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Dell r710 flashed H310 vs 9211-8i

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
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GraemeAus

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Hi there,

So I just picked up an old Dell r710 with a PERC 6I and given my research on these forums and the internet I thought it was best to avoid using that and buy a HBA controller.

Given the title, I am looking at these two cards and have already established that the H310 can be flashed to IT mode. Am I better off just getting the 9211-8i and not having to worry about flashing the H310. That may be a stupid question but I want to understand if there are any advantages to using the H310?

Also, will I be able to run 4tb hard drives with these cards?

Thank you for taking the time to read this
 

Dice

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Hello and welcome to the forums.

The 9211-8i definitely supports +4TB drives. I don't recall reading any information suggesting H310 is any different.
I prefer the LSI cards. In your situation I cannot find any arguments motivating the swap to an LSI. The flashed H310 should be fine.
 

GraemeAus

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Thanks Dice!

Based on your advice I ended up just buying a 9211-8i in IT Mode instead the H310. I didn't make my first post clear I haven't actually got an H310.

As a side note do you know of any cheap 4tb hard drives I could pick up? I am planning to put 5 in a vdev.
 
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danb35

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If "cheap" is your primary qualification, you could always look at the "white label" drives on eBay. I wouldn't recommend them, though--five out of the six I bought had to be RMA'd within a year. Seagate NAS and WD Red seem to be the preferred varieties around here.
 

GraemeAus

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If "cheap" is your primary qualification, you could always look at the "white label" drives on eBay. I wouldn't recommend them, though--five out of the six I bought had to be RMA'd within a year. Seagate NAS and WD Red seem to be the preferred varieties around here.
Based on your experience I think I'll just grab some Seagate nas drives. Is it worth while getting the nas branded products vs the desktop?
 

danb35

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For WDs, which is most of what I have in my server, I think so--the load cycle timer is set more reasonably, and there's an extra year of warranty. The former can be fixed with software, though, so Green/Blue are reasonable alternatives. I'm honestly not familiar enough with the details of the Seagate line to say what, if any, differences there are with their NAS disks, but usually the cost delta is fairly minimal.
 

Dice

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From my point of view the seagate SMART readings not being as easily interpreted as WD's for example, make Seagate (Ironwolf) altho nicely priced and probably faster compared to WD Reds, still not a viable option.
HGST NAS or WD RED is what I'd look for next time.
at present I run WD Green and RED, and an odd Seagate.
 
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I would also suggest HGST drives but those are WD now as well.

FWIW, I bought four 4TB Seagate Iron Wolf drives and had two go bad during the burn in phase. I had to pay shipping back to Seagate ($10) and wait a week to get them back. The replacements and other two have been fine thus far (only 650 hours on the drives though).
 

danb35

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I had to pay shipping back to Seagate ($10) and wait a week to get them back.
Yuck. Amazon will pay for return shipping, and cross-ship replacements, of defective merchandise (within the return period, 30 days?), for future reference.
 
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Got them off Jet with the "save more by not having free returns".

Though I did get them for $103.99 so I still came out ahead. Can't complain too much.
 

danb35

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Though I did get them for $103.99 so I still came out ahead.
Yeah, that price doesn't leave much room to complain. Just thought I'd point that out about Amazon, for when prices are comparable (though they've started charging sales tax in every state, IIRC, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to some other vendors). My first order of WD Reds was from them, 3 x 3 TB disks. Two of them reported their size, inexplicably, as 2 TB. Had new drives two days later, and a paid return label to ship back the defective ones.
 
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That's top notch right there. I've heard of that issue with the white label drives that you can get, but never with WD Reds. Did WD ever give a reason for it other than "whoops, our bad"?
 

danb35

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Never involved WD; the drives went back to Amazon. But yeah, it was a bit of a headscratcher. I haven't had good luck with the white label drives (had to RMA five out of six within a year), but they all reported the correct capacity.
 

GraemeAus

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Thank you for all the replies!

I think what I will do is buy 3 more 3TB WD Red's as I already have 3x3TB seagates and fill up all 6 LFF slots in the R710 in a Raidz2 vdev.

Sorry to keep expanding the scope of this thread but I had another question.

In the event that I want to add a second vdev I would need to add a disk shelf/enclosure. Given that I have bought a 9211-8i HBA do any of you have any recommendations of ones that I could use to put in another 6 3.5inch drives in and maybe more in the future?

Would I need to buy a SAS expander to make this work?
 
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