WD20EADS vs. WD20EARS and other 2TB drives


Which one would everyone recommend for a 2x Drobo setup, WD20EADS or WD20EARS? Media server use on OSX, so not constant access. Also looking at the Deathstars, but think they might be overkill. Thoughts?

they are essentially the same drive - small changes in the amount of cache wont make much/any difference once they are in drobo, personally i would just go with the cheapest.

I’d stick with WD-GP

WD20EARS is a 4-K sector disk, with “Advanced Formatting”.
Although it is officially supported by OSX and Drobo (with the latest firmware) it is not natively supported by XP for instance; some disk utilities also have problems with it.
At that point, I would go for the more ubiquitous disk, the WD20EADS.

its also supported by Windows 7

since you cant use disk utilities to repair or do much else to drobo’s disks (except a bit for bit clone) i’d still go with whichever is cheapest.

In theory the 4K drive is more likely to allow itself to recover from errors, or recover from bigger errors

Mac only environment here, so Windows support is a non-issue.

Makes no difference anyway since the OS won’t see the disk since its in drobo

Does the drobo handle these 4k Advanced Formatting disks when mixed with the more common legacy formatted disks?

yes - as long as you have the firmware on your drobo which can handle 4k drives (it says in the notes)

The reason I recommend the WD20EADS even on Mac-only configuration is that WD20EARS has problems with some disk utilities like Drive Genius.
Before inserting a new disk in a Drobo, I check it in a regular Firewire enclosure, using performance and long (24h) integrity tests.
With WD20EARS there were some bizarre artifacts (/5 or /10 performance drops), while none existed with WD20EADS. Not clear at that point if they come from the disk or Drive Genius. Only clear thing is that the 2 disks behave differently with some Mac applications, although 4K sectors disks are “officially supported” by MacOs.

I have one WD20EARS in my Drobo FS. Seems to be working out fine, I’ll reply in this thread if there are any problems that crop up.

I went with 8 WD20EARS, for reference.

im sure they will be fine :smiley: