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My SMR drive - opinions please

Should I replace the drive?

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I'm tempted to try it out as a boot drive one day to see how awful it is, enthusiast style.
To be fair, they're not that slow. They're just not as fast as CMR based drives. Even for an OS drive it would be workable. Not optimal, but doable. For example, I have a WD EasyStore external drive that is SMR. Only figured that out after looking it up. Would not have cared otherwise because write performance is in the 180MB to 210MB per second range. Not something to be at all concerned about.

Grab a copy of CrystalDiskMark and test it for yourself. Post the screenshots, I'd be interested to see what you get with that drive compared to mine.

EDIT;
I'll go first.

CDM-WD-SMR01.jpg


This is with the drive partitioned and full of data. So the numbers are different that the first tests I ran when it was new. Still 170MB range is nothing to complain about..
 
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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
How does the 8GB solid state cache work? Does it defer writes to the actual HDD until it fills up or like a write-back cache (with cache lines and modified/dirty bits)? If the system reboots or you lose power is the data still safe (since it's in non-volatile NAND)?
 
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I believe it only caches frequently used sectors
 
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I have had more blue drives fail than any other, I have replaced about 7 in the last 2 years, 4 in Dell servers. Hitachi drives are far more reliable.
 

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How does the 8GB solid state cache work? Does it defer writes to the actual HDD until it fills up or like a write-back cache (with cache lines and modified/dirty bits)? If the system reboots or you lose power is the data still safe (since it's in non-volatile NAND)?
the same way cache always works on the drives, only bigger. delayed writes if needed, combined with any reads that are still in the cache being accelerated
(with a size limit to prevent large files overtaking the whole thing)
 

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But SMR drives have been sold to consumers for close to 10 years now and consumers never even really realized it.
Now you mention that I remember reading articles about this technology 10+ years ago and how it was going to help break capacity barriers.

@lexluthermiester I'll run the test, gimme a day or so.
 
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the same way cache always works on the drives, only bigger. delayed writes if needed, combined with any reads that are still in the cache being accelerated
(with a size limit to prevent large files overtaking the whole thing)
Mussels, is there anyway to make the on-board, 8 GiB, solid state cache on SHDD's into a pure write cache with no read caching being done at all?
 

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What lex said.

You can make your own RAM cache with primocache to do exactly that (I have a 32GB read/write combined cache, despite my honkin SSD's)
 
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It looks like the usage where it really makes a difference is in RAID where it can be dramatic as in that LTT video.

Don't know about you, but I'd like to run ZFS one day.
 

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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. :)
It's not going to be any worse than a CMR hard drive as an OS drive, as long as it isn't almost full. The CMR cache makes SMR drives perform almost identically to a CMR drive except when writing extremely large amounts of data, or when the drive is nearly full and the CMR cache is gone.

That said, it's still going to be pretty awful, because HDDs just suck as OS drives in general.
 
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It's not going to be any worse than a CMR hard drive as an OS drive, as long as it isn't almost full. The CMR cache makes SMR drives perform almost identically to a CMR drive except when writing extremely large amounts of data, or when the drive is nearly full and the CMR cache is gone.

That said, it's still going to be pretty awful, because HDDs just suck as OS drives in general.

If SMR HDD's suffer performance issues when writing extremely large amounts of data that might make them less useful for non-differential data backups right?
 
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ZFS type workloads is what destroys performance on SMR drives, if its a mostly read workload it will probably not feel any slower than CMR. They have a CMR cache area kind of like how TLC/QLC SSDs have a SLC cache, so if the writes are not high enough to not go in that cache there should be little to no performance difference in theory.
 
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They're QLC drives, the SSD equivalent to SMR.

Except they die fast, as well as write slow.
There's zero evidence for that. QLC drives have been with us for a good while now, have you heard any reports of multiple failures of those drives? No? That's because those failures aren't happening.

I expect better of a moderator than FUD-spreading.
 
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There's zero evidence for that. QLC drives have been with us for a good while now, have you heard any reports of multiple failures of those drives? No? That's because those failures aren't happening.

I expect better of a moderator than FUD-spreading.

I think he meant in relative terms as a comparison to TLC and MLC they die fast, even if its not "fast" in absolute terms.

I also think they have not been out long enough yet to consider them to have reasonable longevity, personally I will expect an SSD to last 5 years absolute minimum, but on modern tech even 10+ years. Consider how slow wear levelling tends to happen, my 850 pro is around 7 years old now, and still doesnt have 100 erase cycles, the drive should last 50 years easily at that rate assuming the system area of the drive is not wearing faster.

Do QLC drives have automated NAND refreshes to keep the data readable (like the original planar TLC 840 fix which would accelerate wear), is that known?
 
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The following may be out of date
What is QLC SSD | Pure Storage

"So far, manufacturers have been able to produce QLC flash with 1,000 P/E cycles, which is orders of magnitude less than what’s possible with SLC SSDs (100,000 P/E cycles)."

I'm not here to say anyone is right or wrong, I'm just here to learn.

We are off topic, and this is the reason I opened up
Small SLC SSD boot drive | TechPowerUp Forums
 
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If SMR HDD's suffer performance issues when writing extremely large amounts of data that might make them less useful for non-differential data backups right?
Yes, that could be an issue for SMR drives.
 
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There's zero evidence for that. QLC drives have been with us for a good while now, have you heard any reports of multiple failures of those drives? No? That's because those failures aren't happening.
They happen all the time. I'm making a lot of money replacing them with higher quality TLC drives.
I expect better of a moderator than FUD-spreading.
Whereas we all have come to expect the nonsense you continually shovel everywhere. Perhaps you should STOP with the personal jabs and people might take you seriously.
We are off topic, and this is the reason I opened up
Small SLC SSD boot drive | TechPowerUp Forums
True, so back on topic: Have you decided what you want to do?

If SMR HDD's suffer performance issues when writing extremely large amounts of data that might make them less useful for non-differential data backups right?
Yes, that could be an issue for SMR drives.
While true, it would only slow things down somewhat. It would never cause data corruption problems. The difference is in speed only, not data integrity.
 

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Grab a copy of CrystalDiskMark and test it for yourself. Post the screenshots, I'd be interested to see what you get with that drive compared to mine.

EDIT;
I'll go first.

CDM-WD-SMR01.jpg
Here ya go. Takes ages to run, doesn't it?!

1654554676234.png
 

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Don't know about you, but I'd like to run ZFS one day.
Seriously, i feel like we're a decade overdue for more filesystem options in windows, even if it's just on non-OS partitions

There's zero evidence for that. QLC drives have been with us for a good while now, have you heard any reports of multiple failures of those drives? No? That's because those failures aren't happening.

I expect better of a moderator than FUD-spreading.
I mean... they officially have greatly lower lifespans, by their own specifications.
 
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Seriously, i feel like we're a decade overdue for more filesystem options in windows, even if it's just on non-OS partitions
The old idiom rings true: If it's not broken, don't fix it. NTFS and exFAT are very stable and robust. There's really no need to replace them.
 
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Seriously, i feel like we're a decade overdue for more filesystem options in windows, even if it's just on non-OS partitions


I mean... they officially have greatly lower lifespans, by their own specifications.
Windows does now have REFS and storage spaces. If you willing to experiment a little. It has checksumming same as ZFS.
 
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SMR fine for WORM-style usage.
Keep it unless the lack of write performance annoys you and then buy either an Ironwolf/Ironwolf Pro or Red+/Red Pro.
 
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