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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm in the process of building my next rig (probably bit off more than I can chew, but that's part of the fun... usually) and I'm having a really hard time figuring out what drives to purchase.

Here's the plan:
MB will be an Asus Rampage III Formula using the LGA 1366 socket and the Intel ICH10R chip for the SATA II ports. I'm planning to forgo the SATA III ports for now since the Marvell controller is crap.

The system/programs drive will be a RAID0 volume made up of two OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD's I've already purchased (THAT hurt the wallet).

I plan to mirror this system volume to a WD Cavier Blue 7200 RPM 250GB drive, so that I'll have a bootable backup if (God forbid) the SSD RAID0 fails.

So far so good. Here's where it get's tricky. I also plan on using two 2TB hard drives in RAID1 for my data volume. This way I have a built-in backup at all times of my data (and I'll use BackBlaze as well for offsite backup). I was thinking that I would just get a couple of WD Caviar Green WD20EARS drives for this purpose, but then I started reading all the feedback at NewEgg.com and doing searches on Google, and now I'm upset. Everyone is saying that you need TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) support to use a HD in a RAID, and these drives don't support that feature, even if you try to turn it on via the WDTLER utility.

Does this really matter? The ICH10R isn't doing "real" RAID anyway, just a pseudo hardware/software type. Does it still care about TLER? (I DO understand how it would matter for a "real" RAID controller used in enterprise situations.)

Also this (along with most 2TB drives) is an AFT drive that uses 4K sectors instead of 512K for greater density (and potentially speed). Does the ICH10R chipset support AFT drives when using the RAID setting? (I know Windows 7 Ultimate does when using the drive directly.)

One of the goals for this build is to keep it as quiet as possible, so I'm not thrilled with the idea of going for the more expensive Caviar Black models since I don't need the speed, and don't want the extra decibels. Even some of these models don't support TLER anyway, so if that matters I'm still up the creek.

It used to be that a hard drive was dead simple to install and use. You cared about the spindle speed, latency, and such, but it wasn't that difficult to pick out a suitable drive. Now there are AFT, AV, "Green", SSD, and Enterprise models to choose from. It's all got me burnt out!

So what would you all recommend? What 2TB drives can I safely use in my new Rig using RAID1 without splitting my ear drums or breaking the bank? Thanks.

Premium Member
5,750 Posts
WD20EARS and WD20EADS previously supported the turning on of TLER, but they changed that to give people a reason to spend more money on the enterprise drives.

You can technically run the newer ones in a RAID, but they run the risk of getting dropped from the array at random.

You could possibly try and find some older ones on eBay, but I wouldn't go through the headache honestly. I'm talking from experience. I bought about 7 of them before I found my two. The manufactured dates aren't a very reliable source either. I had one that was made in March '10 where I could turn it on, and I had another in late '09 that I couldn't.

I ended up making money actually after the reselling of the ones I didn't use, but it wasn't worth the trouble really. See if you can find some used enterprise versions that still have a few years of warranty left on them.
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