Real Gentlemen: Budget IDE Hard Drives

Budget Drives

Since 1999, high-end computers have usually been equipped with hard drives running at 7,200 rpm rather than 5,400 rpm. Although a higher rpm means increased noise level and temperatures, the performance gain is remarkable. However, the user still has to wait for the HD during times of intense read or write access.

Although many of our readers are well-versed in technology, there are probably some less-experienced users out there who sometimes encounter the following problems when buying hardware components: First, they are on a limited budget, which therefore limits their choice of features for a particular product. Second, they may not have anybody to turn to for advice on what to buy, making the computer dealer, whom you may or may not trust, the last resort.

Assuming you're on a limited budget, you might be interested in these three drives, which are low-cost models from Maxtor, Seagate and Western Digital. Usually, such hard drives are used for the pre-assembled computers. Even if you've got a larger budget to play with, there are several reasons that you might opt for the 5,400 rpm drive over the 7,200 rpm drive:

  • Noise Level
    Hard drives are one of the factors contributing to the noise generated by your PC. Although the latest 7,200 rpm drives are surprisingly quiet, most 5,400 rpm models are even quieter.
  • Temperature
    As the friction inside the drive is much less at only 5,400 rpm, these drives will naturally heat up less.
  • Backup or Long-Term Storage
    Collecting MP3s or even video files from the Internet requires a lot of storage space. That's why many people consider adding a second drive to their system which will only be used to store data, but not for running applications or the operating system. These lower cost hard drives are ideal for such purposes.