• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

My SMR drive - opinions please

Should I replace the drive?

  • Not sure

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    29

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
17,409 (3.25/day)
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Black 4TB | WD Blue 6TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z (144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p) | Asus MG28UQ (4K, 60Hz, FreeSync compatible)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Pro - Black Shadow
Keyboard Yes
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
In April 2020 I bought the WD Blue WD60EZAZ 6TB drive. I use it to store my game installs and occasional virtual machines (I tend to test and discard) and it's currently holding 3.3TB of data. It's not backed up, since the games are all on Steam, Origin etc so can be downloaded again, although it would take several months to do at my "broadband" speed of 20Mbps. I don't play them all that much either and I've not had any problems with the drive or noticed any particular performance issues.

A couple of months later, the scandal broke out between SMR and PMR drives because manufacturers at the time had a habit of not specifying the recording method used in their spec sheets, as they didn't with my drive.

SMR = Shingled Magnetic Recording
Sounds like something you catch, doesn't it?

PMR - Perpendicular Magnetic Recording
The way "normal" drives work.

My question: is it worth replacing the drive with a PMR model to avoid potential problems down the road, or just stay with it? Common sense seems to dictate just to stay with it, but I'd be interested to see what others think.



EDIT TO CLARIFY USAGE

Usage is mostly read when I'm loading a game up, which isn't very often. The only write operations of note are automatic game updates from Steam where write performance doesn't matter, especially at my download speed.

If I was doing a lot of writing with it, I'd have replaced it for sure and this wouldn't have even been a question. And it's only holding my games which aren't important in the grand scheme of things. All my other data is stored on a WD Black 4TB and is properly backed up.



This LTT video explains the difference between SMR & PMR drives and their trade-offs.

 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
2,441 (4.80/day)
Location
Colorado, U.S.A.
System Name HP Compaq 8000 Elite CMT
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
Motherboard Hewlett-Packard 3647h
Memory 16GB DDR3
Video Card(s) NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 GDDR5 (fan-less)
Storage 2TB Seagate Firecuda 3.5"
Display(s) Dell P2416D (2560 x 1440)
Power Supply 12V HP proprietary
Software Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
780 (0.30/day)
System Name Fat NCASE
Processor Ryzen R9 3900X
Motherboard ASUS TUF GAMING B550M ZAKU (WIFI) Edition
Cooling Scythe Fuma with 3 SCYTHE Wondersnail 2400RPM + Arctic MX2
Memory Corsair Vengeance 128GB @3200Mhz Cl16 (32GB X 4)
Video Card(s) Palit RTX 3060 StormX ITX 12GB
Storage MX500 4TB SATA + Toshiba MG08 16TB HDD
Display(s) LG 27UL500 4K monitor
Case Jonsbo W2 black
Audio Device(s) Onboard realtek 1200 & Soundblaster G3 usb
Power Supply ASUS ROG STRIX 850W Gundam Edition
Mouse Elecom wireless mouse :)
Keyboard RK100 Royal Kludge
Software Windows 10 HOME
Benchmark Scores Don't know any benchmark. It runs good enough for me.

CMR aka conventional magnetic recording is the same as PMR (Perpendicular magnetic recording). The CMR name came about to differentiate SMR (Shingle magnetic recording) from Non-SMR drives aka PMR only. All SMR drive are PMR drives but they are not CMR.

My question: is it worth replacing the drive with a PMR model to avoid potential problems down the road, or just stay with it? Common sense seems to dictate just to stay with it, but I'd be interested to see what others think.

