You may have seen drives labeled “RAID edition” or “enterprise” that seem to be much more expensive than drives that don’t sport those labels.  Two recent releases; the Barracuda ES.2 and Caviar RE2-GP aren’t that much more expensive than their brethren, and claim a much longer MTBF thanks to better quality firmware.  Drop by ExtremeTech to see if the higher quality guts also translate into better speeds.

“In the past, upgrading storage had some urgency. As 160GB hard drives filled up, we looked to larger capacity drives. In the era of the terabyte drive, the pressure to move to bigger drives may not be as urgent—at least, not for most users.

If you could buy hard drives that, on average, last a bit longer, then you can either put off the day you’ll have to restore that backup, or defer simply replacing and upgrading your storage. The good news is that you can. These drives, variously labeled “RAID edition” or “enterprise” drives, are built on the same platforms as the desktop variants. The differences in actual pricing are minor, but they’re designed to offer better reliability over the long haul.”

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