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Posted on August 23, 2016 by Chris Kruell

Disk drives we have tested and use in our products

RTX220-3QRMany of our customers like bare disk drive workflows. Maybe they want to keep client or project work on separate disk drives, like using our TrayFree™ enclosures. These enclosure systems let people swap drives or SSDs at will and have the added convenience of only buying the electronics once. (BTW, these customers also tend to use our DriveBoxes, available to protect 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives.)

I occasionally am asked which disk drives/SSDs we recommend for use in our products, whether those products be removable drive carriers or direct-attach storage enclosures. The short answer? We are drive brand agnostic and generally don't recommend one over another. We don't have a stake in promoting any particular brand and find that all of the drive manufacturers have reliable hard drive and SSD models in their product lineups.

THE OTHER SHORT ANSWER

See this chart.

BUY QUALITY DRIVES

Hard DriveEvery drive manufacturer produces drives at different price points, and you generally get what you pay for. A less expensive drive is likely to be of lower quality: it may not last as long or might be more error-prone than more expensive models. There are differences in the electronics, the mechanical components, quality of cables, and yes, the drives themselves.

Having said that, people have biases and preferences. I’ve talked to some who swear up and down that they’ll never use anything but Western Digital/Seagate/Hitachi/take your pick. This is usually based on bad experience (nothing like losing data to create or confirm bias) or word of mouth. Fortunately, our enclosures allow you to insert and use whatever drives you want.

OUR PRACTICE

Because we sell carriers and enclosures pre-populated with drives, we look at the marketplace for models with reasonable price/capacity. We bring samples of these drives into our engineering labs and run them through their paces. While we don’t test every model available, we try to select drives that will be available for sale for awhile.

These are the drives that appear on this chart.

You’ll note even though 60TB SSDs are around the corner and 8 to 10TB drives are available today, the largest drives we’ve tested are 6TB. We’ll be adding 8TB drives to the list, so stay tuned.