Its up to you. SMR hdd are fine if you use them in their intended way of archiving media and it being a mostly read only operation. Problem comes when you workload is read and write especially writes which would suffer alot when the HDD cache is used up. Personally I would replace it CMR drive myself from your workload it sound like you have read/write workload usage for the HDD which is not quite ideal. Otherwise I don't see it being a problem. Not sure if SMR and CMR have any difference from a reliability standpoint. CMR in theory should be more reliable with data tracks not being overlapped like SMR. I have had bad experience with SMR so I tend to avoid them unless it is a light use HDD.
 

eidairaman1

The Exiled Airman
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
37,339 (6.76/day)
Location
Republic of Texas (True Patriot)
System Name PCGOD
Processor AMD FX 8350@ 5.0GHz
Motherboard Asus TUF 990FX Sabertooth R2 2901 Bios
Cooling Scythe Ashura, 2×BitFenix 230mm Spectre Pro LED (Blue,Green), 2x BitFenix 140mm Spectre Pro LED
Memory 16 GB Gskill Ripjaws X 2133 (2400 OC, 10-10-12-20-20, 1T, 1.65V)
Video Card(s) AMD Radeon 290 Sapphire Vapor-X
Storage Samsung 840 Pro 256GB, WD Velociraptor 1TB
Display(s) NEC Multisync LCD 1700V (Display Port Adapter)
Case AeroCool Xpredator Evil Blue Edition
Audio Device(s) Creative Labs Sound Blaster ZxR
Power Supply Seasonic 1250 XM2 Series (XP3)
Mouse Roccat Kone XTD
Keyboard Roccat Ryos MK Pro
Software Windows 7 Pro 64
Id use it as a backup drive only.

And also trusting steam to keep your games is like playing craps. Id have them backed up to a mech drive/usb and then optical media kept in a dark cool case with dessicant.

Those software launchers could easily lose your data. I remember a Parts store losing all account info for warranty parts. Its a good thing I made copies of Reciepts as well since most places use thermal paper.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
5,237 (5.79/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & x99
Processor 9940x w/Optimus SigV2 & 10900k w/Optimus Foundation & 5930k w/Noctua D15
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & x99 Sabertooth
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3200c14 4x8gb
Video Card(s) 1080ti FTW3 & Titan Xp & evga 980ti gaming
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many sammy 2.5" ssd's and WD BLK hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center on Test bench
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2 with 2-Insignia 2.0 sound bars & 1-LG sound bar
Power Supply EVGA 1200P2 & 1000P2 with APC AX1500 & 850P2 with CyberPower-GX1325U & 750P2
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G710+x3
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20.2x2 & win-10 & 11pro x3
Benchmark Scores Are in the benchmark section
Hi,
Tough to say chunk it seeing it's size and the way you game
But blue is data only type of series which is archive stuff backup I have 1 or 2 for just system image storage but nowhere this size you have.

I lean to black series for game and t.v series stuff seeing I access the data a lot/ daily.

So stay with it just in another way.
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
17,409 (3.25/day)
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Black 4TB | WD Blue 6TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z (144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p) | Asus MG28UQ (4K, 60Hz, FreeSync compatible)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Pro - Black Shadow
Keyboard Yes
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
People, I've just clarified my usage of the drive in my OP. Check it out. :)
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
5,237 (5.79/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & x99
Processor 9940x w/Optimus SigV2 & 10900k w/Optimus Foundation & 5930k w/Noctua D15
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & x99 Sabertooth
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3200c14 4x8gb
Video Card(s) 1080ti FTW3 & Titan Xp & evga 980ti gaming
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many sammy 2.5" ssd's and WD BLK hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center on Test bench
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2 with 2-Insignia 2.0 sound bars & 1-LG sound bar
Power Supply EVGA 1200P2 & 1000P2 with APC AX1500 & 850P2 with CyberPower-GX1325U & 750P2
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G710+x3
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20.2x2 & win-10 & 11pro x3
Benchmark Scores Are in the benchmark section
Hi,
I'd still move games to black.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
2,441 (4.80/day)
Location
Colorado, U.S.A.
System Name HP Compaq 8000 Elite CMT
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
Motherboard Hewlett-Packard 3647h
Memory 16GB DDR3
Video Card(s) NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 GDDR5 (fan-less)
Storage 2TB Seagate Firecuda 3.5"
Display(s) Dell P2416D (2560 x 1440)
Power Supply 12V HP proprietary
Software Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
I still like the hybrid drives (Seagate FireCuda) as the 8GB solid state cache reduces hard drive thrashing and the hard drive reduces cache writes (it's the writes, not reads, that cause SSD wear)

HOWEVER only the 3.5" version is CMR
 
Last edited:

