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How important are hard drive specs like RPM and cache size?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 peterk312


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Posted 23 February 2014 - 12:51 PM

Here's my dilemma: I got a computer from a refurbisher that had a faulty hard drive in it. This is a 250 GB Seagate Barracuda ES.2 model ST3250310NS with a spindle speed of 7200 RPM and a cache size of 32 MB. They sent me a replacement for it that's 500 GB of storage, but it's a Seagate Pipeline HD ST3500312CS that has a spindle speed of 5900 RPM and a cache size of only 8 MB. I didn't need the additional storage, but should I be concerned about the potential for downgraded performance?

I see from the Seagate website that the Pipeline series hard drives are intended for things like security systems and DVR storage (in 24/7 applications like streaming media). I'm not saying these drives can't both run an operating system like Windows 7, but compared to the Barracuda the Pipeline hard drive could lead to slower performance when running certain applications such as video editing, photo editing, and digital recording, yes?

Edited by hamluis, 24 February 2014 - 07:13 AM.
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#2 SpywareDoctor


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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:01 PM



7,200 RPM is more than 22% faster than 5,900 RPM.


And, a 32MB cache is 400% larger than an 8MB cache.

#3 OldPhil



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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:26 PM

A replacement should of like size and performance, put some pressure on them to do the right thing.

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#4 peterk312

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:29 PM

Just wanted to share this from the PassMark Software website:

Seagate Barracuda ES.2
model: ST3250310NS
Disk Rating (higher is better) 604
Rank (lower is better) 1376

Seagate Pipeline HD.2
model: ST3500312CS
Disk Rating (higher is better) 620
Rank (lower is better) 1332

For what it's worth, these rating seems to be congruent with comments here suggesting the Pipeline is a slightly better hard drive.

#5 peterk312

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:31 PM

Anyone interested in why the Seagate Pipeline HD (5900 RPM) is likely to be a slightly faster performer than the Seagate Barracuda ES.2 (7200 RPM):



Edited by peterk312, 23 February 2014 - 07:31 PM.

#6 rotor123


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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:07 PM

My take on it is that a drive designed from the ground up to run 24/7 is likely to be a better quality build.

For example the Western Digital Red drives are designed to be economy drives for use in a NAS. They run a lower RPM than the 7200RPM drives for example. However they run cooler and are designed to run 24/7 since a NAS is expected to be always on. I have 6 of them in NAS drives. I would not be afraid to use them for general purpose drives except that my other computers are never on 24/7 and their Boot Drives are Intel or Samsung SSD drives that run quiet, cool and fast. Why pay more for the WD Red whee it isn't needed.


Could a desktop drive run 24/7 under that type of load, probably with more heat generated, more energy used and possibly a lower life expectancy.


Also a SSD is not suggested for use in a NAS, DVR or Surveillance system. A SSD has a limited amount of write cycles to any memory location and a those usages would wear them out prematurely.


As an example the Intel SSD drives I have, have a 5 year warranty, however note the exclusion


What is "Media Wear-out Indicator" and where can I monitor its value?


The media wear-out indicator is a SMART (E9) attribute used for monitoring the media wear-out level of an Intel SSD over time. This value can be read using the Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox

The media wear-out indicator reports a normalized value of 100 (when the SSD is brand new out of the factory) and declines to a minimum value of 1. When the value reads 1, this indicates that the SSD is reaching the wear-out limit, and Intel recommends that the SSD be replaced or a backup performed to help prevent the loss of data.

For OEM SSD Products, the warranty period ends on the SHORTER OF the specified warranty term or the date when the media wear-out Indicator value for the drive reads 1. For warranty details on OEM SSD Products please go to OEM SSD warranty.


I seem to remember Samsung says something similar for their SSD drives.


Hope this helps


Edited by rotor123, 24 February 2014 - 04:08 PM.
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