Why buy 5TB if you only need 2/3/4TB?
Hard drives slow down as they fill up, so MPG recommends buying a drive 50% to twice as large as the actual data to be stored. Otherwise, the newest stuff ends up on the slowest part of the drive. Another trick for “guaranteed fast” is to partition a drive into fast and slow partitions, depicted graphically at right.
For example, a new 2TB hard drive might do 200 MB/sec when empty, but when 80% full (1.6TB) it’s going to drop in speed to 120MB/sec or so. Whereas a 5TB drive with 1.6TB of data will drop in speed only 15% or so.
Hard drive warranty
Hard drives have lousy waranty support: a bad drive can cost you 4-6 weeks of waiting for a manufacturer to send you a *refurb*, essentially forcing you to buy another one while you wait.
That’s why the MacSales 90-day replacement guarantee is something to consider when buying a new hard drive: waiting weeks for a hard drive manufacturer to send a refurb is an untenable plight, particularly for a RAID, which might need that drive to operate.
OWC is proud to offer an extended replacement window of 90 days on new internal hard disk drives* (unless otherwise noted in the product description) and Pioneer DVR devices. Once a return authorization number has been issued and we receive the problematic drive back, you will get a brand new replacement drive, rather than a factory refurbished drive.
MPG also recommends buying pre-tested “burned in” drives with the OWC Thunderbay 4, to benefit from not only the full burn-in process but the excellent warranty.
Each ThunderBay undergoes OWC's multi-hour drive "burn-in" performance certification procedure prior to shipping. This ensures your ThunderBay arrives operating properly and ready for demanding use.
Back in late 2015 I invested in two OWC Thunderbay 4 units incorporating eight 8TB HGST 8TB Ultrastar He8 enterprise-grade hard drives, which cost a pretty penny. Those drives are still serving me well except for one failure, which was replaced by MacSales.