[mythtv-users] Dec 2008 - State of the Art - Hard Drive Recommendations?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Dec 17 15:04:53 UTC 2008

On Wednesday 17 December 2008 06:27:40 Sandy Walsh wrote:
> Hi all,
> Seems like this is a question that occurs pretty regularly, so let's
> take a snapshot of the "state-of-the-art" for hard drive selection. I'd
> love to hear all of your opinions on the following.
> What would you say are the most important criteria for selecting a PVR
> hard drive?

Your budget and your requirements.

> 1. Is it Interface? PATA? SATA? ATA-100, 133, 150, 300?

The last I heard the best-performing SATA drives actually used 150 interfaces. 
Although the 300 interface is theoretically faster, no drive yet exists that 
can really take advantage of it to the full.

> 2. Capacity? Is it simply Gigabytes per Dollar (G/$) or do drives just
> get flaky over a certain size?
> 3. Is it Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)? Is this a meaningful metric
> anymore?
> 4. What about RAID? Good or Bad? Good for peace of mind, Bad for
> performance? Recommendations for/against using RAID? What about software
> raid (useless?)

RAID0 will increase performance. RAID1 and RAID5 will increase read 
performance, though not necessarily write performance.

Linux software RAID works well. The additional CPU load is not a big factor 
with modern CPUs.

> 5. Rotational Speed? Is it a factor?
> 6. Average Seek Time? Do technologies like Western Digital Intelliseek
> make any difference or just get in the way?
> 7. Vendors? Seagate? Western Digital? Hitachi? Samsung? Any warrenty
> horror stories? Others to consider?

Be aware of the apparently firmware-related problems with the Seagate 1.5TB 

> 8. Cache size? Since this is mostly a Write operation activity does
> cache really affect performance? How important is a large cache?
> What else?
> Ultimately ... what do you recommend and why?
beww at beww.org

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