Last edited by a moderator:
A Guide to CMR/PMR and SMR drives in 2021 – Should You Buy Them?
Remember when buying a hard drive was simple? The technology behind hard drives has existed for decades and it is only really in the last 10 or so years that the formula for how hard drives store data has changed substantially. Just over a year ago, Western Digital got into all manner of trouble with hard drive buyers when it was announced that a number of their popular range of NAS server hard drives featured a variant of shingled magnetic recording, (know more commonly as SMR). I say a version, as there are indeed several different ways that a hard drive can implement SMR architecture internally, with the two more common branches being Drive Managed (DM-SMR, which is what the WD Red drives in question use) and system-managed data allocation and coalition (SM-SMR). The suitability of SMR hard drives in NAS systems has always been questioned, due to the argued inferiority, inconsistency and performance versus CMR/PMR drives (Conventional Magnetic Recording and Perpendicular Magnetic Recording), hence the outcry when it was revealed that some WD Red hard drive models feature SMR. Although SMR hard drives have existed for quite a long time and the architecture itself has its uses, typically these drives are understood as singular use drives and not for large-scale RAID implementation. Today I want to explain a little about what SMR and CMR/PMR drives are, should you use them and list which drives use which magnetic recording method.
- - -
Check out FREE NAS advice section on nascompares.com