64K

Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
5,300 (1.72/day)
Processor i7 7700k
Motherboard MSI Z270 SLI Plus
Cooling CM Hyper 212 EVO
Memory 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2070 Super
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB and WD Black 4TB
Display(s) Dell 27 inch 1440p 144 Hz
Case Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow Edition
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply EVGA SuperNova 850 W Gold
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Logitech G105
Software Windows 10
My Grandfather used to say. "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

Sounds like you don't game enough that you would be concerned if this drive died on you and you had to replace it and download some games again. I've never had any problems with HDDs including one of my PCs at work that I used daily for almost 11 years. The IT people hauled the PC away and put me in a new PC just because of adopting Win 10 system wide.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
2,441 (4.80/day)
Location
Colorado, U.S.A.
System Name HP Compaq 8000 Elite CMT
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
Motherboard Hewlett-Packard 3647h
Memory 16GB DDR3
Video Card(s) NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 GDDR5 (fan-less)
Storage 2TB Seagate Firecuda 3.5"
Display(s) Dell P2416D (2560 x 1440)
Power Supply 12V HP proprietary
Software Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
My Grandfather used to say. "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

While I agree with this, I still tend to open up my old working power supplies and recap them (preventive maintenance), so they won't break at an inopportune moment.


This LTT video explains the difference between SMR & PMR drives and their trade-offs.


Very interesting about the ZFS files system and SMR drives interaction.


Concerning your vote; I'd say
  • Keep it for storage (games and the like)
  • Replace it if used as a boot drive
which puts you in the first category.
 
Last edited:

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
17,409 (3.25/day)
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Black 4TB | WD Blue 6TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z (144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p) | Asus MG28UQ (4K, 60Hz, FreeSync compatible)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Pro - Black Shadow
Keyboard Yes
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
@Shrek
I think CMR / PMR are just different terms for the same thing. The video used PMR so I went with that and I think that's the more common term.


Its up to you. SMR hdd are fine if you use them in their intended way of archiving media and it being a mostly read only operation. Problem comes when you workload is read and write especially writes which would suffer alot when the HDD cache is used up. Personally I would replace it CMR drive myself from your workload it sound like you have read/write workload usage for the HDD which is not quite ideal. Otherwise I don't see it being a problem. Not sure if SMR and CMR have any difference from a reliability standpoint. CMR in theory should be more reliable with data tracks not being overlapped like SMR. I have had bad experience with SMR so I tend to avoid them unless it is a light use HDD.

Yeah, it's more of an archiver for my usage. I think my OP clarification covers it. :)


@eidairaman1
Seriously, it doesn't matter for my usage. I've only got the inconvenience of redownloading everything if it craps out and they're only games in the end. And in my experience, Steam and the other content management systems have done a fine job of looking after my games, so I'm not worried about that.

@Selaya
Grats for voting to chuck it in the furnace! :cool:




Everyone, looks like the verdict is in: given my usage, I'll just stay with it and not worry about the internal workings. In particular, it's lovely and quiet, which is really important for me.
 

Aquinus

Resident Wat-man
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
12,731 (3.31/day)
Location
Concord, NH
System Name Apollo
Processor Intel Core i9 9880H
Motherboard Some proprietary Apple thing.
Memory 64GB DDR4-2667
Video Card(s) AMD Radeon Pro 5600M, 8GB HBM2
Storage 1TB Apple NVMe, 4TB External
Display(s) Laptop @ 3072x1920 + 2x LG 5k Ultrafine TB3 displays
Case MacBook Pro (16", 2019)
Audio Device(s) AirPods Pro, Sennheiser HD 380s w/ FIIO Alpen 2, or Logitech 2.1 Speakers
Power Supply 96w Power Adapter
Mouse Logitech MX Master 3
Keyboard Logitech G915, GL Clicky
Software MacOS 12.1
Does it work? I mean, as long as reliability is good and the performance is tolerable, then why not? I have a dinky 2.5" 4TB drive that's my backup for my laptop. It's not very fast, but it gets the job done and has been fairly solid so far. So long as you're happy with it and it works well, then why not use an SMR drive? For games though, I'll always take SSD over rotational media, hands down.
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
17,409 (3.25/day)
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Black 4TB | WD Blue 6TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z (144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p) | Asus MG28UQ (4K, 60Hz, FreeSync compatible)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Pro - Black Shadow
Keyboard Yes
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Thanks @Aquinus

Yes, it performs well enough for its assigned duty.

