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Thread: Seagate DB35 drives?

  1. #1
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    Seagate DB35 drives?

    Seems like the Seagate DB35 drives are the way to go in Tivo 3s. I tried (very briefly) to use a Maxtor drive, it was too slow, too noisy and too hot.

    Problem is, I can't seem to find anyone, other than Weakknees, who sells those drives. While I'd love to support Weakknees, $500 for 750G drive is just too much for me to handle.

    Anyone have any leads on where we could get discounted hard drives that are intended for this kind of use?

  2. #2
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    How 'bout Google?

    These drives are already appearing in most of the "shopping nexus" sites. Average "deal" seems to be about $465 before tax/shipping.

    Seagate is marketing the heck out of these as "the next generation DVR drive" so the price is likely to stay at a premium until competitive drives arrive. And given the number of drive manufacturers these days that is likely to be some time....

    WeaKnees is also offering cash off via Google Checkout, further narrowing the cost gap.

    If you're hoping to see these drives for $200 be prepared to wait until next spring.....

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I am SUCH a cheapskate. I should just keep remembering that "it's expensive to buy cheap".

  4. #4
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    CDW has the 250 gigs for $89.00 but other places try to sell you the older models by playing games with the posted model numbers. My advice, go to Seagate's website and review models/specs etc. then go shopping. Glad I did, OBTW CDW is not the cheapest, but in stock and if it's not right they are on the way home from work, so I can "bitch" 'em out proper!

    NOTE: I am talking 250Gigs here ur mileage may vary

    Dave
    Cheers,

    Dave

    Crying??? There's no CRYING in "Tivo hacking!!

  5. #5
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    I'm using a pair of DB35, 750's in an HDTivo and they work well. I can't hear any difference at all, very quiet. They work as purported.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by max0 View Post
    Seems like the Seagate DB35 drives are the way to go in Tivo 3s. I tried (very briefly) to use a Maxtor drive, it was too slow, too noisy and too hot.

    Problem is, I can't seem to find anyone, other than Weakknees, who sells those drives. While I'd love to support Weakknees, $500 for 750G drive is just too much for me to handle.

    Anyone have any leads on where we could get discounted hard drives that are intended for this kind of use?
    $380 here: http://www.aztekcomputers.com/detail...t_num/ASI57710

    4/21/07 UPDATE: Now $279 at ExcaliburPC. This is a SATA drive for the S3 ONLY.
    http://www.excaliberpc.com/Seagate_D...id-574243.html
    Last edited by avpman; 04-21-2007 at 11:39 AM. Reason: 4/21/07 UPDATE:

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by arob View Post
    I'm using a pair of DB35, 750's in an HDTivo and they work well. I can't hear any difference at all, very quiet. They work as purported.
    Would this be a DTivo or the S3?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omikron View Post
    Would this be a DTivo or the S3?
    I'm sure arob has a DirecTV unit (HR10-250) because he's in the 6.3 software threads, and because a "pair" of drives won't work inside the S3 model.

    The S3 has a single internal SATA connector, be sure to get a SATA drive (with proper SATA power connection). The DB35 linked above in avpman's post is the SATA version.

    (disclaimer: I've never bought from aztek so I cannot vouch for them).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narf54321 View Post
    I'm sure arob has a DirecTV unit (HR10-250) because he's in the 6.3 software threads, and because a "pair" of drives won't work inside the S3 model.

    The S3 has a single internal SATA connector, be sure to get a SATA drive (with proper SATA power connection). The DB35 linked above in avpman's post is the SATA version.

    (disclaimer: I've never bought from aztek so I cannot vouch for them).
    I figured as much, but I thought I'd ask since it was my understanding that the S3 currently could only operate in single drive mode.

  10. #10
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    what are the reasons to use a DB35 over a regular drive?

    I have a 750GB seagate in one of mine, and its not a DB35. I can say this much about it:

    1) It's the fastest tivo in my house.
    2) It's cooler than the original drive (several degrees, by touch...no precise measurements). The average case temperature is 38-40C (same as with original 40GB drive.
    3) It's quieter than the original drive. I have to be withing 3 or 4 feet of the tivo, and actively attempting to listen to the hard drive to hear anything. If 2 drives are both so quiet they cannot be heard, does it really matter which of the two it the quietest?

