Best hard drive solution for 3TB worth of data?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by marklight, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006
    So I'm looking for the cheapest solution for 3TB worth of information. I've browsed on newegg for 3TB and 4TB drives, but I'm not really sure what to do. I'd rather not pay for 4TB drive (4X1TB) because I don't have 4TB worth of information; I'm hovering at slightly above 2TB and my whole collection is completely ripped, so I'm not going to be going over 3TB any time soon, let alone 4.

    All that said, I'm just looking for a good 3TB solution. i know they make 1.5 TB drives, but they seem pricey for the gb/cost ratio, and the drives on newegg that are 3TB (usually 4 X 750) seem pretty expensive (~600) when compared to the cost of 3 single 1 TB drives ~ 130.00 each.

    3 X 1 TB drives would be around 400 bucks or less. So is there a drive bay that I could fit the drives into. I'm not interested in raid 1, or 5 or anything like that. I'll just be doing raid 0 (or no raid at all). Also, I want to keep have a single "movie box" i.e. I don't want to have 3 separate 1TB hard drives.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    It seems as thought you want 4 hard drives. Have you considered 4 x 750GB? They seemed to be very reasonable priced these days.
  3. macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    despite contradicting what OP said...I think I might have to agree with you...

    if you buy 4 seperate 750GB drives, they cost on avg. 100$ each, it's 400$
    avg. 1TB drive is 140$, or 420$ total
    avg. 1.5 TB drive is 180$ or 360$ total

    if you want them in some sort of case, I don't know how to help you...maybe a DIY case and pop them in
  4. Aea
    macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    Don't do RAID 0 for storing information unless you have a backup (doesn't sound like you do judging by your post). If you want any redundancy and go with a RAID5 system (Cheapest in your case) you need to get one more drive then you would otherwise...

    5 * 750GB = $500 | $450 on Newegg
    4 * 1TB = $560 | $480 on Newegg
    3 * 1.5TB = $540 | $540 on Newegg

    Looks like the 750GB are best per GB overall, I'd go with those in your case.

    P.S. Please don't do RAID 0, bad idea ;)
  5. macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2005
    What you really need is a snapshot capable file system (like ZFS).
    You can have all the Raid in the world and still one misplaced delete loses the whole lot.
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006
    I'm not worried about backup. Don't worry about it. I just want to find a cheap 3 TB solution. I guess what I'm looking for is a drive bay that will let me hold 3 or 4 drives.
  7. macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    Raid 0 is a huge NO in this situation. Raid 0 is used where you want high performance. A loss of 1 drive will bring down the whole array though.

    The price/gb is about the same for each. Since prices vary, I used an average of what you can typically find the drives for at any given time.

    750g - $90 = 12cents/gb * 4 = $360
    1tb - $130 = 13c/gb * 3 = $390
    1.5tb - $180 = 12c/gb * 2 = $360

    I recommend using the largest capacity drive you can afford so you have room for expansion. You'll also have fewer drives spinning and lower power consumption. Right now you may only need 3tb, but that WILL change.

    I would also highly recommend raid 5. You may not think you need it, but even if the data is just dvd rips that can be replaced, I wouldn't want to spend 100+ hours re-ripping them when, not if, a drive fails just to save 100 bucks. You may get lucky and not have one fail before you replace them with something else, but with capacities constantly growing it's a bigger and bigger gamble.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    For what it's worth, MANY people have had lots of trouble using the new 1.5TB Seagate drives in RAID systems. I had four in my Drobo and it is now down to two. I'm returning all four of the stupid drives and getting 1TB WD Green drives instead.
  9. macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    You seem like the ideal candidate for a [url="]Drobo[/url].
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006
    Haha. Thanks for all the help so far guys, but I DONT want to back up any of this data. I want 3TB worth of space in one drive. I don't care if it's raid or not. It can show up as 3 separate drives for all I care. I just really want 1 drive that has 3TB in it. I do not want to spend extra money on drives that back up and although the Drobo is awesome, I don't want to spend extra money for it. Just 3 drives (1TB each) and some sort of drive bay to put them in - any suggestions?