A faster rotating drive would surely be better for game loading times, eg WD Black as 3.3TB+ is a little large for a home SSD setup lol, but I play them so little nowadays that the extra few seconds doesn't matter.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
929 (0.72/day)
Location
UK, Leicester
System Name Main PC
Processor 9900k@4.8ghz 1.25v
Motherboard Asrock Fatality K6 Z370
Cooling Noctua NH-D15S
Memory 32 Gig 3200CL14
Video Card(s) 3080 RTX FE
Storage 980 PRO 1TB (OS, others not listed)
Display(s) LG 27GL850
Case Fractal Define R4
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar D2X
Power Supply Antec HCG 750 Gold
If its currently working ok for you then it will probably in the future providing its used for the same purpose.

There is no evidence I am aware off that SMR drives degrade faster.

Of course when you next buy a spindle go for a CMR model. :)
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
17,409 (3.25/day)
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Black 4TB | WD Blue 6TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z (144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p) | Asus MG28UQ (4K, 60Hz, FreeSync compatible)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Pro - Black Shadow
Keyboard Yes
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
If its currently working ok for you then it will probably in the future providing its used for the same purpose.

There is no evidence I am aware off that SMR drives degrade faster.

Of course when you next buy a spindle go for a CMR model. :)
Ya, I totally will. Of course, I only bought this one as the recording method wasn't disclosed.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
28,454 (4.66/day)
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 10850K@5.2GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z470 Taichi
Cooling Corsair H115i Pro w/ Noctua NF-A14 Fans
Memory 32GB DDR4-3600
Video Card(s) RTX 2070 Super
Storage 500GB SX8200 Pro + 8TB with 1TB SSD Cache
Display(s) Acer Nitro VG280K 4K 28"
Case Fractal Design Define S
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply eVGA SuperNOVA 1000w G3
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
I see no reason to even worry about having a SMR drive when using them in a single drive configuration. The downsides of SMR, when in a single drive configuration, really are blown out of proportion. Yes, they can write slower when the CMR cache runs out. But I've literally written 100s of GB of data to my SMR drive at once and it never hit the point where it was writing to the SMR directly. So, unless you plan to buy one and fill the drive up in one go, SMR will likely never even affect you.

A faster rotating drive would surely be better for game loading times, eg WD Black as 3.3TB+ is a little large for a home SSD setup lol, but I play them so little nowadays that the extra few seconds doesn't matter.
Almost all my games are run off an 8TB WD SMR drive. If you really want faster without breaking the bank, look into using an SSD cache with the HDD. And 8TB HDD with a 1TB SSD cache is way cheaper than 8TB of SSD storage.
 

Mussels

Freshwater Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
54,432 (8.35/day)
Location
Oystralia
System Name Rainbow Sparkles (Power efficient, <350W gaming load)
Processor Ryzen R7 5800X (PBO tweaked, 4.4-5.05GHz)
Motherboard Asus x570 Gaming-F
Cooling EK Quantum Velocity AM4 + EK Quantum ARGB 3090 w/ active backplate. Dual rad.
Memory 2x32GB DDR4 3600 Corsair Vengeance RGB @3800 C18-22-22-22-42 TRFC704 (1.4V, SoC 1.15V Hynix MJR)
Video Card(s) Galax RTX 3090 SG 24GB: Underclocked to 1500Mhz 0.737v | 1600Mhz 0.75v | 1900Mhz 0.9v
Storage 2TB WD SN850 NVME + 1TB Sasmsung 970 Pro NVME + WD AN1500 1TB + 1TB Intel 6000P NVME USB 3.2
Display(s) Kogan 32" 4K 72Hz +Gigabyte G32QC (1440p 165Hz) + Phillips 328m6fjrmb (1440p 144Hz)
Case Fractal Design R6
Audio Device(s) Logitech G560 | Corsair Void pro RGB |Blue Yeti mic
Power Supply Fractal Ion+ 2 860W (Platinum)
Mouse Logitech G Pro wireless + Steelseries Prisma XL
Keyboard Razer Huntsman TE (custom white and steel keycaps)
VR HMD Oculus Rift S
Software Windows 11 pro x64 (Yes, it's genuinely a good OS)
Benchmark Scores I don't quite know how i managed to get such a top tier PC, I am not rich.
Clearly, stay with it until and unless write speeds become an issue. When they do, upgrade to anything not SMR.

