What Do I Do with 2x 8TB 3.5 Drives?

Ok so I got my drives from the previous Xbox game drive deal and intending to use them for media storage so SMR is fine by me. Do I

a) shuck them and install them internally in my PC

b) shuck, install internally and run raid 0 for faster speeds

c) keep them external (flexible but slow) connected to PC

d) keep them external connected to pi 4.

Opinions? Don’t want to buy a NAS so forget that.


  • Personally, I'd shuck one and do the occasionally media back up to the spare and store off site.

  • I've tried all the above combinations with varying degrees of success.

    I was counting on SATA being faster than USB, but turns out in real-world usage the transfer speeds are near-identical. So in the absence of any spare SATA ports, my latest drive is 'internal' (inside the tower) but via a USB3.0 header adapter.

    Benefit of those Game Drives is the additional USB ports, so I'd keep them un-shucked just to get the flexibility of a hub. Then you can have one on your Pi, and a clone on your PC as a mirrored backup of all your media. Then you can torrent to your PC and have it sync over the network for media access elsewhere.

  • I not sure if you're going to see much a speed increase shucking them.

    If you use them often from your PC, it might be worth shucking them into your PC.

    Running RAID 0 is a bit of a risk, unless you have a spare 16tb to backup to, or can re-download easily enough.

    Speed isn't that important for media storage, unless you have multiple devices reading different media at once.

    I got 3 of them in the 2 deals, and already had one (same drive, different case). I'll be plugging them into a 4-port USB3 hub and be done with it.

  • I'd be worried about RAID 0 with SMR drives, if you must make a 16TB drive out of them, use JBOD or the like so when one craps its pants the other is still there. One internal/local USB and one external over the network backup with the second drive on the Pi (rsync or the like) is probably the best idea, depending on your PC's spare port/bay situation.

    As Switchblade said, with spinning drives and SATA 6GB/s vs USB 3.0 5GB/s you won't notice a difference unless you're plugged into a slow/congested USB port so internal or external is largely up to you - keeping the one on your PC external will have virtually no speed penalty and make things easier if you need to RMA it.

  • Slow RAID 1 and play around with a ramdisk for performance tinkering fun.

  • Sell them too me, I'll surely put both too good use for my movie collection lolz