuff I will be doing - surfing the net/reading online (MAJOR point, sometimes with 35-50 internet windows/tabs open at the same time), listening to music and audio books (also very important), watching movies, some documents in Word/Excel, and minor conversion of music/movies and checking for viruses/spyware (like 5-7 times a year, so not important enough to consider). A little gaming, a bit of Photoshop, and that's pretty much it.

PS: Buying any drive over 320gb is completely out of question - I don't need that much storage and it's just waste of space and money.

After doing some major research online, I no longer consider setting up RAID0 due to more problems gained than solved.

If you have used either of Seagate ST3250410AS or WD WD3200AAKS-00B3A0 (especially several of the same drives), I'd like to hear of your experience with them.

Thanks for your help, guys.
Mr. Wonderful
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6700 @ 2.8ghz Gigabyte EP35-DS3R Galaxy 8800gt OC 4x1gb Buffalo Firestix 800mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB + WD 250GB Samsung S203B Ubuntu 8.04 + WinXP Pro SP3 Samsung 226BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
MS Ergonomic 4000 Seasonic S12 550w Thermaltake Armor G5 
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Mr. Wonderful
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6700 @ 2.8ghz Gigabyte EP35-DS3R Galaxy 8800gt OC 4x1gb Buffalo Firestix 800mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB + WD 250GB Samsung S203B Ubuntu 8.04 + WinXP Pro SP3 Samsung 226BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
MS Ergonomic 4000 Seasonic S12 550w Thermaltake Armor G5 
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post #2 of 2
From my experience, WD are better drives than Seagate. I have yet to have a Western Digital hard drive fail, i even have some ancient 4GB WD drives that still work flawlessly. Cant say the same about my old seagate ones.

I would go with Western Digital considering their acoustics, build quality, and customer service. Trust me, you wont notice a 15% performance difference, but you will notice noise.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 XFX HD5870 16GB G.Skill RipjawsX 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
60GB OCZ Vertex 3 + 2x TB Seagate LG DVD+RW Stock Intel Windows 7 64bit / OSX Mountain Lion 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell ST2210 + 17" IBM Das Ultimate S Antec TruePower 650W Antec P183 
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Logitech MX Revolution X-Trac Ripper Objective 2 + ODAC Combo Sennheiser HD650 + Klipsch 2.1 Promedia 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 XFX HD5870 16GB G.Skill RipjawsX 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
60GB OCZ Vertex 3 + 2x TB Seagate LG DVD+RW Stock Intel Windows 7 64bit / OSX Mountain Lion 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell ST2210 + 17" IBM Das Ultimate S Antec TruePower 650W Antec P183 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech MX Revolution X-Trac Ripper Objective 2 + ODAC Combo Sennheiser HD650 + Klipsch 2.1 Promedia 
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