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Help me decide: WD 320 or Seagate 500


I have a 4yr old machine with an 80GB SATA drive. I have run out of space and need to upgrade. I am a gamer and not an audiophile. I am more interested in performance than I am in the amount of space. I am also price conscience and I would like to buy locally. My local Best Buy has the following two drives that fall in my price range (< $60):

Western Digital 320GB WD3200KSRTL

Warranty Terms - Parts3 year
Warranty Terms - Labor3 year
Product Height 1"
Product Width 4"
Product Weight 1.3 lbs.
Product Depth 5.8"
Drive Capacity 320GB
Drive Connectivity Serial ATA
Rotation Speed7200 rpm
Data Transfer Rate to/from InterfaceUp to 3 Gbps
Average Seek Time 8.9 ms
Cache Buffer Size 16MB
Average Latency 4.2 ms
Software Included Data Lifeguard Tools


Seagate 500GB ST3500641AS-RK

Warranty Terms - Parts5 year
Warranty Terms - Labor5 year
Product Height 1"
Product Width 4"
Product Weight 1.6 lbs.
Product Depth 5.8"
Drive Capacity 500GB
Drive Connectivity Serial ATA
Rotation Speed 7200 rpm
Data Transfer Rate to/from InterfaceUp to 3 Gbps
Cache Buffer Size 16MB
Average latency 4.16ms
Random read seek time <8.5ms
Software Included DiscWizard installation and SeaTools diagnostic

Outside of the size and the brand names, I am having trouble telling the differences. I can't seem to find any sites that review either of them. The Seagate has slightly lower user reviews, but more of them.

Any advice is much appreciated.


7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about help decide seagate
  1. Best answer
    Do you have SATA I or II (1.5Gbps or 3.0 Gbps)?

    Much debate has gone into WD vs. Seagate.

    I like Seagate, and they have outperformed WD in some, if not most, benchmarks. Just look at the warranty difference, and avg. seek times/latency. Seagate wins.

    You might try an online retailer! Microcenter or Newegg should beat Best Buy's prices. But then you have to wait for shipping. Wanting to stay local, try a local computer retailer.

    AND make sure your motherboard supports 48-bit LBA, to use hard drives over 137GB in size. But most all motherboards built after January 2003 should support large HDD. Some require a BIOS update. But I think you are okay (e.g. 4 year old machine = 2006).
  2. IF that is a seagate 7200.12 then its a single 500GB platter, which means it will throughput faster than a single 320GB platter drive (during the same rotation, you read more data off the high density platter).
  3. After looking, that Seagate drive is a 7200.9. They are now into 7200.12 (7200.09,.10,.11,.12).

    That's why the price is low. The drive will work, just not at todays specs.

    I paid $54.99 for a 500GB 7200.11 with 32MB cache at MicroCenter, but they are hard to find. 7200.12's only have 16MB cache, until you get over 1TB.
  4. 7200.11s are going to have two 250GB platters so they will be slower than 7200.12s with a single 500GB platter even with the extra cache.

    7200.12s and Samsung F3s are only $55 at newegg
  5. Well, I went ahead and picked up the Seagate. It may be older, but comparing the performance to my old drive (using PerformanceTest), it is a huge improvement. In some of the tests, I got a 70% increase in performance.

    Thanks for the input.
  6. Best answer selected by mousemonkey.
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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