    So what does the DB35 have that's worth the extra $200? For it's price, you can almost have 2x 750GB going with the standard PC drive.
    They say beer will make me dumb. It are go good with pizza!-----------
    3XR10, prommed, 3xdvr40,4xdvr39, all networked, ranging from 40GB to 750GB

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashHD View Post
    So what does the DB35 have that's worth the extra $200?
    The Seagate DB35 series have a couple 'extra' features, designed for DVR use. Mainly they use less power on spin-up (easier on the power supply) and don't allow the command queue to fill. Seagate calls this something like time-limited commands, which prevents the drive from stalling by dumping/skipping a few commands if it gets too busy to process all incoming requests. I suspect this is related to how the drive handles thermal recalibration. Fine for video streaming but perhaps not a 'feature' you'd want for data on a PC.

    The DB35's are also noted for being very quiet and supposedly reliable, which is why most folks seem to want them. If you got a quiet drive yourself, that's great, but that's luck of the draw. Also, some weaknees customers have reported very loud DB35 units, so it brings to question Seagate's quality control.

    (DB35's also have a drive-lock feature which allows vendors to tie a drive to a particular box, but Tivo doesn't use it and I don't think anyone here is interested in that particular un-feature.)

    I agree that for $200 difference, that's pretty steep for a veiled 'promise' of a quieter drive. I wouldn't mind a DB35 unit in my own Tivo for about the same money. Chances are the DB35's are regular drives with some changes to the controller firmware.
    Last edited by Narf54321; 04-20-2007 at 11:33 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narf54321 View Post
    (DB35's also have a drive-lock feature which allows vendors to tie a drive to a particular box, but Tivo doesn't use it and I don't think anyone here is interested in that particular un-feature.)
    As an interesting point of reference, the drive security mode you are referring to was defined as part of the ATA-3 standard in 1997. As such, almost all hard disk drives manufactured within the last 10 years support the protocol, but the devices they are installed in don't necessarily have to use them. The first time I encountered this "feature" was when I started hacking my Xbox years ago. Under that platform, the drive key is a derivative of the Xbox's unique EEPROM code, and is different for each box. The feature seems to be particularly popular in enterprise laptops, where the BIOS allows the user to control the locking password and requires it upon boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narf54321 View Post
    I agree that for $200 difference, that's pretty steep for a veiled 'promise' of a quieter drive. I wouldn't mind a DB35 unit in my own Tivo for about the same money. Chances are the DB35's are regular drives with some changes to the controller firmware.
    What would be interesting to see is exactly what these changes in the firmware were. I can't imagine the heads or the platters would actually be any different, and I'm sure the individual drive calibration process is still the same. The only differences present should be in the firmware, and in the operational thresholds of a various variables. An interesting experiment would be to find a "standard" and a DB35 drive and binary compare the firmware's, and then try to patch the drive to give it DB35-like features.

    I've got the hardware to handle it, but I don't have the cash to buy one DB35 drive, let alone an extra retail 750GB unit on top of that.

  13. #13
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    FWIW, I got my DB35.3 (newest version) 500GB drive from thenerds.net a few days ago for $152, which isn't much of a price premium over Seagate's regular drives. I immediately sent it with my tivo to Omikron for eeprom work, though, so he will know before I do whether it is a quiet drive or not.
    Last edited by walkjac; 04-24-2007 at 01:59 AM.

  14. #14
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    Now that's a better looking price, as compared the the equivalent general purpose drive of the same size. I just bought the $500GB Seagate listed in the "Best Deal Ever" forum. I bought this one for my PC, so my PC's "retiring" 250GB drive can go in a tivo. Had I been purchasing this one for a tivo, and had I seen that deal for $152, I would have given the DB35 very serious consideration.

    I hope you guys find something interesting in the firmware. It would make for an interesting hack if these drives are hardware identical.

    The only DB35 feature that makes me think they might not be hardware identical is the advertised reduced power consumption. Does that really seem like something that can be accomplished in firmware?
    They say beer will make me dumb. It are go good with pizza!-----------
    3XR10, prommed, 3xdvr40,4xdvr39, all networked, ranging from 40GB to 750GB

  15. #15
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    Current prices aren't nearly as high as some stated earlier. There is a bigger price premium in the 750GB versus 500GB, than there is with the DB35 versus regular.
    500GB IDE DB35.3 $152 http://www.thenerds.net/index.php?pa...n=ST3500830ACE
    500GB SATA DB35.3 $157 http://www.thenerds.net/index.php?pa...n=ST3500830SCE
    750GB SATA DB35.3 $281 http://www.thenerds.net/index.php?pa...n=ST3750840SCE
    750GB SATA DB35.3 $279 http://www.excaliberpc.com/Seagate_D...id-574243.html
    750GB IDE DB35.3 $295 http://www.excaliberpc.com/Seagate_H...id-578017.html
    750GB IDE DB35.3 $281 http://www.microdimensionsdirect.com...0&categorie=34
    (I can't vouch for the very last one, as I've never heard of or dealt with that merchant)

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