Hardrive Preferences.

ATA/speed/any tips?

I’m replacing a hardrive.
I shopped around, and this was the best deal I could find in my price range.
Last one on this list Western Digital.
Maxtor Ultra ATA-133 40 7200 2MB <10 $54.99
Western Digital Ultra ATA-100 40 5400 2MB <13 $57.99
Seagate Ultra ATA-100 40 5400 2MB <13 $57.99
Seagate Ultra ATA-100 40 7200 2MB <9.5 $57.99
Western Digital Ultra ATA-100 40 7200 2MB <9.5 $59.99
Western Digital Ultra ATA-100 40 7200 8MB 8.9 $62.99
Seagate Ultra ATA-100 40 7200 2MB <9.5 $64.99
Seagate Ultra ATA-100 40 7200 2MB <9.5 $69.99
Hitachi GST Ultra ATA-100 60 7200 2MB <9.5 $59.99
Western Digital Ultra ATA-100 60 7200 8MB <8.5 $64.99

Anyway I choose the last one on this list for it’s 8Mb buffer speed, and it’s average seek speed of <8.5
I don’t care about drive space cause I have a 120G external Phantom drive.
But I figured I can partition this one into two 30G’s one with the OS system on it,the other for music.
Whatcha guys think?

I’m gettting a Maudio card 4 1/4 in inputs so I want something that can keep up with all the tracks.
I’ve read alot in here about ATA and firewire, so I just want to make shure I’m gettin’ the right drive for what I’m tryin’ to set up.

It’s not too late for me to change the order so guys speak up, if there’s a better drive or dealer outlet I should check out.

these result where found at tigerdirect.

Thanks in advance,


I personally prefer western digital, I have never had a problem (can’t say that for maxtor though :P). Personally if the 8mb buffer western digital is in your price range (and it’s a 3 year warranty one) i’d go for that. Check the warranty for sure, some HD makers went down to a 1 year warranty (or for awhile at least) which sketches me out. If they aren’t confident it will last more than a year, then I don’t want it.

My current drive is a 200gig WD and it’s great, and it only cost me $120 CAN before taxes iirc ($90USD?). It’s an ata-100 (pata to be exact i guess) even though I have sata on my motherboard (at the time I was a little sketchy about drivers). Also most sata drives are just the same old drives with sata interfaces (which is good if your sata controller does raid) but performs the same for a single drive so I couldn’t justify the cost. A 10,000 rpm sata drive was/is a little out of my price range.

Anyhow to get back on topic. I’ve own a 20, 80 and 200 gig WD recently (I think a 4.3 as well) and had no problems with any of them. The only recent drive (>10gig) that I had any problems with was a 30 gig maxtor. Different people will have different experiences though. I have not heard bad things about seagate and they make some quiet ones if that’s an issue.

Thanks, I didn’t take noise into consideration,
although the last drive made all kinds of noises before it puked! :p
Gotta look into that one. I didn’t see a seagate listed with a higher or equal buffer speed. But I didin’t look at the higer priced drives. Now I’m wondering, If it’s worth it to by a higer priced drive that I know will be quieter?

Thanks again,


At the moment, I have two Maxtors. The other one is a replacemet for another Maxtor that developed problems soon after I got it (The beginning of the disk developed bad sectors and slowed down a lot, reformatting or anything didn’t help, rest of the disk was okay). These two have worked several years with no problems.

(Of course, that probably means one of them will fail any day now… :O But then, ALL the hard disks may fail any day now.)

Ooh just found this review. Seems like a 40gig seagate wouldn’t be a bad idea (single platter == quieter). Although if you have winy little fans upgrading to some 120mm fans might be an idea (plus since they push more cfm’s you can run them at a slower rpm).

My case actually has a special mount so I can get rid of my stock heatsink fan and replace it with a case fan sitting right over it. Although at this point I’m not obsessed with being quiet, my current computer is quieter than previous so I’m satisfied with that for now (although the dell I got my parents seems quieter and this is rated as a quiet case ??? whatever I’ll just keep it out of where i’m recording).

Of course making a computer quiet is a whole other thread, and it’s been done on many case modding and htpc sites.

Thanks guys for the responces.
Based on your link info,dub I’m now looking at the following drive.
Seagate Barracuda IV 40G, single-platter
Sample purchased; 3 months old
PriceWatch ~US$68

The Barracuda IV became an instant hit with noise-conscious PC users when it was first introduced in 2001. With a claimed noise level of <2.5 Bels idle and 2.5 quiet seek, the original Barracuda IV single-platter 20G and 40G models were dramatically quieter than other mainstream drives, even the 5400 rpm models. They retain the reputation of being the quietest even today.

