So tonight I officially hit a new point of absurdity in my attempts to delay buying a HDD until prices are *anywhere* near the ridiculously lows of a couple years ago. I am now on my third build without being able to feel justified paying for a new HDD, so I actually went out to the garage and pulled the 160gb 2.5" drive from my dead PS3 and installed it to the SSD mount in my case, moving my actual SSD onto the previously unneeded desktop mount.
My other two machines are running an old WD 5400rpm 320gb and a WD Caviar Blue 500gb. I have massive amounts of data I'd *like* to simply store with redundancy on every system, but that would mean I'd need a pair of 1TB drives and one 500gb drive. One of the larger drives should be reasonably fast, but the others I just wouldn't want slower than the Caviar Blue 500gb. The main concern is to pick the most reliable models possible, not the fastest (these aren't system drives after all).
I keep looking at the Caviar Black 1tb models, but $100 seems crazy when I can get a top-quality 120gb SSD to run the OS for less than that now. Whether it's Newegg or Amazon, I get nervous when I see that Seagate has about 20% of it's owners rate it at 1 egg/star because of reliability issues. Hitachi looks like a good option with it's new Deskstars, but that's still around $90 for 1tb at best. I am remembering seeing 500gb drives for well under $50 at one point, and I would have guessed six months ago that a Caviar Black could be had for $75 by now.
Am I waiting for a price correction that probably isn't going to ever really occur? In other words, should I just bite the bullet and dish out $300 for three quality disks, or am I right to hold out a bit longer with the idea that I'm spending money on the most overpriced component in the market by purchasing now?
The price for the HDDs is excellent - bite the bullet and get them.
Regarding reliability concerns, I have 10 Western Digital HDDs in my system: 1x Black 750GB; 1x Green 500GB; and 8x 500GB Blue. The Black, Green and 3 Blue have been running for 11 months whilst the other 5 Blues for 7 months. I have been fortunate with Western Digital HDDs; never have had one fail on me.
When im looking at hard drives they seem to be around the same price as always. In your case i'd just go for a new hard drive, if you need one get one!
I have been finding used hard drives for very cheap but are not recommended as back up drives. Found a bunch at a garage sale and i might resell them or make a few systems with them.
If your really concerned about hard drive prices then i would either consider using dvds as back ups or use an existing drive that has a capacity suited to back up your important data. You can also use http://windirstat.info/ to validate the size required to back up your data.