Price Guides End of August 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Adam Rader on August 27, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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Hard Drives: Parallel ATAWith hard drive storage prices at a standstill, and in many cases, moving upwards ever so slightly, it's nice to see some models staying at reasonable prices at a few retailers. For under $100 shipped, Maxtor's 160GB 7200RPM 8MB drive promises the best price to performance ratio for its size. The FDB motor also helps to keep your system quiet, which is very useful if you intend to place the system in your bedroom or integrate it into a home theater PC. For about $20 more, you can upgrade to a 200GB drive from Maxtor (same specifications as above, save for capacity). Seagate also becomes a bit more competitive at this drive size with their own 200GB 7200RPM drive available for around $115 shipped, slightly edging out Maxtor.
No matter what drive choice you make, however, now is certainly a good time to buy. Prices appear to have reached their current lows and there isn't anything new and groundbreaking in the near future that would push prices much lower. With motherboards sporting onboard RAID controllers, this is especially good, since one can set up a mirrored array and finally make good in the area of backups without having to think about it, change tapes, or spend hours or days burning backups to CD or DVD.