Their performance was competitive when they first appeared, but there’s little question that others have spun smartly past them since. They appear to be in the process of being phased completely out of production, displaced by the newer Barracuda V and faster Barracuda 7200.7, both with Serial ATA options.

Regardless, the single-platter Barracuda IV may be at least marginally quieter than its newer relatives, and remain widely used in the SPCR test labs.They have been reliable, quiet workhorses on a wide variety of platforms. They are our reference low-noise hard drives.

The Barracuda IV’s defenses against noise include:

Highly proven Fluid Dynamic Bearing motor
SeaShield™ protects circuit board against accidental handling damage – it even has a layer of blue-colored foam damping that is visible beneath this metal shield.
Acoustically damped seek adjustable via software (default setting is quiet seek)
Selected specifications

Ultra ATA/100, 7200 rpm
Maximum Internal Transfer Rate (Mbits/sec) 555
Average Seek 8.9 ms
Average Latency 4.16 ms

Idle: <2.5 Bels typical
Performance seek: 3.0 Bels typical
Quiet seek: 2.5 Bels typical

Looks like it cost about 4$ more than the WD, and I’m sacrificing 20G of space, and .03ms Av. search speed. But still has the 8Mb buffer I’m lookin’ for.
But supposed to be one of the quietest drives out! Although I think that was the brand of the one that puked on me. But it was used for 6 years.
Still I am leaning towards it.

Any more tips?

Get the Seagate 7200 RPM. The Maxtor ATA133 would be good too.

Mr Soul

Thanks Mike, a guy like you ought to know! :D

Now just gotta see if tiger will let me change the order…


Quote (Mr Soul @ Mar. 03 2005,11:31)
Get the Seagate 7200 RPM. The Maxtor ATA133 would be good too.

Mr Soul

Why the maxtor? Because it's ata133? That doesn't mean it has better performance, it means that the theoretical peak output is higher (133MB/s vs 100MB/s).. only problem is I haven't seen an ata harddrive that can burst faster than 66MB/s, and with a small cache it doesn't have much data to be throwing around at highspeeds anyhow.

Heck there are 5400rpm drives that perform better than some 7200rpm depedning on size and platters. If you want performance check out reviews, there are plenty of hardware sites that have tested basically every harddrive in existence.

If your bias is price then yes the maxtor will do the job fine. On the other hand for $8 more you can get a drive with a larger cache and better avg seek times (neither of which tells the whole story on performance, but they are pointing in the right direction).

Just my $0.02

Here’s my 2 cents…

Right now, Seagate has the best warranty/response to customers.

I have two Maxtors that work fine, but my brother’s computer business buys nothing but Seagate because they are great when it comes to the occasional bad drive that every manufacture makes. He use to have to wait for weeks to get a drive back from others, but not from Seagate.

Thanks guys, all your tips have been appreciated.
Kinda swawin’ towards tha Seagate now…just tryin to get tiger direct to change the order…

BTW dub, I’m not shure why Mike is suggesting the Maxtor as well, but he does build custom DAW’s on the side, so there might be other reasons. I just take his advice for what it’s worth. (having no computer building experience myself).
Initially he only suggested the seagate, but then he took the time to look over the specs, and decided to ad the Maxtor as another option, so for that, Mike I Thank You! :laugh:


Why the maxtor? Because it's ata133?
ATA133 is alittle better than ATA100 - no?

Maxtor's have Fluid Dynamic Bearings which make them a quiet drive. My old DAW has 2-Maxtor ATA133 drives in a RAID-0 configuration & it works very well.

I've used Seagates & Maxtor's in my home DAWs but now I use Samsung in my custom DAWs, because they're supposed to be quieter.

I think Maxtor have a 3-year warranty like the Seagates do?

Mr Soul
Quote (nergle @ Mar. 03 2005,18:10)
But I figured I can partition this one into two 30G's one with the OS system on it,the other for music.
Whatcha guys think?

I dunno about having your OS and your music on the same disk Jerm.

Just because they're in separate partitions doesn't make any difference. It's still the same physical hardware.

