There are some great SSD and HDD Black Friday sales going on right now — check our main Black Friday PC deals hub for non-storage options — but if you're looking to maximize storage capacity you'll usually end up paying substantially for it.
The best bang for the buck, ignoring performance, tends to be with 8TB drives. But right now, Newegg has the Seagate Exos X20 20TB on sale for just $269. That's server-class enterprise storage at effectively the same price per GB that you'd pay for consumer 5,400-RPM storage.
This much storage might be a bit difficult to wrap your head around. I used to think filling up even a 4TB drive would prove difficult. How much data could you store with 20TB of capacity? Here are some ideas.
- 5,000 two hour movies
- 2 million photos
- 7.7 million "average length" books
- 80 individual copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
The biggest problem with filling 20TB of capacity is that you'll still be limited to SATA transfer speeds of around 240–280 MB/s. Even if you had 20TB of large files waiting to be written to the Seagate Exos X20 20TB, it would require roughly one full day just to fill the drive up.
Of course, you could also get multiple drives and shove them into a NAS. Seagate's Exos line isn't specifically targeted at NAS users (that would be IronWolf Pro), but it will work just fine in enclosures. It's also currently about $100 cheaper than the IronWolf Pro version of the drive
We've basically hit a plateau for hard drive performance, and the Seagate Exos X20 sits very near the top of our sequential read/write speed charts in our HDD benchmarks hieararchy. If you want something faster with this much capacity, without paying exorbitant amounts of money for an enterprise SSD, your only option will be to wait until areal density increases and we start seeing 30–40 TB hard drives. That could be a while.
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Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.