Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Which hard drive should I buy?

Last response: in Storage
Share
May 28, 2009 6:16:46 AM

Hi everyone. I'm trying to buy a new hard drive for an old (2004) computer, which I plan to move to a new (2009) custom build this summer. I've looked over the options and I'm not sure what to get, so I'd appreciate a little help.

Listed at the bottom of the post are the drives I'm considering. My preferred price range is $100, plus or minus $70 or so, unless it's really worth it. I just want something large, fast, and reliable, that won't corrupt anything or die on me.

I have a few basic questions:

1. Is Western Digital still the hotspot here? I know a lot of people swear by Seagate. All the drives listed below are WD.

2. Would my old single-core 2004 computer, currently connected to a WD80 0JD-60LSA0 (WD Caviar SE) with a SATA host controller, be able to support one of these hard drives until I build the new computer? Are there overheating dangers? Large power supply needs? This old PC just has basic ventilation (rather dusty) and an old 350W power supply.

3. How much of a difference do the main specs make? How much "better" is a 32MB than a 16MB cache, like the ones listed below? How different is the 7200 RPM of a WDC Black (my current favorite) from a VelociRaptor's 10,000 RPM?

4. How much does a larger hard drive size (the WDC Black and Green come in otherwise identical sizes) influence other factors like speed, seek times, etc? Is it worth it?

5. RAID has always confused the heck out of me, even after reading the guide stickied at the top of this forum. I only plan to buy a single hard drive. Is this a bad plan? If I did go with RAID, does it matter whether the two drives are of the same model, or even manufacturer?

And a few comparisons:

6. The front runners, listed below: Size aside, how do they compare? Does RAID factor into the decision?

7. WDC Black vs. VelociRaptor: How do the two drives stack up given that the Black has a cache of 32MB but the Velociraptor has only 16MB?

8. WDC Black vs. WD20EADS (?). How about these? Despite the huge price difference, as far as I can tell they have similar stats except Newegg doesn't state the WD20EADS's speed.

Thanks for any advice. Hopefully it'll help other people who are as confused as I am too. And sorry for the novel-length post.


A list of the drives mentioned:

Front runners:

Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
GP WD10000LSRTL 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Comparison drives I probably won't get:

WD20EADS 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s

Alternative sizes for front runners:

Green WD15EADS 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Lower-spectrum alternatives, only mentioned for comparison purposes:

Green WD6400AACS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Blue WD4000AAKS 400GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
RE3 WD5002ABYS-01B1B0 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
RE3 WD3202ABYS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
SE16 WD5000KSRTL 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

More about : hard drive buy

a b G Storage
May 28, 2009 8:18:40 AM

Based on what I've learned from this forum so far:

1. You should avoid 2TB drives, unless you plan to use a hard disk cooler. 2TB drives run relatively hot. 2009 Storage Benchmarks

2. Most of the "what hard disk to get?" topics I've read always mention the Caviar Black as a good choice.

3. The same topics also question Segate's reliability, especially the 7200.11 series.

I suggest you look around the other topics in the Storage section. You'll see what I'm talking about. Personally, I'd recommend the 1TB WDC Black.
May 28, 2009 3:50:55 PM

I agree with everything r_manic said.

From your list i would go with
Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Related resources
May 28, 2009 5:21:54 PM

Will it go all right with my current computer? I'm probably going to get a new PSU first anyway, possibly this Corsair 400W.

But anyway, how different is it really from the other front runners?

Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
GP WD10000LSRTL 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

I'm not sure how to even contrast them. Yeah, I will very likely go for the Black, but it'd be interesting to know.
June 3, 2009 1:55:28 AM

Sorry to drag this topic back but I have another question. I already bought the WDC Black HD, but now I'm wondering if my system will do okay with it.

CPU: Athlon XP 2800+ (Socket A)
Mobo: Asus A7V8X-X
RAM: Kingston KVR 2x512MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM
PSU: Corsair 650TX 650W

I'm also using an Adaptec SATA Host Controller.

So, will the HD work with my system?
!