Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Help me decide: WD 320 or Seagate 500

Last response: in Storage
June 7, 2010 8:33:10 PM


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.



More about : decide 320 seagate 500

Best solution

a c 98 G Storage
June 8, 2010 12:15:56 AM

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).
June 8, 2010 12:43:23 AM

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).
Related resources
a c 98 G Storage
June 8, 2010 3:10:17 AM

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.
June 8, 2010 8:44:19 PM

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
June 10, 2010 1:02:26 AM

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.
January 24, 2012 6:09:23 PM

Best answer selected by mousemonkey.
January 24, 2012 6:09:27 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey