Welcome back for the latest storage price guide. We haven't seen too many changes lately when it comes to storage price and this includes both hard drives and optical media. It seems as though storage has all but hit a roadblock on cost per gigabyte and the only place where there has been any change worth mentioning has been in the area of DVD storage. Our recent 16X roundup took a look at eight of the latest and greatest burners around and came out with a definite winner. This guide will also check in with hard drive prices to see if there are any deals out there worth looking at.

Be sure to visit our RealTime Pricing Engine for up-to-date pricing on everything mentioned in this guide and much more.

DVD Burners

16X DVD burners are becoming as affordable as anything these days and that bonus does not have to come with any performance or quality deficiencies either. With the days of non-stop coaster burning CD drives long gone, we have all come to expect reliable burns the first time, and every time. This mindset is easily transferred to DVD burning and the drive and media manufacturers know this. That is why DVD burning hasn't suffered as greatly from poor burn quality as CDs once did, and the ability of drives and media to perform successfully, burn after burn, is getting better each time that a new drive comes out, it seems.

Long story short, the NEC ND-3500A, which can be had for less than $70 shipped, takes the cake as the best burner available for a more than reasonable price. The 3500A managed to come out as a very well-rounded drive in terms of media support, desireable lack of coaster creation, and it did so at the lowest price point of any other drive in the roundup. All things considered, older 8x or 12x drives aren't even really worth buying, since they are most often priced near or above the price of this NEC and perform noticeably slower.

NEC 16X ND-3500A 120 Day Analysis

Hard Drives: Parallel ATA


View All Comments

  • bofkentucky - Monday, November 08, 2004 - link

    I was pointing out an obvious error in the price guide, not commenting on your high performance SATA rant. And kogase is right, everyone else has a lucrative SCSI market to protect. WD needs a more dense solution tough, 74GB is getting tight in an age of HomePVR's and HD Video. Reply
  • Gnoad - Monday, November 08, 2004 - link

    and that would be a scsi drive, which doesn't interest the normal consumer too much. I was talking about sata drives. Reply
  • bofkentucky - Monday, November 08, 2004 - link

    Seagate Ultra320 146GB 10000RPM 8MB for 159.99

    I don't think so
  • Live - Sunday, November 07, 2004 - link

    The Samsung drive exists in 2 versions one with a very good motor with low noise and heat as a result. But lately the have started to use a different and louder motor on at least some of there drives. They are named the same so no way telling the differences by the name of the drive you have to check the actual printing on the drive. Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Sunday, November 07, 2004 - link

    No mention of the fact that SATA drives can limit your OC. That would be my main reason to stay with PATA. I wouldn't mind seeing this phenomenon investigated in an article... Reply
  • drifter106 - Sunday, November 07, 2004 - link

  • kogase - Saturday, November 06, 2004 - link

    I think it has something to do with the fact that those companies have high performance SCSI lines, and don't want to throw away their investment in that field with a similar performing SATA drive. Reply
  • Gnoad - Saturday, November 06, 2004 - link

    Very good article. It seems nobody is really trying to compete with the Raptor drives. Maxtor tried with 16mb cache, but what we really need is more 10k drives. I figured we would be seeing other drives like the raptors within months after they were released. Why aren't seagate, maxtor, samsung going with 10k drives? Are they just giving the high end market to WD? Reply

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