Price Guides September 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Adam Rader on September 19, 2004 3:00 PM EST
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Hard Drives: Parallel ATAPrices for hard drives are continuing to drop as manufacturers improve efficiency and platter density. Thanks to this, and the fact that RAID is quickly becoming the standard on enthusiast motherboards, there aren't many reasons left to avoid backing up your data to prevent the inevitable loss when something breaks. A RAID 1 array is very easy to set up and use these days, and the drives to make it happen are very low-cost as well. If the thought of having to back up your important data manually to a CD or DVD does not appeal to you, then the tried-and-true realm of HDDs may be the ticket.
The cost-per-gigabyte for hard drives has been inching its way down for the last couple of years and is quickly approaching the 50 cents per gigabyte mark, even in retail. Even though the bulk of online retailers don't often show it, deals can be had that make hard drives seem like a commodity. It isn't rare anymore to see, for example, a 160GB Maxtor drive going for $70-$80 at brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy, Office Max, and Fry's Electronics.
This week, it appears that Maxtor is leading the pack with the aforementioned drive. Maxtor's 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB drive has been a hot seller across many retailers and it shows by how low prices have become for this drive. Without sacrificing speed or access times, this drive can provide a hefty chunk of storage for your collection of music, videos, or digital photography.