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External Hard Drives

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I've used the rugged and the larger Lacie bricks...they both failed, basically just sitting in an office....I now use older versions of this 2 TB drive and they are indestructible (so far) and power off the laptop...below is the newer version...now also available in 5TB

https://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Porsche-Design-Mobile-STFD2000402/dp/B01DHFNC04/ref=pd_sbs_328_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3G9KWDXKY2RGC44YX4TG

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@Fritz Pierre I still own three LaCie Porsche desktop drives, but two have already failed (good thing they were still under warranty, so they replaced them) and they’re quite a bit slower than either the portable Seagate Backup Plus Fast (pretty much unstoppable), the LaCie Rugged Raid 4TB (also reliable) or the D2 Thunderbolt 3. 

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I personally don't buy into aftermarket drives like G-Technology and LaCie.  Neither of these companies manufacture hard drives.  Afaik, LaCie is owned by Seagate, but it's difficult to tell what drives they actually use, and I haven't figured out what OEM G-technology uses.  

The key, imho, with any hard drive is redundancy/backup and cost-efficiency in terms of performance and life.  In terms of longevity, nothing is a guarantee no matter what drive you use, so it kind of comes down to cost/performance.  In the past I've mostly stuck with WD Blacks and Reds.  My latest purchase was a pair of HGST Deskstar NAS drives, and they have done very well so far.  My setup is pretty lowtech, actually.  I just use a couple of USB 3 docks running through a thunderbolt dock (and Chronosync to backup).  Makes it easy to switch out drives and keep a copy offsite.

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I'm not sure I understand what an aftermarket drive is, but I'm still learning. I thought all external drives were aftermarket. Anyhow, far more pertinent than who makes the drive, which is of no interest to me whatsoever, are the hard drive failure rates published quarterly by trusted companies like Backblaze and performance reviews by websites like Anandtech. Of course, reliability is a key consideration, but by no means the only one: price, speed, availability and warranties must all be taken into consideration. Enterprise drives typically have longer warranties than consumer drives (5 years vs. 2-3 years). Here's a review by Anandtech of the 10TB drive used in the LaCie D2 Thunderbolt 3. For a drive with strong write performance, low power consumption, a five-year warranty and a reasonable cost of around $60/1TB, the D2 is a value leader.

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6 minutes ago, jonpais said:

I'm not sure I understand what an aftermarket drive is, but I'm still learning. I thought all external drives were aftermarket. Anyhow, far more pertinent than who makes the drive, which is of no interest to me whatsoever, are the hard drive failure rates published quarterly by trusted companies like Backblaze and performance reviews by websites like Anandtech. Of course, reliability is a key consideration, but by no means the only one: price, speed, availability and warranties must all be taken into consideration. Enterprise drives typically have longer warranties than consumer drives (5 years vs. 2-3 years). Here's a review by Anandtech of the 10TB drive used in the LaCie D2 Thunderbolt 3. For a drive with strong write performance, low power consumption, a five-year warranty and a reasonable cost of around $54/1TB, the D2 is a value leader.

I'm not sure if aftermarket is the right word, but I'm talking about companies that don't actually make drives.  I do care what company makes the drive and what actual drive model number I'm buying.  What blackblaze publishes are reliability of companies/model numbers of drives by actual hard drive OEMs.  I would think reports like blackblase show that the make/model of the drive can be pretty pertinent.  I'm sure LaCie and G-tech are using solid drives, but what drives are they using (LaCie is obviously a Seagate of some sort)?  We have multiple people in this thread with reports of multiple LaCie failures.  That's not a statistical sample by any means, but that doesn't make the 5 year warranty all that comforting.  

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@Drew Allegre Gotcha. We can be sure that the LaCie D2 uses Seagate Barracuda Pro enterprise class drives. Two of my LaCie Porsche desktop drives malfunctioned during the warranty period, but that's no biggie - I keep backups of everything - what bothers me is that they run at 5400 RPM and only have a 3-year warranty as opposed to five. My two LaCie Rugged Raid 4TB and two Seagate Backup Plus Fast 4TB portable drives have been dependable. 

