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Topic # 171306 13-Apr-2015 14:53
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I'm looking for a *reliable* 6-8TB disk to back up my internal RAID mirror and another standalone drive offsite (current backup disks are full). Originally I was looking for an internal disk and an enclosure, but I've just worked out that external disks are cheaper than internal! Why is this? Do they use cheaper drives? Are they lower quality drives? I don't much care if the enclosure fails.

For example:
 - Seagate External 4TB is $119, cheapest internal Seagate disk is $185.
 - Western Digital 4TB is $119, cheapest internal WD drive is $185.
 - WD 6TB external is $249, WD Green internal is $330.


As an aside, which brand of external would y'all recommend as reliable? I was going to go with HGST drives, which are rated as very reliable, but they're over the GST threshold so they get to be quite expensive. BackBlaze rates Seagate 4TB+ as reliable, the smaller/older ones not so much - if they hadn't said that I'd have not used them, I find Seagate internally but external and rarely used I've found they can fail. The problem I have with external disks in an enclosure is you never know what kind of drive is inside them.




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  Reply # 1282221 13-Apr-2015 14:55
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It is probably a numbers game, they sell more externals and make more externals for consumers, so they are cheaper to sell. Generally the only people dealing with internal drives are people building a computer or replacing an existing drive. So not your average consumer.

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  Reply # 1282225 13-Apr-2015 14:59
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Perhaps the external CONSUMER market is more competitive than the internal CONSUMER market, thereby driving prices down more for consumers?

(In some cases they are lower quality or performance drives though, e.g. 5400RPM vs 7200RPM. But not always I think.)

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  Reply # 1282226 13-Apr-2015 14:59
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Makes no sense to me.  Could be temporary promotion, or possibly a marketing thing....  external has a nice big brand name where internal the layman never sees the drive brand.

Just at a quick look from one of our suppliers, the cheapest 6tb external is 20% more expensive than the same manufacturer's cheapest 6tb internal.




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  Reply # 1282237 13-Apr-2015 15:07
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Last time I needed an internal drive, I bought an external and ripped the drive out of it.



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  Reply # 1282246 13-Apr-2015 15:14
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Dynamic: Makes no sense to me.  Could be temporary promotion, or possibly a marketing thing....  external has a nice big brand name where internal the layman never sees the drive brand.

Just at a quick look from one of our suppliers, the cheapest 6tb external is 20% more expensive than the same manufacturer's cheapest 6tb internal.


It's fairly consistent on Amazon and newegg, external are always cheaper than internal on Amazon and newegg. Locally at ascent I can see Seagate external are about the same price as internal, but both are more expensive than overseas.




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  Reply # 1282287 13-Apr-2015 16:12
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My theory is volume of sales and specified parts. External disks are sold in lots of retail stores and so it is easier to ship lots of them in a container to a retailer. This drives down costs. Internal Disks will be generally only sold through computer parts suppliers so they are not imported in bulk to the same level.
Also Internal disks are of a set level. Ie: WD Blue, Black, Red etc which means tight quality control and specific parts. External disks can be pulled from a variety of suppliers based on size and speed only as there is not likely to be a tight control to make them fit a category. This means if Hitachi is supplying the cheapest drives this week, they go in the cases, If HGST drops their price, their drives go in next week. 

Worth bearing in mind that most enclosures no longer have a usb-sata adapter in them anymore. The USB port and controller is build in to the circuit board on the HDD in a lot of cases now. This means no more shucking to get SATA drives out. 




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  Reply # 1282288 13-Apr-2015 16:12
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Behodar: Last time I needed an internal drive, I bought an external and ripped the drive out of it.


I thought they had got around that possibility by putting a different interface on the disks that go into external hard drives?
Can anyone confirm if this is true?




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  Reply # 1282292 13-Apr-2015 16:20
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Hmm. Admittedly my last one was about a year ago (a Seagate).

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  Reply # 1282293 13-Apr-2015 16:20
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robjg63:
Behodar: Last time I needed an internal drive, I bought an external and ripped the drive out of it.

I thought they had got around that possibility by putting a different interface on the disks that go into external hard drives?
Can anyone confirm if this is true?

I've opened up more than one external drive that has a circuit board mounted on the drive with a USB connector and no SATA connector.  It seems to vary, and I could not guess which is more common.




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  Reply # 1282314 13-Apr-2015 16:29
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robjg63:
Behodar: Last time I needed an internal drive, I bought an external and ripped the drive out of it.


I thought they had got around that possibility by putting a different interface on the disks that go into external hard drives?
Can anyone confirm if this is true?


There are some external drives that don't have a proper SATA connector inside the disk enclosure.
Just some wiring that terminates on a pc board - must save them a few cents I guess.

I believe that some of the WD Elements external drives are like this. Sounds fine in theory until you break the USB connector in the external drive and then you find that you can't just plug it into a normal SATA interface to access your files.






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  Reply # 1282340 13-Apr-2015 17:11
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I know some can't be taken out of their enclosure easily. I suspect Seagate may be better for this, having standard SATA connections, but not really sure. Plus Seagate don't make green drives so I suspect that might be better than WD Green. Not bothered about 5400RPM for backups.

Disks are expensive in NZ. An HGST 6TB internal disk is US$298, plus probably $50 for a decent enclosure, though that's over the GST threshold so you pay that. You can get WD 6TB for US$225, Seagate 6TB for US$224, Seagate 8TB for US$299 (NZ$400) - that last one is $550 in NZ, $100 more than NZ, though you just go over the GST threshold so the price is similar. 6TB is NZ$334 from Amazon, NZ$420 in NZ. Of course actually getting them to NZ can be an issue, newegg don't seem to want to, and they're the main store I know that takes paypal.




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  Reply # 1282371 13-Apr-2015 17:49
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I recently broke down a slow-but-good WD external drive, 3 years old - and found a bog standard 2TB WD green HDD in good working order, data intact.
The box cost me less than the HDD's NZ list price.




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  Reply # 1282740 14-Apr-2015 10:43
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paulmilbank:

Worth bearing in mind that most enclosures no longer have a usb-sata adapter in them anymore.


Most that Ive opened still have sata connectors, Ive only come across 1 WD product range with no SATA
Just from what Ive seen, maybee the non sata's are more reliable so I dont get to open them up :-)

Werent the HD's in USB Cases lower spec in general(Greens), or has that now changed with the faster USB3 interface speeds



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  Reply # 1282758 14-Apr-2015 10:57
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I ended up buying a standard internal disk even though external were cheaper, HGST brand for reliability from newegg. With an external disk you never know what you'll get, probably a green drive that are widely criticized online, though no doubt work ok in real life for most people. Seagate is reported as failing at a consistent rate, WD fail early then do ok.




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  Reply # 1284573 15-Apr-2015 10:45
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timmmay:

For example:
 - Seagate External 4TB is $119, cheapest internal Seagate disk is $185.
 - Western Digital 4TB is $119, cheapest internal WD drive is $185.
 - WD 6TB external is $249, WD Green internal is $330.



It looks like the prices are a mix of NZ and US dollar values - all the external point to Newegg US whereas the internals point to Newegg NZ.  The Seagate for example goes to $159 (e) vs $185 (i) in NZ dollars - so much closer.

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