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Old 12-08-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
ThaBozz
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Question WD Green, Red, or AV-GP?

I am building a new new file server and need to get new hard disk drives. The setup and usage pattern is:

  • Mini ITX based system (i.e. not an of the shelf NAS)
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I can change this for something else if there is a good reason.
  • Sofware Raid 1 (mirror, md tools)
  • Most of the data is composed of large video files. However, there are also documents, pictures, etc
  • Server is always on. However, it is idle for most of the time.
  • Replacing a server composed of WD Greens.
  • Reliability is more important than performance. Streaming capability of two concurrent 1080p h264 streams is enough.
  • Data is accessed over lan (smb) (media players, computers, etc)
I am not sure if WD reds or WD AV-GPs are necessary or even desirable. For example, from my research I think that if i get the Reds I would have to disable TLER.

Any Insights?

Thanks.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
masteryoda34
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From the options you listed (WD green, red, av-gp) and for your stated usage, I would go with WD Red.

I believe you are mistaken about needing to disable TLER on WD Red. I think it actually is the WD Green that need TLER disabled for RAID operation. Reds should be good.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:23 AM   #3
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You are using linux software RAID which doesn't care about TLER. So you don't need it.

However, TLER is ALWAYS preferable for RAID. If you have a non-TLER drive (like a green) and it hits a bad sector, the entire server will stall for 2-3 minutes while the drive tries to recover the sector. With a TLER drive (like a red), the server will only stall for 7 seconds, before the RAID error recovery kicks in.

TLER can be disabled on the reds, if you do want maximum data integrity. However, TLER cannot be activated on the greens. If you want optimal RAID performance, reds are the answer.

The AV-GP are designed for maximum streaming and minimum data integrity. If they have a weak sector, they make no attempt to read it, at all. They are designed for DVRs/surveillance, where a drive stalling on a bad sector could cause a whole recording to fail; whereas corrupted data in a bad sector will just mean a couple of dropped frames. AV-GP drives are unsuitable except for surveillance/DVR/large-scale VOD use.

Last edited by Mark R; 12-09-2012 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark R View Post
You are using linux software RAID which doesn't care about TLER. So you don't need it.

However, TLER is ALWAYS preferable for RAID. If you have a non-TLER drive (like a green) and it hits a bad sector, the entire server will stall for 2-3 minutes while the drive tries to recover the sector. With a TLER drive (like a red), the server will only stall for 7 seconds, before the RAID error recovery kicks in.

TLER can be disabled on the reds, if you do want maximum data integrity. However, TLER cannot be activated on the greens. If you want optimal RAID performance, reds are the answer.
TLER is only relevant in hardware RAID. The issue is way, way overrated. It's irrelevant to out of the box NASes (they use software raid), other software RAID and also intel RAID.

So it's a feature you don't need and hence why pay more?

I would not even bother with RAID. I assume this is for home use? RAID 1 is not back-up. It's for preventing down-time on disk-failure which is irrelevant for home use. Just do a regular back-up to external HDD.

I have 3 green drives and they all work perfectly fine. Use them for storing mainly hd content (movies, TV series).
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:06 AM   #5
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Red is the choice.


It's best choice.


Green uses intellipark head parking. That's not good for you.

RED does not and is designed for NAS and 24/7 use

Oh.. Yeah

Almost forgot

RED uses less power and sells for the same price while giving you a longer warranty.

Green drives are dead.

It's not 2010/2011 anymore.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
RED uses less power and sells for the same price while giving you a longer warranty.

Green drives are dead.
Reds are still more expensive than greens.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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AV drives have TLER=0 since you would rather lose a sector and keep on going rather than losing streaming recording (dvr/nvr).


qnap's and drobo's use their own error correction so green,red,AV don't really matter.

if you wanted to use a real raid controller like the 9260-8i $66 - you want the RED.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:23 AM   #8
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Green uses intellipark head parking. That's not good for you.
explain why? My greens have that too and the only issue is, that when head is parked and you want to access it you get some lag.

It's only an issue if you use it as OS drive in Linux (at least when I last checked. might have been fixed by know). My Load_Cycle_Count is around 200'000 after 2.5 years. they are rated for 1'000'000 so that would be over 10 years... no issue. Same as with TLC NAND for almost all consumer workloads.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark R View Post
If you have a non-TLER drive (like a green) and it hits a bad sector, the entire server will stall for 2-3 minutes while the drive tries to recover the sector.
It could be up to 2 minutes as it tries to recover. If it figures out quickly that it's in fact a bad sector, a read failure can be issued much faster.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner99 View Post
TLER is only relevant in hardware RAID. The issue is way, way overrated. It's irrelevant to out of the box NASes (they use software raid), other software RAID and also intel RAID.
I wouldn't say it's irrelevant. It is non-catastrophic to not have settable SCT ERC on a drive in software RAID, because software RAID unlike many/most hardware RAIDs, don't have a time out that causes a slow to recover disk to be ejected from the array. But a 2 minute stall is still not great.