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Cheapy-ville here. Due to filesize to budget ratio I bought 2 - 2TB WD drives from Costco a while back, but since Windows 10 does not recognize them separately (apparently it's because they're the same model number?) I had to spend on another 2TB Seagate drive. Haven't had a failure yet, but always keep them duplicated to each other and sent home by separate vehicles. 
At home I prefer to use my Drobo 5-bay with 12TB usable space. Need to upgrade it.....it doesn't read the fastest anymore. :(

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Personally, I stick to non helium drives. Helium will simply escape at some point (even through seals), whereas air filled drives will always be fine. We're talking way past the warranty though. Ultrastar 7K6000 is the highest model from HGST/WD (WD owns HGST), 7th and probably last generation, with 2M MTBF, 5y warranty. Statistics from blackbaze @jonpais linked to confirm HGST drives perform very well and above other brands in general. I do have backups for everything but I don't really want any of my drives to fail anyway. Recovering all the data eats up time most people don't have in the first place!

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For those who don’t understand the benfits of helium: 

Potential speed and density are increased because helium, which is less dense than air, creates less drag and turbulence. The medium’s increased density makes it possible to put seven platters in the same space required for five in conventional hard drives, reducing the weight-to-data ratio by 30%.

The smaller motor required to drive the disk consumes 23 percent less power and runs 4-5  degrees cooler, while also running more quietly. According to Western Digital (whose subsidiary HGST released the first helium drive), the storage density results in a lower cost per gigabyte (GB) and also a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Source

In sum, smaller, lighter, cooler, quieter, less expensive and more energy efficient.

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@jonpais 

smaller - there is a standard size for hard drives, we're talking 3.5 inch drives here. They're not smaller. They pack more platters per drive and that's why air filled drives usually top out at 6TB like ultrastar 7k6000. If you don't need more TBs you don't have to go helium.

lighter, cooler, quieter, more energy efficient - I know marketing is there for a reason (hey canon) ;). These points are applicable more to data centres where they have thousands of these and it all adds up. If this is important to you, I'm not going to argue. I've got a few hard drives and couldn't care less.

less expensive - did you check prices? I've just quickly checked HGST 6TB ultrastar vs HGST 6TB helium. Guess what's more expensive. 

In sum, nothing from this marketing talk matters to me, but if it's good enough for you or others, by all means, buy it. 

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The thing to think about is SSD vs HDD & what you need the external for. If you're just backing up stuff to store, then you can compromise size vs price - you can get huge drives for quite cheap. However, if you're going to be editing from an external drive then really think about moving parts (HDD) vs. non-moving parts (SSD) - yes SSD's are more expensive, but if you've never seen a HDD melt or freeze up in front of you whilst you're editing then it's not a calming experience. This is not to say that SSD's won't fail, but less moving parts really helps.

I've always used G-Tech, as well, & this was because when I worked for a big production company they were the only drives that could take the punishment of day-to-day editing. But with the advent of SSDs, my next buy will not be a HDD.

ATM the marketplace is flooded with lots of options - so the rule of thumb is, as always, buy the best you can.

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8 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

The thing to think about is SSD vs HDD & what you need the external for. If you're just backing up stuff to store, then you can compromise size vs price - you can get huge drives for quite cheap. However, if you're going to be editing from an external drive then really think about moving parts (HDD) vs. non-moving parts (SSD) - yes SSD's are more expensive, but if you've never seen a HDD melt or freeze up in front of you whilst you're editing then it's not a calming experience. This is not to say that SSD's won't fail, but less moving parts really helps.

I've always used G-Tech, as well, & this was because when I worked for a big production company they were the only drives that could take the punishment of day-to-day editing. But with the advent of SSDs, my next buy will not be a HDD.

ATM the marketplace is flooded with lots of options - so the rule of thumb is, as always, buy the best you can.

+1 Backing onto SSD for a project...in the case of say a feature, where no moving parts are involved seems much more secure....with the added benefit that one can always film to SSD in an external device like a Shogun at Prores HQ...capture rates far exceeding SD and SSDs are now far cheaper than say buying a RAID system, that can run into many thousands $s....Sandisk Extreme Pro SSDs are currently running $190 per 480Gigs

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Thanks for all your advice guys 

next question what are your archiving and post work flow

I.E Import into a drobo or similar and make copies across multiple drives, Looking at an archiving solution, I haven't heard great things about the DROBO heard a lot about failures

 

Thanks

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