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Best single Hard Disk ! (performance and price matter)

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  • Hard Drives
  • Performance
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
September 20, 2008 5:00:12 PM

Hi all,


I am planning to build a new gaming PC, and I need a new hard drive to use as a main disk.

I have been looking at different reviews, charts, and also on this forum.. but Im still confused. Size for example seems to affect quite much the performance.. so it might be that certain brand and model seem to be the best in the 500gb range, but then it changes when you go to 640 or 750. What I'm looking for is an overall winner. I don't really care that much if the hard drive is 320,500,640, 750 or even 1000 GB, what I want is the best performance, while being reliable.
The reason for this is that I want it for installing the OS, programs, and a few games... (documents, music, videos, etc, will be kept in a couple Maxtor IDE 500GB drives I already have), so speed and performance matter the most.

The price range Im looking for is preferably below 100$ (aprox.). The PC will be used for everything, but as I said including gaming; this are the kind of components I'm planning to use: q6600, 4gb DDR2 800, ATI 4870, Corsair650TX. So.. Im looking for good stuff.. but without spending too much money.


Thank you in advance.




More about : single hard disk performance price matter

a b G Storage
September 20, 2008 5:13:45 PM

For best speed, pick one of the 640GB models from Seagate or Western Digital. They are both around $80 or $90 depending on where you buy.

The WD has been around longer, so I guess we have more proof that it's reliable. Still, Seagate can be trusted too IMO.

September 20, 2008 5:34:27 PM

Thanks aevm :) 

Yes, I was thinking about the WD6400 AAKS, cos I kind of had understood from somewhere that at that size performs specially well. Plus I've heard about Western Digital and Maxtor being the most reliable Hard Disks... But maxtors seem to be slower so... (the reliability issue would make me choose the WD before the Seagate for example). My concern about the WD's is that they have 16mb buffer, while other contenders already have 32.. while being in the same price range.. shouldnt that make them faster ?

There is also Hitachi and Samsung with their F1's which seem to be good performers... but again I dont know for example compared to the ones mentioned.. and in which size they should be considered.


Thanks again. More opinions will be as well appreciated.
Related resources
September 20, 2008 5:56:34 PM

I installed the 6400AAKS recently and was impressed by it's ~90MB/sec average read speed, it's a nice drive.

The drive isn't in my computer but I think that's what I remember seeing.
September 20, 2008 6:05:14 PM

+1 for the WD6400AAKS

The extra 16 MB of buffer doesn't increase throughput much.
They are nearly the same price.....$85-$95, the F1 costs $10 more (newegg).
Like you already said, Western Digital is always very reliable. I went with them.
September 20, 2008 6:08:57 PM

+2 for the WD6400 AAKS
if size matters, the WD7500AAKS is a better choice (PMR and faster)
a b G Storage
September 20, 2008 8:47:23 PM

I have the WD7500AAKS myself, it's absolutely great. I can see a huge difference compared to my older WD5000AAKS.

It's not faster than the WD6400AAKS though. The WD7500AAKS gets 80.1 MB/s average read rate, while the WD6400AAKS gets 92.7 MB/s. Seagate 640GB gets 89 MB/s IIRC. The 640GB versions do better because their 320GB platters are denser than the 167GB platters of the 750GB version.

Here's a thread with more details:
http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=551495

September 21, 2008 12:49:05 AM

I'd swear the one I installed had a minimum of ~70MB/sec. I should have taken a screen shot. I have to get back on it next week to install the HD4850 that took a dump and is in RMA. I'll bench it again and get a pic.
September 21, 2008 9:55:28 AM

Thank you so much guys.

I think I'll go for the WD6400AAKS, I think I dont need the extra GB's of the WD7500AAKS, I would even go for a smaller disk if it was considerably faster.
I also went through the thread you posted from the ocforums... its good to read more details about this !

I was just surprised I didnt find it here: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/3-5-hard-drive-chart...

But the figures everyone is showing should put it in a good position in those charts. I guess I cant go wrong.