Also, the manufacturers make it rather clear that they don't want the least expensive drives used in anything but RAID 0 and 1. The WDC green, blue and even black spec sheets say this in small print.

Quote:
So it's a feature you don't need and hence why pay more?
It's not the only feature the spec sheets tell us about. Until someone tests them more thoroughly, it may be marketing fluff. But the Red's are expressly for 24/7 use, consumer greens aren't. Red's have a longer warranty. They supposedly have lower vibration and higher tolerance to vibration. I wouldn't call it nearline, but it's an interesting produce, has better performance numbers and lower power consumption than Green. So if anything Green needs a refresh.

Plus, lower SCT ERC time, even on software RAID, means that the RAID fixing bad sectors happens more quickly before they are left to fester and be subject to the slower firmware recovery. The faster the drive gives up, issues a read error, the sooner RAID will rebuild the lost sector data from parity on-the-fly and then cause reconstructed data to be written back to the faulty sector forcing the firmware to either write it correctly, or if a persistent write error is occurring, to remove that sector from use in favor of a reserve sector.

A green drive on the other hand is pretty reluctant to issue read errors, which isn't necessarily a good thing for the long term health of an array. (But then so are bad sectors - hence why regular scrubs and smart tests should be run.)

Quote:
I would not even bother with RAID. I assume this is for home use? RAID 1 is not back-up. It's for preventing down-time on disk-failure which is irrelevant for home use. Just do a regular back-up to external HDD.
It's a reasonable criticism. RAiD is about improving uptime, and reducing the need/likelihood you have to restore from a backup. It is definitely not a backup or a substitute for backup. There are any number of tools that can do scheduled syncs from primary storage to a secondary storage or backup.

Quote:
I have 3 green drives and they all work perfectly fine. Use them for storing mainly hd content (movies, TV series).
The history of these drives is really variable. The same model has different firmware and different platter numbers and different arial densities. So they're in a sense different products despite the name.

I recommend a regular ATA secure erase to zero the disk, forcing bad sectors to be located and removed from use. And also regular 'smartctl -t long' tests, coinciding with analyzing the attributes of the drive with 'smartctl -a' to make sure the drive isn't having problems long before you start seeing them with lost or corrupt data.

Corrupt data is a bad experience, even with backups. You can get corrupt files successfully propagated throughout your backup without much difficulty.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:52 AM   #10
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualLarry View Post
Reds are still more expensive than greens.
If you keep eyes out you grab them for same price.

Only a serious sale makes them different in price.

The both normally around $150 for 3tb
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:28 AM   #12
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explain why? My greens have that too and the only issue is, that when head is parked and you want to access it you get some lag.

It's only an issue if you use it as OS drive in Linux (at least when I last checked. might have been fixed by know). My Load_Cycle_Count is around 200'000 after 2.5 years. they are rated for 1'000'000 so that would be over 10 years... no issue. Same as with TLC NAND for almost all consumer workloads.
Actually the 1,000,000 rating is puffed up marketing.

If you do research you'll see the real number is 300,000
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #13
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Actually the 1,000,000 rating is puffed up marketing.

If you do research you'll see the real number is 300,000
I double-checked. I was wrong.

I have 2x WD20EARS - 00S8B1 (4 Platter), each 2.5 years old: 55'000 and 122'000 load cycles.
The later one is the drive where torrents are so obviously explains the number.

1x WD20EARS - 00MVWB0 (3 Platter, bought year year later).
they obviously changed something in the firmware or delayed it but this one has 7500 load cycle count.
(all as normal drive, non-raid)

So for the worst drive (that serves torrents) and lifetime of 300'000 cycles that is still over 5 years. If a HDD fails after 5 years, I mean hat is not that uncommon after some moderate usage.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:12 PM   #14
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I just had a WD Green EARS kick the bucket; it's been in 24/7 operation for 2.5 years.

I'm going to replace with a Red. I would have gone Samsung, buuuut...
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #15
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Yup... I have a server and I tend to pound my drives.

GREEN does not hold up as well long term...
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:42 PM   #16
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Sorry to necro this thread, but I was google searching this very same comparison, and here we are...

I'm going to be adding 3TB of storage to my WHS11 box, and currently have 4 Samsung Spinpoints. Since they don't sell them anymore, I'm looking at either a green, red, or av-gp drive.

Biggest difference from the OP is that I'm not running any type of RAID. Mostly streaming videos, storing photos, games, etc... The box is on 24/7.

Any recommendations for me on which type of drive is best?
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #17
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I use RE4 Enterprise drives......wouldnt touch Red or Green myself
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:32 PM   #18
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green is the least reliable...
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:48 AM   #19
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I've had about 4 WD Green drives and 3 of them have died within 18 months. WD is solid for RMA, though, and they always send back a drive that is either better/larger capacity. So I'm not complaining.

Last Green drive I RMA'd was replaced with a Red drive. =)
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:11 PM   #20
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I've had about 4 WD Green drives and 3 of them have died within 18 months. WD is solid for RMA, though, and they always send back a drive that is either better/larger capacity. So I'm not complaining.

