March 24th, 2010
I came across an article that tries to quantify the effect on battery life of a laptop, with different HDs: http://www.laptopmag.com/review/storage/intel-x25-m.aspx?page=7
I’m not sure I agree with their comments, especially sentences like “An ultraportable system with 8 or 9 hours of battery life could get an hour of extra juice with the X25-M.” The hard disk tends to be a very small percentage of the overall power budget of a portable computer. Getting 9 hours instead of 8 suggests that the machine is using a full one eighth less power than before. Which suggests the disk was using significantly more than one eighth of the whole system power.
So I took a look at the datasheets of the compared drives, e.g. the WD Scorpio Blue and the Intel X-25M. The datasheets are available on the manufacturers’ sites. The 500GB newest version of the Scorpio Blue datasheet says 2.5W active, 0.85W idle. The X25-M is 0.15W active, 0.06W idle. So the savings is 0.8W when idle and 2.35W when active. So if you assume something like 90% idle (which, for a laptop is probably about right)…
My Lenovo X100e netbook comes with a 65W charger, and I’d guess it uses about 25W going full blast (CPU, GPU, disk, screen at full brightness). So a 2W difference is just less than 10%. I’ll have to use my Kill-A-Watt to get actual numbers from my netbook.
October 8th, 2009
Here are some prices from 2009-10-08. 3.5″ SATA drives are as cheap as 1.5TB for $99.99 or 15GB per dollar. 2.5″ SATA drives are as cheap as 500GB for $89.99, or ~5.8GB per dollar. A 750GB SATA 2.5″ drive is available for $149.99, which makes it exactly three times as expensive as the 3.5″ version.
I’ve tried running the power consumption numbers for 2.5″ vs 3.5″ drives before, but I think at best you’d save ~$10-20/year on power, and you give up some performance as well, in addition to paying a lot more up front. So for desktop/server storage, 2.5″ drives are not yet worth the premium, IMHO.
June 18th, 2009
A while ago I came across the first link, but today I came across the second link:
As of this posting, the best deal is a Hitachi OEM 1TB drive for $74 from Newegg. That’s 13.34GB per dollar or 7.49 cents per GB.
March 26th, 2009
There won’t be much content in this post. First a few links:
- Seagate’s product page
- LinuxDevices page summary of the specs
- bMighty’s thoughts on the NAS
After reading those pages, I don’t see a single compelling reason to purchase this product. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it, just that it offers no new features or functionality. It’s also not cheaper than existing products.
January 16th, 2009
The rumor mill of the Internet is going full blast. Rumors are that a number of recent Seagate drives have a firmware bug that can easily cause the drive to fail.
PSA: Seagate 7200.11 Reports of high failure rate
January 15th, 2009
This post is based on two of my previous posts:
As of this writing, the 1.5TB Seagate 7200.11 is the best deal on Newegg at 11.5GB/$, $120 for the OEM new drive. The 1GB WD “Green” drive is 9.5GB/$, $105 for the OEM new drive.
However, the 7200.11 drive uses 8W idle, and an unspecified amount at max power (seeking). The WD drive is using 3.5W idle, and 8W max.
First let’s do the calculations just based on idle power. Let’s assume the drives are idle a majority of the time (e.g. >90%) and are powered on 24/7. This is probably a common scenario in a home NAS unit. Let’s assume one drive. You can quickly interpolate that number to multiple drives.
For the 7200.11: 8W * 24 hrs * 365 days = 70kWhr in a year. At 10 cents per kWhr (rule of thumb), that’s $7 per year. For the WD drive: 3.5W * 24hrs * 365 days = ~30kWhrs, or $3 per year. Hmm, not a big difference. Even if you’re in NYC and paying ~18 cents per kWhr, or 20 cents some places in Cali, it’s a drop in the bucket.
Extrapolating to a 4-drive RAID-5 set; the difference is a mere $20 per year. That’s hardly a big deal. Even assuming a three-year lifespan, that’s $60 total difference. Well worth it for 1.5 times the capacity.
Of course, if this comparison was between the 1TB 7200.11 and the 1TB WD Green, then the difference would be more important. In fact, as of this writing, the 7200.11 1TB drive costs $5 more at Newegg than the 1TB WD Green drive, making it more expensive to purchase and more expensive to operate.
June 29th, 2008
Through the great World Wide Web of the Internet comes an e-mail from a reader with a link to his own NAS build. The case is a repurposed old IBM NetVista, the rest of the components are modern.Click here for more details.
June 13th, 2008
Phoronix brings us a review of the “Tagan Icy Box” NAS4220. The review is spread over four ad-laden pages and consists of a few pictures of the box unpacking and drive installation and screenshots of the web interface. By page 4, when you think they’ll get to the actual “review”, you get the conclusion, which basically says “hey, it works!”.
I’d like to see some performance benchmarks, some temperature measurements and some noise levels. I bet it’s not so great on all three of those counts. They also mention “bittorrent ability” not once but twice, but don’t go into any detail.
March 31st, 2008
Here’s an example of a guy going all out and purchasing a high-end workstation to fill with drives. He even adds a second CPU and more RAM. Of course, he’s using ZFS, so he may need that RAM A Solaris NFS/ZFS Appliance. Since the bare U40 costs ~$2k, I think he spent about $2.6k PLUS the drives. Compare to the ZFS NAS box thread on Ars.