Best kind of hard drive for heavy use?

Greg Marsh greg.marsh at
Thu Sep 15 19:11:30 UTC 2016

Hi all, 

I've been reading this thread with joy and interest. I've been enamored with hard drives ever since a high school teacher gave me a huge textbook to read on how they worked. That was 30 years ago, when interleaving and MFM/RLL were still things. 
I eventually parlayed that into several storage management/architect jobs. 

Enough with my background.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned in this discussion is that if heavy workloads are the concern, why are spindle drives being considered? If SSD is too much $/GiB, why is it only 1 spindle drive, when one could run a reasonably quick, hard workload RAID-Z? 

I don't know what the OP's budget is, but if speed is a priority, I wouldn't consider any single spindle sata drive, regardless of make. I'd go SSD, knowing that it's only going to last me a few years at best. If that's all the time he got out of his single spindle drive, why go back to one? If memory serves, modern SSD drives are all triple cell now, unlike the first few generations of consumer SSDs, which were only single cell.

My .02 on drive makers, at home I have a 4x2tb WD Red ZFS array, which takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It's been running 24x7 for 2 years so far.  It's my backup and media streaming system, with a few other jailed systems that are staging/testing before I implement live. 

I hope that made sense. 
Have a great day everyone!


Sent from my iPhone

> On Sep 15, 2016, at 14:08, RW via freebsd-questions <freebsd-questions at> wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:24:46 +0200
> Ralf Mardorf via freebsd-questions wrote:
>>> On Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:10:26 +0100, RW via freebsd-questions wrote:
>>> The important thing is that everything that can't (or shouldn't) be
>>> discarded has to fit into swap+ram. Most desktops/workstations have
>>> much more memory than they need, in which case you can safely
>>> allocate swap plus most of the ram to tmpfs, if you want to.  
>> Ok, I didn't use FreeBSD since a while ago. On my Arch Linux, if the
>> tmpfs is full, swap isn't used ...
> I don't know why your particular system didn't swap, but that's not
> true in general, e.g.:
> "tmpfs puts everything into the kernel internal caches and grows and
> shrinks to accommodate the files it contains and is able to swap
> unneeded pages out to swap space."
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