You could also use some kind of caching (primocache, optane, blah blah blah) to reduce performance issues as well.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
3,601 (0.56/day)
Location
Ikenai borderline!
Considering that 4TB 2.5" SSDs can be found for under 300 quid now, that's another option.
 

Mussels

Freshwater Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
54,432 (8.35/day)
Location
Oystralia
System Name Rainbow Sparkles (Power efficient, <350W gaming load)
Processor Ryzen R7 5800X (PBO tweaked, 4.4-5.05GHz)
Motherboard Asus x570 Gaming-F
Cooling EK Quantum Velocity AM4 + EK Quantum ARGB 3090 w/ active backplate. Dual rad.
Memory 2x32GB DDR4 3600 Corsair Vengeance RGB @3800 C18-22-22-22-42 TRFC704 (1.4V, SoC 1.15V Hynix MJR)
Video Card(s) Galax RTX 3090 SG 24GB: Underclocked to 1500Mhz 0.737v | 1600Mhz 0.75v | 1900Mhz 0.9v
Storage 2TB WD SN850 NVME + 1TB Sasmsung 970 Pro NVME + WD AN1500 1TB + 1TB Intel 6000P NVME USB 3.2
Display(s) Kogan 32" 4K 72Hz +Gigabyte G32QC (1440p 165Hz) + Phillips 328m6fjrmb (1440p 144Hz)
Case Fractal Design R6
Audio Device(s) Logitech G560 | Corsair Void pro RGB |Blue Yeti mic
Power Supply Fractal Ion+ 2 860W (Platinum)
Mouse Logitech G Pro wireless + Steelseries Prisma XL
Keyboard Razer Huntsman TE (custom white and steel keycaps)
VR HMD Oculus Rift S
Software Windows 11 pro x64 (Yes, it's genuinely a good OS)
Benchmark Scores I don't quite know how i managed to get such a top tier PC, I am not rich.
Considering that 4TB 2.5" SSDs can be found for under 300 quid now, that's another option.
They're QLC drives, the SSD equivalent to SMR.

Except they die fast, as well as write slow.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
780 (0.30/day)
System Name Fat NCASE
Processor Ryzen R9 3900X
Motherboard ASUS TUF GAMING B550M ZAKU (WIFI) Edition
Cooling Scythe Fuma with 3 SCYTHE Wondersnail 2400RPM + Arctic MX2
Memory Corsair Vengeance 128GB @3200Mhz Cl16 (32GB X 4)
Video Card(s) Palit RTX 3060 StormX ITX 12GB
Storage MX500 4TB SATA + Toshiba MG08 16TB HDD
Display(s) LG 27UL500 4K monitor
Case Jonsbo W2 black
Audio Device(s) Onboard realtek 1200 & Soundblaster G3 usb
Power Supply ASUS ROG STRIX 850W Gundam Edition
Mouse Elecom wireless mouse :)
Keyboard RK100 Royal Kludge
Software Windows 10 HOME
Benchmark Scores Don't know any benchmark. It runs good enough for me.
They're QLC drives, the SSD equivalent to SMR.

Except they die fast, as well as write slow.

The crucial MX500 have gone down to about that price and it is a TLC ssd. The crucial 4tb version have about 1000TBW for them I am highly considering after price drop for my use too. Currently the cheapest TLC based ssd with a decent track record. I would avoid QLC ssd.
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
17,409 (3.25/day)
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Black 4TB | WD Blue 6TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z (144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p) | Asus MG28UQ (4K, 60Hz, FreeSync compatible)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Pro - Black Shadow
Keyboard Yes
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Thanks for the extra feedback people. It's fine though, I'm staying with it as was my gut feeling in my OP.

