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JorWesFlow
08-14-2008, 05:11 PM
I have decided to purchase a MacGuru Burly 5-bay enclosure. Nothing against MacGurus deals, but further research has shown me that purchasing the hard drives separately will save me money, as opposed to buying the MacGuru package with the Seagate hard drives included with the enclosure.

My question is this: how do I know what kind of hard drives should go in my enclosure? What size? Speed? I am taking a stab in the dark and saying 3.5 inches, 7200 RPM, SATA.

I am considering purchasing 5 Hitachi Ultrastar A7K1000's (http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/en/menuitem.1f1ae01746121cb0483bad24eac4f0a0/), but I'm not sure if these are right for the enclosure.

I also heard Enterprise class hard drives are the way to go.

ricks
08-14-2008, 07:33 PM
A couple thoughts for you.

1) Enterprise/Server drives are designed to work in Servers and Enterprise applications. Even worse, the feature sets on an Enterprise drive will not have been tested and accounted for by desktop computer buses or Desktop computer RAID and host cards. Just about every host bus is tested to run with desktop drive feature sets.

As a rule, the difference between a server drive and a desktop drive is really only those features, most times the differences are completely limited to software differences. Less often there will be hardware differences. Many enterprise drives are physically the same operating device with a little different circuit or even just a little different firmware. Those differences can be enough for them to not work though.

2) Be very aware of OEM drives. Keeping in mind that enterprise drive feature sets don't always work well or at all in desktop environments, buying 'cheap' OEM drives is rolling the dice on what firmware you get on your drives. By definition an OEM drive is one that was bought by a big OEM manufacturer and then dumped on the market when they no longer fit their needs. OEM ordered drives can have literally any firmware on them at all that the OEM specified.

90% of the drives sold by NewEgg or ZipZoomFly and places like them are OEM. They are not cheap enough for the troubles that the custom firmware often leads to.

Stick with standard desktop drives, and stay away from OEM drives unless you can confirm their firmware is standard retail firmware. The firmware revision is all that matters.

MacGurus does not begrudge you getting a deal on your drives. Why we offer all our enclosures without drives. We just want to make sure you have the most satisfying experience with the complete setup.

Based on performance and reliability we only install and use Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 model hard drives. They have given us spectacular reliability and compatibility is ensured with all the host cards, RAID cards and enclosures that we have had occasion to install them in. They are also currently 20% faster than the Hitachi drives. There are other drives with comparable speed, none with better record of compatibility and reliability.

Ask away should you have questions. Happy to help and answer them.

Welcome.

Rick

JorWesFlow
08-14-2008, 10:38 PM
Thank you very much for that detailed response. That answered all of my questions on this subject and then some. Much more thorough of an answer than I received on Apple's discussion boards... then again I was in a FCP forum, not a Hard Drive forum.

I have heard great things about Seagate, but some people suggested other brands in Apple discussions. But I often wonder if manufacturers pay people to scour open public forums like that to "advertise" their products disguised as sincere responses. So I am often wary of forums.

That being said, I see that you are obviously the president of MacGurus and you have provided an honest answer. And you have a sweet moustache as well. So I may just go with the package deal if I can't find the Barracuda 7200.11's for a good price on my own.

Thanks again!

Damien
08-15-2008, 04:17 AM
Also something you may have forgotten. The Burly has 5.25" bays and a bare burly does not come (or didn't last I checked) with the adapters to hold a 3.5" drive. You will need to add in that cost

kaye
08-15-2008, 09:12 AM
I only purchase my Cuda 7200.11 drives from MacGurus. Some reasons:
1. The firmware issue.
2. Some of the 7200.11 drives come with only 16MB cache buffer so they appear to be much cheaper if purchased elsewhere. See this Cuda 7200.11 (http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/desktops/barracuda_hard_drives/barracuda_7200.11/)
3. I want the jumper configuration set for SATA 1. You may want yours set for SATA 2. My hands are getting too old with shaking for this jumper setting change. Anyway, Rick and MacGurus can determine this for you. k

unclemac
08-16-2008, 12:40 AM
Thank you very much for that detailed response. That answered all of my questions on this subject and then some. Much more thorough of an answer than I received on Apple's discussion boards... then again I was in a FCP forum, not a Hard Drive forum.

I have heard great things about Seagate, but some people suggested other brands in Apple discussions. But I often wonder if manufacturers pay people to scour open public forums like that to "advertise" their products disguised as sincere responses. So I am often wary of forums.

Right that you should be wary. Even if there are no trolls or shills, often people push what they have used and like....even though they have not used much (if anything) else. Basically, since you don't know the person, it is hard to have a good sense of their experience. Seems like we all need more info to understand people's bias, and to put it in perspective to decide if their experience is relevant to our needs.

One other thing to keep in mind—especially with HDs—is that there are new models coming to market every few months, so old advice will always be suspect. Someone who bought drive XYZ last year and loves it.....can't really speak to how their drive stacks up against current models.

I work in an IT dept. with something like 400+ computers, and I still have not see as much regarding drives as Rick has. I have seen good and bad drive models from every HD company out there, so continue to be wary of anybody that swears by a brand forever. But I can say that the 7200.11s that we have are great overall. Quiet, fast, and cool. No issues. Some of the older Seagates were not as good IMHO, I wanna say the .8 or .9 series.

Which goes to show that you can't put much credit in a opinion about a brand or an entire line of drives. If the 7200.8 (or was it .9?) was my only experience with Seagates, I could easily come to the conclusion that Seagates are OK, but nothing to get excited about. Which would be a reasonable conclusion based on my limited exposure.......but wrong. :)