    Sorry, I know you're all very much pushing the backup solution, but it's not needed.
  11. macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2007
    so, look for a 3 or 4 drive enclosure. they arent cheap, but they are out there...

    it may wind up being a bit cheaper if you get a 2-drive enclosure and 2 1.5tb drives, since the enclosures are more common/cheaper
  12. macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008

    I've been using this for my file serving needs.


    I've got 2 1TB drives in it and it's been working fine. It's got gigabit ethernet and serves all my appletv needs. I think I'm going to go ahead and pick up another so I can have another 2 TB. This is a really good price right now (I paid about 200.00 for my first one). It's been flawless. I'm using a MSI Wind desktop as my iTunes server and the two together consume very little power.

    If you were to get one of these and two 1.5TB drives your looking at about 490.

  13. macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2005
    Yep, and the 750Gb ones too....Mine are pants
  14. macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    Well get the number of drives you need and put them in an old machine then. 750, 1tb, and 1.5tb are all about the same price/gb so you might as well go for the fewest drives.

    I hope it turns out that a backup isn't needed.;)
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006
    Maybe I didn't read closely, but there's no USB or firewire on this device?

    What I'm struggling with right now is that I can buy 3 X 1 TB external for like 360 dollars... but I just want one device- not 3 separate externals. How can I match this price point - say 360-460 dollars. I've looked for some drive bays, but I'm not too knowledgeable or savvy when it comes to HDD bays. I'm figuring a 4 slot device is probably the best option (add another 1 TB to it in the future). Any suggestions on a hard drive bay that will hold 3-4 hard drives?
  16. macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Yeah that is correct. The DNS-323 is a networked device only.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Aug 29, 2007

    Not sure where your budget lies (sorry if I missed that) but I have been running a ReadyNAS for over 2 years for my media serving needs (first to an Xbox running XBMC) and now to 2 PS3's for HD streaming. Originally made by Infrant (bought by Netgear) the unit I have is an NV; 4 SATA drive Raid 5 (actually beyond Raid 5, allows dynamic growth of storage without rebuilding). You can do JBOD as well (concatenates the 4 disks into 1 large volume so you get all the space). Nice units... have a number of streaming services included (upnp, iTunes, Squeezecenter) + every network file system including CIFS (windows) AFP (apple), NFS, FTP, Http, etc etc).... not cheap, but well worth the money. Hope this helps.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    What interface do you need? Can you deal with esata? If so: 1054107131&bop=And&SrchInDesc=JBOD&Page=1

    I searched for newegg for JBOD (just a bunch of disks). Most are 2 drive enclosures, but there are some that are 4 drive enclosures but they require esata.
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2006
    Good find. I really need USB out though.

    I really wish the AMS DS-2350S had USB 2.0 out. Is there a way around this?

    Also, I didn't see any of the 4 bay setups you were talking about.

    Also, I'm just wondering, this enclosure seems pretty good,

    but do you think the 1.5 terabyte drives are reliable enough for it? Seems like there's mixed feelings about them on newegg.
  22. macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    I was thinking about adding the Seagate's to my Drobo, I'm glad I didn't after reading some of the post's like your's. I guess we'll have to wait for WD to come out with a 1.5 or 2 TB drive.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    I'm kinda in the same boat except I took an initial different direction. I currently have a row of external drives hooked to my Mac mini media server and now, because of heat and excess electricity use, I'm thinking of going another route. And speaking of Rosewill, I have two of the R2-JBODs and while I'm happy with them, I really want to combine the drives (and some others) into one unit. Sidenote - before I got the Rosewill I tried a similar device from Galaxy....stay away as it hosed a drive of mine during the span.

    So the unit I've really been eyeing is this:

    Or this:
    (which now appears to be deactivated)
  24. macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2007
    I've been using one of these for about two years with various drives in the configuration with not problems. It allows four disk's over USB, and you can configure it to show each disk separately or configure the disk's as JBOD and have it show up as one drive.

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