I'm looking at building a new PC since my old one* gave up the ghost**, and I'm gonna need some hard drives for it. I've already decided that it's time to upgrade to a SSD for that I'm looking at the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB, which should be more than sufficient for installing Windows, Steam, Photoshop, and other applications I need for work. For my main storage needs though, I'm not sure what to go with.
My old system had over 2TB of storage, with the C: drive being a 500gb Western Digital drive I brought over from my last system, the C: drive being a 1TB Seagate, and my E: drive being a 750gb Seagate.
I remember I was pretty full before installing the 1TB Seagate after my last upgrade, which was forced by a lightning strike, but I also removed a 500GB drive from my system at that time, so after the upgrade I think I only had around 500GB free.
I'm probably going to toss the drives I have now because the C: is fried, I've got those SMART errors on the 1TB that I can't get rid of, and the 750GB... Well I could keep that I suppose, but I don't know how old it is.
So, I think I'll need something like 2-4TB of storage, and I'd like to get 7200rpm drives, with a SATA 2 or SATA 3 connection. But I don't know what brand I should get, whether I should get several 1TB drives or one or two 2TB drives, or where I should buy them.
I was gonna order everything off NewEgg, but they have a limit of 1 drive per customer now for their 2TB drives and 3 per customer for the 1TB drives which is problematic for me, especially if I decide I also want to set up some kind of raid array to back my data up since I lost a lot of work when my C: drive went and Western Digitals are apparently a bitch to repair. Also their prices have gone through the roof because of the floods.
So I'm wondering also if there's another online retailer that I might get the drives from who would be more reasonably priced. I will probably be buying these components at the end of the month, so I know the prices are subject to change, but I could possibly purchase the drives ahead of time if there were a particularly good deal.
* (relatively speaking, considering I built it only a little over a year ago)
** (sound chip on the motherboard got fried, GTX 260 started glitching even when on the windows desktop, C: drive started clicking and would not read after I moved recently, and D: drive started giving smart errors almost immediately after I installed it and copied all my data over, but I suspect a utility I ran to check the smart status actually caused those errors, because I never seemed to have any issues with the drive other than the damn boot warning I could not get rid of.)
I'm answering based solely off your topic, so if my answer is retarded well sorry.
But because of the flooding in Thailand where 90% of HDD parts are manufactured, the price of HDDs has basically doubled. A Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD was about 69.99 4 weeks ago, now its on newegg for about $149. Also the WD Caviar Black 1TB is up to $219.
What I actually found, was at the BX(Base Exchange) here on the AFB, their 1TB WD Caviar Black HDDs are still $80. I always complained they were out of touch with pricing(They still have Radeon 4650s for $70) but in this case, it's not too bad really. I am currently buying my HDDs from them. So I would check local stores like Walmart or BestBuy, which traditionally were over-priced, as they may not have reacted to the price increase because they sell their stock based on their purchase price, not forecasting.
Its a little difficult following along with your storage needs. So, I'm going to settle on a 2 TB drive. I have this drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . Its plenty fast. If you want something bigger, go for a 3 TB disk. Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital are all my first choice.
As with any other piece of hardware, you always run the risk of getting a bad unit or two. It just happens. I would also pick up a 4 TB external drive as a back-up. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . You can always recycle a couple of your drives (which ever ones aren't broke, I'm not gonna read your post again) for additional back-ups (So everything backed up to the 4 TB, then super important stuff like family pictures backed up again on a smaller drive).
Anyway, if you absolutely cannot positively wait for at least 6 months for prices to start going down again, the best time to buy a hard drive will probably be on Black Friday. Prices are insane right now, you have to understand that you'll be facing 100+% mark up in prices. If you can wait, I would wait, and use the money saved for a new or additional graphics card or something. If not, you'll just have to eat it (it seems like you are prepared for that anyway). As for any other retailer... nope. Everyone has raised their prices. Best Buy, TigerDirect, Amazon...
And I was wondering whether I should go with one 2TB drive or two 1TB drives if I decided to go for 2TB of storage, (because it seems like a 1TB drive would be less likely to fail) but now I'm thinking I would need to upgrade again within six months if I did that, so I might as well get 4TB now.
Doesn't matter who you go with. I primarily use WD, but I have Seagate and they work no differently.
Right now there are no 4TB HDDs aside from external drives. You can only use them for storage, and not all computers can handle even that. Make sure you do some research before going for anything bigger than 2TB.