Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking at buying some more space. I currently have 6 hard drives ranging from 80GB - 500GB glued together in an LVM. I just use them for long term storage (ISOs of CDs I don't want to bother with, Movies, Photos, etc.).

I'm looking at expanding. What should I buy? Will a "green" drive save me money in the long term? Should I buy

  • An internal drive and connect over SATA
  • An external drive
  • An internal drive and an enclosure and connect over USB
  • Something else?

I don't have any exact criteria, just drive speed is nice, as is longevity, as is price. I run them connected to a linux media PC / fileserver with 6 drives already in there. The best price / space seems to be 1.5TB, right? Just looking for recommendations. Thanks.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Cooling affects hard drive reliability a lot.

Be careful with the external drives, the quality of the enclosures varies greatly in terms of air flow. If you buy a drive for constant, full day use, my guess is that you're far better off with internal drives if you have sufficient cooling in your PC. Most external drives I've seen get really hot even if you just keep them running idly for some time. I wouldn't even consider downloading torrents directly to or doing comparable stuff with most external hdds.

For the server stuff you're describing, I'd really go with internal SATA drives, if only for reliability. In addition to this, SATA will give you metric buttloads of transfer speed with far less CPU overhead, compared to USB.

share|improve this answer

If you decide to go with an external, buy an enclosure only - it's a flexible way.

Temperature is a key but don't overcool. According to Google's tests, drives with the working temp below 35C have the same risk to die as with the temp above 50C

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.