HDD reliability test results

ku-xlargeIf you’re smart, you want to buy the most reliable hard drive possible…but what would that be?  Enterprise-class drives are a common choice, but are they worth the extra money?  How do the different brands compare?  There’s a company called BackBlaze that runs a business backing up all the data from your computer, unlimited storage, for just $5 per month.  So, as you might expect, they go through a lot of hard drives.  At the end of 2013, they were using a total of 27,134 drives!  Fortunately for the rest of us, they’ve tracked HDD longevity and made the results public at their blog (very smart marketing move!).

There are some interesting conclusions from their testing.  First, they’ve found that if reliability is your priority, the extra cost of enterprise-class drives isn’t worth it.  What I find most fascinating is the graph that’s posted here, showing how Seagate, well, sucks.  In spite of that though, they’re still fans of Seagate and still buying new ones, as they explain in their blog.  In short, some Seagate driaves are OK, others have a 120% annual failure rate (meaning, they won’t even last a year).  If you want to be safe though, stick with Western Digital or Hitachi.

MAME system build has started

I found an empty arcade game cabinet on Craigslist for $20, so that’s kick-started my MAME system build.  Starting out with a fan-less Shuttle XS35 system, with a 16GB compact flash card for storage.  Installing an OS onto a barebones system can be tough without an optical drive, but I cobbled together a functional (but slow) external drive setup using an old IDE drive and external hard drive enclosure.  Did I mention it’s slow?  Well no matter, it’s just for the OS install, then everything will be done over the network.  Stay tuned here for updates as the build progresses.