You'd be better off with two disks, one on IDE0 and the other on IDE1

Yeah you got a good point Ali,
I used to have a scuzzy that was set up that way.
I didn't know you could do that with Ide drives though.
Instead of getting another drive is it possible to use my external 120G Phantom drive as the second one for music?
It has USb and firewire sockets on the back?
I think I tried to us it to run Ntrack once before, but on the USB connection I was getting lag, during recording. Again that might have been becuase I didn't have the settings right to begin with.

BTW, on a side note:
I was wondering how long you could extend a microphone 3 prong chord before the signal looses strength?
And how long you could run a Rca chord without loosing signal strength?
The reason I'm asking is I'm setting up a makshift studio in my house. I got three rooms to place different instruments(people) to record live songs.
One room is sound proof and is the greatest distance from the DAW approx. 30ft.
I want to use that room to record the drums, but I would need 2-4 long cables to run the mics that distance.
The other two rooms would be used for guitars of course.
And vocals probably done later.
Just curious as to if theres any distance limitations on 3 prong cords (in conjunction with a phantom power supply (Beringer mixer)
I have an additional phantom power supply, but don't want to blow anything up!


ATA133 is alittle better than ATA100 - no?

When I was looking at hardrives once I looked at a bunch of benchmarks and ata133 drives were not consistently on top I should have done the stats if I was interested, but i'm sure by looking at it there wasn't enough that performed better to make it statistically significant. It has nothing to do with the drive, it's just the max speed the connection can do, good to know you have head room I guess. Although I did see some reviews that showed lower cpu usage with 133, so that is an issue. My guess is it's a sales point for Maxtor and if you go to their site I'm sure it's posted all over the place "All our ata drives are ata133!" or something. "Our amps go to 11!"

Maxtor's have Fluid Dynamic Bearings which make them a quiet drive. My old DAW has 2-Maxtor ATA133 drives in a RAID-0 configuration & it works very well.

Ahhh, there we go. Sorry that was probably mentioned at some point about your system (I try to keep on on reading this site, really i do!) so that is a good point, if they have worked well for you (i've stayed away like the plague now so I have no recent experience). Also I didn't know they have fuild dynamic bearings.

I think Maxtor have a 3-year warranty like the Seagates do?

No embarrased emoticon? Yes, I think you are right. They did go downt to a 1 year at some point (so did ibms and such I think), but WD kept the 3 year iirc (or at least on their 8MB buffer ones). Of course that was a short period (i rember there being a slashdot article when it first happened).

Anyone know what the duty is to ship from CAN to the US? If you are mail ordering anyone and in the north west www.ncix.com might be an answer, I buy all my equipment from them now (had good experiences with shipping and returning items). Although I only buy when they have a sale.
Actually there are a bunch of cheap ones in vancouver (I lived there a while). While I was there I'd shop at anitec.ca, but ncix has more experience shipping and since they price match the other locals (any online price I think). Although they are rarely more than $5 more expensive. atic.ca usually had the lowest, but if something needs to be dealt with over the phone there may be a language barrier (unless you speak mandrin).

Reason I mention it is they (ncix) have a 80 gig seagate on for $72 CAN ($54 USD?)and a samsung for $70CAN. But if duties cost a lot (or shipping if you are southeast) then it wouldn't be such a great deal. Just a thought. I sure you'd be up for double the storage if possible.

I know nothing about USB2.0 vs firewire.. although on the ncix forums I think firewire was recomended over usb for external dvd writers. Lots of idiots on that forum, but there are also a lot of experts.

Thanks, to all your info I did try to change my order to the 40G Seagate,dub.
Unfortunatly for me, tigerdirect didn’t have that model in stock, pobably cause of the grate demand no doupt.
Thanks for all the links, I’m keepin them in my fav’s for when I shop for the new M-audio soundcard.
Guess I’m stuck with the WD, oh well things could be worse I guess.
Most of my recordings will be done in another room, so hopefully it won’t be too loud.
Still have the horid sound of my last drive etched in my mind! :;):

Thanks again,

I’m not sure about the prices on m-audio stuff from there (they get good prices due to ordering large quantities and selling large quantities of items at low markup). I’m pretty sure they don’t sell a lot of m-audio. Of course they do price match :D .

Funny thing but some Maxtors have a 3 year warranty (mostly disks sold as OEM) and others have a one year (mostly those in retail packaging). I don’t know it there is any physical difference in the drives or if there is some other marketing related issue.

Maybe they figure that people who buy computer parts at Staples are more likely to mess them up somehow.