Price Guides August 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Adam Rader on August 7, 2004 10:23 AM EST
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Hard Drives: Parallel ATAWith some of the sales and deals that have been thrown around the Hot Deals forum lately, it's easy to become spoiled by prices at, near, or even below $0.40/GB, but luckily, there are still very reasonably priced hard drives out there that don't involve coupons, codes or lengthy mail-in rebates that most would probably forget to send in anyway.
Maxtor leads the way this week with two drives, which are not only priced well, but also very quiet, yet high on the performance ladder. The Maxtor 160GB 7200RPM 8MB drive this week gives a great price-to-capacity ratio while incorporating Maxtor's fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) mechanism to reduce overall noise from the drive while in operation. Anyone who has ever installed a few noisy drives and placed the computer in their bedroom knows how much noise can sometimes matter. Hard drives tend to be one of the biggest noisemakers inside modern day PC's and Maxtor is continuing to do what they can to combat that fact.
For only a few cents more per gig, Maxtor's 250GB 7200RPM drive makes a great drive; its capacity is an important factor. Paired up in RAID 1, these drives can also make for a very nice backup solution to avoid losing those tax documents, that massive MP3 and video collection, and all of those photos that you took with your digital camera on vacation. Of course, HD-based backup is often a preferred method, since it remains very easy to access the data and because hard drives are substantially a matured technology compared to DVDs and CDs, which some tests have shown can deteriorate over time periods as short as a year or two.