Stuck choosing between 5400 and 7200 RPM drives!

Hi guys,

Previously I had Synology clone installed on my HP Microserver equipped with 2x 8TB WD NAS Plus HDDs in RAID 1 mode, which are 5400 RPM drives.

Now, when I’ve decided to go for TrueNAS, I thought maybe it’s a good idea to also upgrade the drives to have more capacity.

But to my surprise WD does not have 5400RPM drives with more capacity than 8TB… 7200 RPM drives are more faster, yes, but I like the fact that 5400 RPM drives are quitter, less power hungry, and more reliable.

So get two more same 8TB 5400 drives or go for 7200 drives anyway?

What’s your thoughts?


Short answer: There are no new NAS-grade 5400 rpm on the market.
Question solved.

When browsing through WD specifications, pay attention to the wording “5400 rpm-class”, which actually means that the drive measurably spins at 7200 rpm but is being sold as “low end” by the marketing department.


No, I didn’t ask for new models, I wanted to know if there a drive with the same specs but with more capacity, and it’s actually exists:

Here’s the same model as my 8TB drive (WD80EFAX) but with 12TB capacity (WD120EFAX) Western Digital 12TB WD Red Plus NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD - 5400 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, CMR, 256 MB Cache, 3.5" - WD120EFAX : Electronics

By the way, can I have variable capacity drives in a single RAID array in TrueNAS Scale? Say 2x 8TB and 2x 12TB?

If you configure all 4 drives as e.g. a RAIDZ2 vdev you will only get the capacity of the smallest drive. Two mirror vdevs, one with 2x 8G, one with 2x 12G is perfectly fine and will give you 20G of usable capacity.


Thanks a lot!!

Me too! I have resorted to 7200 RPM drives years ago. The price and capacity were right. But my server sits in an unpopulated location, no one can hear it. This is my old spinning rust server.

Why are you upgrading your drives? Age, you need more capacity? Just curious.

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Thanks for asking,

Yes, definitely need more space, my wife fills up her data pretty quickly :slight_smile:
Only 2TB left out of 8, since I’m always protecting myself from unwanted outcomes by putting them in mirror, 2x 8TB drives no more sounds like they are big.

Sitting and searching for good option, don’t want to make mistakes, but seems like WD80EFAX models are pretty old. If I buy exactly this model or same but a bit bigger I’m still buying an old model sitting out there for years. Maybe this isn’t the problem, who knows, but the fact is that WD does not produce these models anymore. Instead, they have WD80EFPX (newer model with 5640 RPM, by the way it’s on fantastic sale right now, two of them for $300 at their web site!) or for instance - WD120EFBX which is unfortunately 7200RPM.

I even have no idea how WD80EFAX will play nice along with WD80EFPX.

So I’m still in trouble and left with these options:

Buy newer produced versions 4x 8TB WD80EFPX 5640 RPM - $619
Buy same older version 2x 8TB WD80EFAX and just fill up two empty bays 5400 RPM- $468
Buy newer produced versions 2x 12TB WD120EFBX 7200 RPM - $478
Buy older version 2x 12TB WD120EFAX 5400 RPM - $536 (can’t even find in stock, only one is left at amazon)

I don’t like how WD pushes me towards 7200 RPM performance class, I don’t really need it, just a waste of money, power, etc…

Why not look into helium drives? Maybe refurbished so that way you get the optimal use of power/time/storage/speed/temp for spinning rust?

2 cheers for refurbished drives. I’m not sure what the forum policy is on linking to external sites, but “server part deals” sold me 2 14 TB refurb Exos drives at a fraction of the cost of new drives. They’re the recommended vendor I saw consistently on the DataHoarder subreddit.

I did a lot of research and found that the drives performed sufficiently well that it was worth the huge cost savings to use refurb drives. YMMV, but definitely worth considering.


Everyone is doing it.

Do you only have room or some limitation for two hard drives? If you could fit four drives in, you could buy four 6TB drives, RAIDZ2 them and end up with ~11TB of storage. You could also buy three 14TB drives and put those in a 3-way mirror (smart to do with such large drives). I actually like the 3-way mirror best. It is only one additional drive and you might find a nice sale on 14-18TB drives on sale. I see $180 USD Iron Wolf Pro 14TB. If the price is too good, it might be an SMR drive so always check.

Remember one thing, you are buying a drive also based on warranty so more 3 year drives last 5 years or pretty close. 3 of my four drives are over 5 years of age now and I’m still waiting of a failure. One failed about a year after the warranty.

Links are okay provided you are no peddling your own stuff and not spam.

Here is a link that many people here have had very positive things to say. They warranty the drive, that is what you are paying for. If it fails, they replace it. I personally have not used them yet.


no no no
no way refurb/used drives. even if they have the worlds best warrenty.

no, I can freely use 4 drives. It’s just tough decision moment when you already got two drives with the data filled in, and thinking to keep it as a backup or re-use them in the new OS. I think nobody can answer this but me myself.

This is why I’m thinking to buy newly produced drives. If I get 4x 8TB drives now, I’ll definitely will be forced to buy 7200 RPM drives in the future.

ok guys,

final thoughts before buying and entering TrueNAS club proudly:

2x 12TB WD120EFBX 7200RPM - $479
To my surprise the noise levels of these drives are actually lower :confused:
Despite having 7200, I will have two more bays free for upgrading.

4x 8TB WD80EFBX 5400RPM - $619 (Sale)
All four bays will be used but good is that my old drives can be used as spares if anything will go wrong. But no upgradability.

So… Your cents

Where do you live? I’m curious if those are USD amounts and if so, why such high prices.

It depends on how you configure them. I see ~15.5TB with the 4x8TB option and just under 12TB with the 2x12TB option.

However, if you maintain the same redundancy of 1 drive failure (mirror for the 2x12TB), the 4x8TB would yield ~22TB of storage in a RAIDZ1 configuration.

How important is your data and do you maintain a backup of the really important stuff or not.

And forget upgradability, you can upgrade by installing larger drives, on at a time.

You do know that you can place a quota on datasets :lock:

Oooh. Divorce words right there.

I would just take it as permission to invest more :money_with_wings: in the NAS :slight_smile:

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I live in rep. of Georgia, but does not matter as they will be shipped in US first.

I’m always using raid 1 configuration, regardless of capacity.

If I go for 2x 12TB now, I can use my old 8TB drives for less important data until I get another pair of 12TB drives later. 1 vdev - 2x 12TB, 1 vdev - 2x old 8TBs to be replaced later.

I more worried about the noise and longevity 12TB versus 8TB. As far as I’ve discovered this older 8TB drive isn’t 5400 RPM at all, but rather 5400 class drive which spins at 7200RPM, having said that, it’s completely silent.

I’m always backing up data to another, at least two separate drives, regularly.

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You do know that you can place a quota on datasets

Then my wife will set quotas for me :smiley: :smiley: