Price Guides May 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Kristopher Kubicki on May 2, 2004 7:18 PM EST
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PATA Hard Drives
Since the capacity from Raptors can be a little less than fulfilling for those with massive collections of files or those just working with extremely large files, PATA is still the cost effective way to go for mass storage. For this reason a 160GB drive from Maxtor comes to mind. Specifically the Maxtor ATA133 160GB 7200RPM 8MB drive. At a little over 60 cents per gigabyte this becomes much more affordable to the average user who values space over speed. That doesn't mean that this drive slacks either. The 7200 RPM spindle and 8MB cache help keep data flowing quite readily. The same spec drive from Western Digital also appears for about the same price as the Maxtor, with Seagate following close behind. All of these drives will fit into or near the $100 price point without sacrificing transfer rates and slowing you down.
Since it's not always wise to put too many eggs in one basket and load up all of your precious data onto a single hard drive, even with the increased reliability that manufacturers have developed over the years it may not be too attractive to run out and purchase a 250-300+ gig drive. Of course if you are short on open bays in your case and need a lot of space we recommend Maxtor for their 300 gig drive. At only 5400 RPMs and only 2MB cache it certainly isn't going to set any speed records but it will store a lot of data without breaking the bank completely. This size drive is also very well suited for external enclosures such as those used for external backups or transferring large files between home, work, or a friend's computer. Remember, if you're just using a drive for extra storage and not particularly for your system drive, low RPM and low cache do not really hurt performance.