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Conclusion

New IDE Hard Drives at 20 GB per Platter: Fujitsu MPG3409 and Western Digital WD400
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Both Fujitsu and Western Digital showed that they are absolutely able to build technically competitive hard drives. I still remember the staff of a local computer shop going on about several hard drive companies just because they were not selling high capacity drives. This review shows that there's more to hard drive technology than only high capacities. After all, the average size of IDE hard drives is still less than 30 GB.

40 GB models seem to be a good choice right now, as they usually come at reasonably attractive prices. The Fujitsu drive is available for approximately $190, which seems normal for a 40 GB drive right now. Also consider the liquid bearing which is not available from the competitors.

The Western Digital WD400 can be obtained for approx. $200-215. Particularly demanding applications should run faster on such a 7200-rpm model than on a 5400 drive. The good transfer rates make those two drives suited for digital video as well.

It's great to see that each company in the hard drive sector is doing hard work. Nobody can predict which companies will survive and which ones will finally disappear due to continuously decreasing margins. Luckily, this war is not fought at the users' expense.


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