Last Green drive I RMA'd was replaced with a Red drive. =)
Same here.

I have 30TB of storage on my server. All 4 of my green drives have been RMA and I have 10 Seagates all installed the same time and not one failure.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:17 PM   #21
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explain why? My greens have that too and the only issue is, that when head is parked and you want to access it you get some lag.

It's only an issue if you use it as OS drive in Linux (at least when I last checked. might have been fixed by know). My Load_Cycle_Count is around 200'000 after 2.5 years. they are rated for 1'000'000 so that would be over 10 years... no issue. Same as with TLC NAND for almost all consumer workloads.
Yes. The head parking feature creates an excessive amount of on off cycles and adds extra wear and tear on the drive - shortening it's life expectancy.

It's not a big issue for a storage drive in a PC, but if you have an always on server - or some software program like flexraid that is always doing reads/writes in creating parity it will burn out your drive much faster than a non Intellipark model.

The reason why WD came out with RED is because of poor reliability of Green drives in 24/7 operations. They purposely removed the intellipark feature from RED. That is why RED is recommended for NAS boxes, Servers and 24/7 operation.

Basics are: Green drives last shorter than normal drives or RED drives. Since they don't really save any energy anymore (modern designs have caught up) it's pointless to use a green drive unless your getting a really good price.

Personally, I would rather a 3TB baracuda- Cheaper/Faster/No Intellipark. I have 10 3TB and not one failure yet. Much better than my green drives.
Energy and noise and heat are all on par too... and perfectly acceptable.

My WHS2011 media server is now 30TB- It has my entire blu ray collection. I have owned every brand and model HDD there is.

Basically there is little difference but I do feel the GREEN is the least reliable I have personally experienced. I have RMA all 4 of mine already...

All bought at different times.

Baracuda 3TB for $20 cheaper is always a better choice IMO.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:43 AM   #22
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Interesting thread, looking for a pair of 2TB drives to run in RAID 0 inside my OWC Guardian Maximus. It has SATA II controller, and USB3, which I will connect to my late 2012 iMac. Looking to get around 150 r/w on avg. Need a place to store my iTunes and other stuff..(will run Time machine for constant backups). have been looking heavily at WD Red drives. I have the green inside my Synology 1010+ and they are failure after failure. My other RAID arrays are more industrial with SSDs and Enterprise class drives in Raid 10 arrays off an LSI 9265-8i. All my searches take me back to the Seagate Baracuda or the WD Red. Leaning more toward the red as I'm less concerned about blazing speeds and more concerned with constancy and solid long term 24/7 usage. Looks like you guys are pretty mixed on your feelings... understandably, both are good drives. In my synology, I will most definitely be replacing my green with red over time as they start to die out.

Any thoughts on my Raid 0? Red, Black, Seagate?
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:09 AM   #23
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I use 4 - 3TB REDS in my WHS 2011. They are the choice for a 24/7 box IMO
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:59 AM   #24
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I use 4 - 3TB REDS in my WHS 2011. They are the choice for a 24/7 box IMO
The reds really do seem like the best choice...will go pick up 2 tmr. I'm in Thailand, so maybe I can just drive up to WD's front gate and ask them for 2 right out of the oven
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:33 AM   #25
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Yes. The head parking feature creates an excessive amount of on off cycles and adds extra wear and tear on the drive - shortening it's life expectancy.

It's not a big issue for a storage drive in a PC, but if you have an always on server - or some software program like flexraid that is always doing reads/writes in creating parity it will burn out your drive much faster than a non Intellipark model.

The reason why WD came out with RED is because of poor reliability of Green drives in 24/7 operations. They purposely removed the intellipark feature from RED. That is why RED is recommended for NAS boxes, Servers and 24/7 operation.

Basics are: Green drives last shorter than normal drives or RED drives. Since they don't really save any energy anymore (modern designs have caught up) it's pointless to use a green drive unless your getting a really good price.

Personally, I would rather a 3TB baracuda- Cheaper/Faster/No Intellipark. I have 10 3TB and not one failure yet. Much better than my green drives.
Energy and noise and heat are all on par too... and perfectly acceptable.

My WHS2011 media server is now 30TB- It has my entire blu ray collection. I have owned every brand and model HDD there is.

Basically there is little difference but I do feel the GREEN is the least reliable I have personally experienced. I have RMA all 4 of mine already...

All bought at different times.

Baracuda 3TB for $20 cheaper is always a better choice IMO.
As said before you you for some reason need to run 24/7in RAID for home use feel free to do it but for 99.9% of people just having multiple large drives in their normal PC and use something like SnycToy to back-up to external hdd is perfectly fine, maintenance free and "idiot safe". And those people are well served with a green drive.

Note: I paid less for my 3 TB green drives 3.5 years ago than they cost now and none of them have failed me or caused any troubles. At that time it was a no-brainer. I admit the case now is less clear but still, if you game yoru better of putting the saved $$$ in a better gpu or for in a quieter fans in case of a HTPC / DIY NAS etc...
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