Price Guides February 2004: Magnetic and Optical Storageby Kristopher Kubicki on February 25, 2004 4:19 AM EST
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Welcome to another installment of the weekly Price Guides. We have not done a whole lot with storage lately so we are going to take some time to reflect on what is going on in the magnetic and optical storage industry. As always, don't forget to check out our Real Time Price Engine for up to the minute price deltas and listing.
We start today with our cross section of Serial ATA hard drives. Prices have not changed much over the last few months (the page may state that our week delta is Not Available, this is just a small glitch that will probably be fixed in the next day or two). For those of you who watch our news feeds, you know that Maxtor recently disclosed its unbridged SATA drives at IDF. This opens the door to new opportunities in the SATA technology since there is no longer a separate chip needed to control the SATA interface on the hard drive. Keep in mind that VIA, Intel and NVIDIA are all working on moving their SATA controllers right onto the southbridge as well. SATA will soon become a two point technology whereas last year it was four point.
Undoubtly, choosing the right hard drive is not as easy as just picking the cheapest hard drive for the size desired. Without a doubt, the best performing drive on the market right now is the new Raptor WD740GD, albeit expensive. 74GB does not go as far as it did several years ago, but if you need a good system drive to put your OS and majority of applications, nothing beats the Raptors right now. If you are looking for something with a little more modest performance, perhaps for an additional drive rather than a system build, IDE still reigns champion for its low cost.