It's 69€ here in Spain where I live.. so it just fits my budget :) 


Thanks again... and dont hesitate to post more.. it will still be a few weeks before I purchase everything. The benchmark would of course be really nice as well Zorg


September 21, 2008 10:35:20 AM

Go for the 1TB Spin Point F1 Samsung. You wont regret it. Its the best performance from a hdd which is 7200 prm. it have about 130MB read/write

also consider that the more GB you have the faster will be the computer as your data will stay more at the edge of the drive thus not seeing the drop in performance when you fill the drive.

example:

if you have 200GB data then on a 500GB drive its 40% which will translate in about 25% drop in performance for some of your data

but if you have 1TB drive then 200GB will be merely 20% and you will access all your data with fastest seeks and fastest read/write

So even if you have 2 hdds performing exactly the same you will still benefit from buying the bigger one (if of course the price is not too much and making it not worthy)

I think a 1TB SpinPoint F1 is about $120-$130 - TOTALLY WORTH IT
November 5, 2008 12:54:27 AM

@Rawsteel
The overall size of the HDD by itself does not indicate that it is faster. It's about platter density (which usually translates to larger drives, but they are not mutually exclusive). Smaller drives using the same platters offer similar performance if they have the same cache size - some are even faster as seek times improve slightly.

Your size translation example regarding the benefit of using the outer edge is only true in comparing single platters because if you have 200 GBs of data on a 1 TB HDD vs a 320 GB HDD that use the same platter, the performance is the same because the 1 TB HDD is using 3 platters instead of 1. Now your specific example of a 500 GB vs a 1 TB is now often true, but only because the 500 GB is using a 250 GB platters instead of 320+ GB platters.

It's not that I think the SpinPoint F1 is bad. I own 3x 1TB drives from Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital and the Samsung F1 is clearly the fastest and the Seagate following that.
November 5, 2008 8:40:36 AM

As I thought I would do I went for the WD6400AAKS... but I it was also a matter of budget. I´ll probably consider a 1TB drive when I need more storage (or when my old secondary pata drives die... )
November 5, 2008 2:43:41 PM

I went with the WD 640gig for storage in my new build (that is in the mail as we speak). For the main drive though, 300gig velociraptor :) 
September 22, 2009 8:32:38 PM

I´ve been using the WD6401AAKS for a while now. Im so happy with it that I just bought 2 WD6401AALS !!! :D 
September 23, 2009 1:02:32 AM

aevm said:
The WD has been around longer, so I guess we have more proof that it's reliable. Still, Seagate can be trusted too IMO.


Well, this isn't really accurate. Western Digital may be an older company, I'm not sure, but Seagate has been making hard drives much longer than Western Digital.

The Seagate ST-506, 5MB, released in 1980, was the first PC hard drive - you could get it for Tandy/RadioShack and Apple computers even as the IBM-PC was being released. Seagate was originally Shugart Technology and was founded sometime before that. The ST-412, 10MB, also a full-height 5.25" drive was the drive supplied in the IBM-XT in 1983. They also had the first half-height drives, I believe the ST-225 was it, a 20MB and was followed by the ST-238, 30MB, the same drive with a different encoding (RLL) that added 50% space. Seagate bought CDC and their technology in the late 80s and started defending themselves against the new upstart drive makers. (The 4xx stood for full-height, 2 for half-height - the size of current DVD/CD drives. Current hard drives are properly third-height drives and 3.5" or 2.5" format.)

Western Digital started as a chip maker, then made drive controllers for IBM and others in the early 80s. They also made some other add-on cards for IBMs, compatibles and clones in the 80s, their Paradise VGA cards were the best around. They didn't start making hard drives until 1988 when they bought out Tandon - the maker of early IBM floppy drives.

Ahhh, the old days! I started selling IBM-PCs back in 1983 and sold all these products. So many drive manufacturers have come and gone. Quantum was one of my favorites in the 90s.

You can't go wrong with either brand - but I have long perferred WD. Since Seagate now owns both Miniscribe and Maxtor, they are the largest maker of hard drives.