Page 1:More To Store: 10 New Hard Drives Compared
Page 2:Meet The Devourers: Music, Photos, Videos, And Games
Page 3:Choose Or Lose: Which HDD Is Right For You?
Page 4:System Hard Drives: Faster, Faster!
Page 5:Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600 AAJS, 160 GB SATA
Page 6:Western Digital Raptor WD740 ADFD
Page 7:All-arounders At A Reasonable Price
Page 8:Samsung SpinPoint T133 HD401LJ: 400 GB SATA
Page 9:Storage Giants: 500 GB+ And For 24/7 Operation
Page 10:Samsung SpinPoint T166 HD501LJ, 500 GB SATA
Page 11:Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ES, 750 GB: The 24/7 Monster
Page 12:For Upgrades: UltraATA Drives
Page 13:Technical Data Compared
Page 14:Benchmark Results
Page 15:Data Transfer Diagrams, Continued
Page 16:Average Access Time
Page 17:I/O Performance
Meet The Devourers: Music, Photos, Videos, And Games
Office applications like Microsoft Excel (or the complete Office suite) don't need a lot of storage space. The average office installation requires approximately 600 MB. However, you will need more storage space for modern games, music or video data.
A storage capacity of 10 to 20 GB should be sufficient if you mostly use your computer for browsing the Internet, running your e-mail client and using office applications. Windows XP requires less than 2 GB of space, and about the same amount again for the swap file.
Software packages like Microsoft Office, the developer center Visual Studio, graphics and web solutions like Adobe's Creative Suite 2 or the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite each require a few gigabytes. Utilities and tools such as WinZIP or WinRAR, or a picture viewer like ACDSee are not even worth mentioning; they are almost all just in the megabyte. Your office computer obviously doesn't need much storage space.
However, modern games are more demanding. For performance reasons, it is very common to store several gigabytes of game data onto your hard drive. But even if you install numerous game titles you should still be doing fine with 100 GB.
After enjoying their multimedia data, most people typically leave it on their hard drives instead of deleting it, which leads to an increasing demand for capacity. Each MP3 file with a 192 kbit/s bit rate will consume 1.5 MB of storage per minute. Archives of music lovers are easily as large as 20 or 30 GB. The situation with digital photographs is not much different: the average size of a 6-8 megapixel JPEG photo is about 2.5 MB. The annual amount of product photographs at our THG lab amounts to at least 25 GB. Professional photographers even use uncompressed (RAW) photos only, which easily take up 10 MB per picture or even more.
However, digital video definitely needs the most storage space. If you like storing whole DVDs onto your system, you probably need several gigabytes per movie. The future does not look much brighter in this regard, either: since we are looking at HD-DVDs and BlueRay discs with a capacity of 25 GB, you might get an idea of what you need to plan for if you still want to have your multimedia data standing by on your hard drive in the future.
By the way, many users waste quite a lot of storage space because they simply forget to delete unneeded files or old data. After a few weeks, Windows XP's Disk Cleanup Assistant notifies you about no longer used data on your desktop, but other HDD contents will be overlooked. I'll bet you anything that you could easily reduce your used capacity if you jettison data trash and uninstall applications that are no longer required.
- More To Store: 10 New Hard Drives Compared
- Meet The Devourers: Music, Photos, Videos, And Games
- Choose Or Lose: Which HDD Is Right For You?
- System Hard Drives: Faster, Faster!
- Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600 AAJS, 160 GB SATA
- Western Digital Raptor WD740 ADFD
- All-arounders At A Reasonable Price
- Samsung SpinPoint T133 HD401LJ: 400 GB SATA
- Storage Giants: 500 GB+ And For 24/7 Operation
- Samsung SpinPoint T166 HD501LJ, 500 GB SATA
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ES, 750 GB: The 24/7 Monster
- For Upgrades: UltraATA Drives
- Technical Data Compared
- Benchmark Results
- Data Transfer Diagrams, Continued
- Average Access Time
- I/O Performance