@newtekie1
That's interesting about all those heavy writes being absorbed by the cache. It looks like the usage where it really makes a difference is in RAID where it can be dramatic as in that LTT video.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
28,454 (4.66/day)
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 10850K@5.2GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z470 Taichi
Cooling Corsair H115i Pro w/ Noctua NF-A14 Fans
Memory 32GB DDR4-3600
Video Card(s) RTX 2070 Super
Storage 500GB SX8200 Pro + 8TB with 1TB SSD Cache
Display(s) Acer Nitro VG280K 4K 28"
Case Fractal Design Define S
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply eVGA SuperNOVA 1000w G3
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
That's interesting about all those heavy writes being absorbed by the cache. It looks like the usage where it really makes a difference is in RAID where it can be dramatic as in that LTT video.
Yeah, for the most part, normal users never even realize they have an SMR drive. It became a problem when WD released SMR drives under the Red line, and even then they worked fine for a while until one died and someone noticed it was taking forever to rebuild their array. Rebuilding the array writes so much data to the drive that the cache runs out and write speeds tank. Only then did the whole SMR thing come out and people like LTT started making videos about them. But SMR drives have been sold to consumers for close to 10 years now and consumers never even really realized it.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
19,923 (5.99/day)
Location
USA
In April 2020 I bought the WD Blue WD60EZAZ 6TB drive. I use it to store my game installs and occasional virtual machines (I tend to test and discard) and it's currently holding 3.3TB of data. It's not backed up, since the games are all on Steam, Origin etc so can be downloaded again, although it would take several months to do at my "broadband" speed of 20Mbps. I don't play them all that much either and I've not had any problems with the drive or noticed any particular performance issues.

A couple of months later, the scandal broke out between SMR and PMR drives because manufacturers at the time had a habit of not specifying the recording method used in their spec sheets, as they didn't with my drive.

SMR = Shingled Magnetic Recording
Sounds like something you catch, doesn't it?

PMR - Perpendicular Magnetic Recording
The way "normal" drives work.

My question: is it worth replacing the drive with a PMR model to avoid potential problems down the road, or just stay with it? Common sense seems to dictate just to stay with it, but I'd be interested to see what others think.



EDIT TO CLARIFY USAGE

Usage is mostly read when I'm loading a game up, which isn't very often. The only write operations of note are automatic game updates from Steam where write performance doesn't matter, especially at my download speed.

If I was doing a lot of writing with it, I'd have replaced it for sure and this wouldn't have even been a question. And it's only holding my games which aren't important in the grand scheme of things. All my other data is stored on a WD Black 4TB and is properly backed up.



This LTT video explains the difference between SMR & PMR drives and their trade-offs.

If it's not your boot/OS drive, you're fine. SMR drives are not garbage. They're just not suitable for an OS drive because they're slower.

Keep the drive, worry not.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
929 (0.72/day)
Location
UK, Leicester
System Name Main PC
Processor 9900k@4.8ghz 1.25v
Motherboard Asrock Fatality K6 Z370
Cooling Noctua NH-D15S
Memory 32 Gig 3200CL14
Video Card(s) 3080 RTX FE
Storage 980 PRO 1TB (OS, others not listed)
Display(s) LG 27GL850
Case Fractal Define R4
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar D2X
Power Supply Antec HCG 750 Gold
They're QLC drives, the SSD equivalent to SMR.

Except they die fast, as well as write slow.
Plus that price is still around triple of a 4TB HDD very bad value per TB if the priority is storage capacity.
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
17,409 (3.25/day)
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Black DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Black 4TB | WD Blue 6TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z (144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p) | Asus MG28UQ (4K, 60Hz, FreeSync compatible)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Pro - Black Shadow
Keyboard Yes
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
If it's not your boot/OS drive, you're fine. SMR drives are not garbage. They're just not suitable for an OS drive because they're slower.

Keep the drive, worry not.
But I like fretting! :p

But seriously, it's strictly data only of course. I'm tempted to try it out as a boot drive one day to see how awful it is, enthusiast style. :)
 
Top