WD1600AAJS or ST3160318AS???

WD 160GB or Seagate 160GB?

WD1600AAJS or ST3160318AS?

Function: OS boot drive for Windows 7

Reason: SSDs too expensive :D

Price: $40 v.s. $40



I want to get the cheapest HDD regardless of price/capacity as it's just a boot drive for the OS. I know it's not as fast as an SSD and that's why I am only looking at spending no more than $40 for a HDD.

I already have storage drives or know which storage drives I'd buy. I have some already. I tend to avoid leaving much data on the OS drive and I'll have a storage drive handy so it would be backed up anyway. I figure, Windows will get screwed up eventually so there might be a re-install needed at some point in time (later).

So, with those 160GB compared, which one would you choose? Which one should I get? :)
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More about wd1600aajs st3160318as
  1. You should think about getting a larger drive if you can get one for a similar price. For example, if you can get a 500GB drive for, say, $50 then you can partition it down to only 160GB and get better performance than a 160GB drive would give you.

    It won't break any speed records, but will probably improve performance by about the same ratio as the difference in prices, plus it'll give you a drive you can repartition later on in order to get more space.
  2. I wouldn't bother with a 160GB drive. Your going to spend $44+ on a 160GB drive when you could have a 500GB for $55. $11 extra dollars for three times the space. Just partition a 150GB space for your OS, and use the extra space for media files. If the OS gets hosed, just format that partition and your data partition will be fine.

    As far as speed goes I think they are close. The seagate is the newer drive, I think the AAJS was last gen while the AAKS is current. I might be wrong. I doubt you'd see much difference in performance from the drive you listed.
  3. Oh, okay. Never thought of that... I would definitely want the two partitions, then.

    Hmmm... Would a re-install of Windows 7 be safe then? I have read horror stories of people hosing their entire drive and the data on it when they do a re-install and format... I haven't checked out Windows 7 from scratch yet so I have to assume that it's dummy proof and has an obvious illustration of what the user is doing... In other words, it shows you the partitions you're going to install to and leaves the other partition alone??? :)

    Do you guys recommend WD over Seagate then for a 500GB drive? Or vice versa?

    I think a 500GB drive is probably one platter, right? I guess some WD Blacks come in 500GB? But, whatever drive I get could become a storage drive later on if it's that large a capacity... Can a WD Black be a sufficient storage drive later on? Or should I not worry about that? SSDs have to come down in price eventually?!? :D
  4. I haven't used Win7 yet, but XP is pretty easy. If you use volume labels its even easier as it shows the drive/partition and the label. If you label your 150GB C: "OS" and your 315GB E: "Data", you should see both when you reinstall. Just make sure you select the right one and your good. Word or warning, don't use the my documents folder. Those would be on the C: and will be lost if you don't find a way to save them first.

    As for WD over Seagate it will matter who you talk to. I know that both are good, and are ok to use. I've used 6 modern drives within the last 3 years or so. As it happens the only one that has died is a WD. (AAJS I think, I don't remember.) I have three Seagate 7200.10 drives in mine, and a mix of 7200.10 and WD drives in my wifes.

    As for 500GB drive being one platter it depends on the drive. My 500GB and 750GB 7200.10 uses 2 and 3 platter respectively. The 7200.10 series used 250GB per platter disks. The newer 7200.12 uses 500GB per platter drives, at least in their larger drives. I'm not sure what that 160GB drive you linked uses. I could be a 500GB platter, or a 333GB platter. I wouldn't worry about speed, just get a current generation drive. They all perform within a few Mbps of each other.
  5. > I would definitely want the two partitions, then.

    Just to be clear, we're not recommending TWO partition, we're recommending ONE partition that only fills up part of the drive, leaving the remainder of the drive UNUSED. The reasoning is that if you think you only need 160GB, then create a partition of ONLY that size so that it occupies only the outermost cylinders on the drive - those are the ones that hold the most data so you get faster transfer rates and less seeking.

    > Would a re-install of Windows 7 be safe then?

    Perfectly safe, as long as you DISCONNECT the old drive containing all your data before doing the install to the new one, then reconnect the old drive after the install is finished. Just make sure you have all your license keys, etc. before you start, and if you have any software that permits only one copy (such as Adobe products) then be sure to "deactivate" it on the old system before you start.

    > Do you guys recommend WD over Seagate then for a 500GB drive? Or vice versa?

    I'm with 4745454b - they're awfully close and for the small difference between them I don't think I'd sweat it.
  6. Actually Sminlal I do suggest two partitions. The first one you make *should* be laid on the faster outer tracks. As the OS partition this is what you want. It doesn't make a lot of difference if you fill the inner tracks with data files.

    As long as you remember what drive is which, and use volume labels you don't *have" to disconnect the other drives. Do so if you feel its safer/better to do it. Good call on the deactivate thing. I tend to use free/open source things so its something I wouldn't remember to do.
  7. Putting data on the inner tracks could potentially slow things down depending how how heavily it's accessed. If the OP only NEEDS 160GB and wants to get the best performance, then there's no reason to put a second partition on the drive.

    A Windows 7 installation will try to create a recovery partition (which will be the boot partition) on a second drive if one is available. For this reason I always recommend installing Windows with NO other drive attached, unless you WANT the boot partition to be on a different drive than the OS.
  8. Again, I haven't played with win7 so things could be rather different. I'm trying to understand what your saying about the boot partition being on a different drive if one is available but that doesn't make sense. Do you have a link explaining what your talking about?
  9. Take a biger HDD, unless 500Gb...
  10. Thanks for all the info, guys! It's making it so much easier to decide what to do.... I really would have liked to get a SSD and maybe will later on.

    A HDD for Windows 7 will help make that wait easier for when SSD prices go down a bit more.

    I also use open source. I have Linux on my other partitions. I thought I'd have a new setup with Windows 7 and Linux on separate drives. I haven't done it that way before but I know it's done so it's a matter of figuring out the grub setup. I don't need a lot of space for the Windows OS but for Linux, I need 100GB+ for VirtualBox. I have a 320GB HDD currently. XP's on it right now. I'll probably leave XP as is and redo the Linux partitions.

    I know a lot of Windoze people and when they ask me Windows 7-oriented stuff, I don't know how to help them. I only have familiarity with XP. :)
  11. 4745454b said:
    I'm trying to understand what your saying about the boot partition being on a different drive if one is available but that doesn't make sense. Do you have a link explaining what your talking about?

    The recovery partition is created at install time on versions of Windows 7 that support BitLocker. When I installed Windows 7 on a system with two empty hard drives, it created the partition on the non-system drive and that was the boot partition. To get around having my system dependent on TWO drives working, I removed the second drive and reinstalled.

    Here's a link that describes how to eliminate the recovery partition (this one assumes it's installed on the same drive as the OS):

    To avoid all these hassles and the possibility of installing to the wrong drive, I generally recommend that people just disconnect everything except the OS drive when installing.
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