SATA's cost per GB fell another $0.05 this month on average; to as low as $0.43 per GB in the 250GB sector. 7200RPM PATA drives were generally about $0.42 per GB, which gives SATA narrowest margin cost per GB yet. Maxtor continues to lead the pack with its 200GB DiamondMax 10 [RTPE: 6B200M0], although there are slightly cheaper drives in the 250GB range as well. Hard drive pricing is probably one of the most predictable models as this point - particularly if the one year plot of the 6B200M0 is any measure:

Maxtor SATA 200GB 7200RPM 8MB DiamondMax 10

If you're interested in seeing the exact cost per GB (accurate to the minute), check RTPE here. Another drive that has lead the drop in cost per GB on our SATA drives is the Seagate SATA 250GB 7200.8 [RTPE: ST3250823AS] The 7200.8 isn't the cheapest 250GB drive right now, but if you click on the RTPE link and scroll down, you'll see the cost per GB is still very competitive. We have been watching this drive very closely, and again this drive takes our pick as the SATA II all around drive.

Seagate SATA 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Barracuda 7200.8

For whatever reason Western Digital always gets their own little mention for the grossly expensive, exceedingly forward thinking Raptor series [RTPE: WD Raptor]; a feat that no manufacturer has really duplicated yet. The price on these Raptor drives has remained nearly a constant $180 for almost two years, but for the first time last month we noticed a $20 rebate at some vendors bringing the price down to about $165. At this price you are still better off sticking with the Raptor over, say, a SCSI alternative since you won't need to buy a separate SCSI controller - but the gap does continue to narrow!

Index PATA


View All Comments

  • zemane - Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - link

    Kristopher: About the RTPE graph, could the y axis be on multiples of 5, e.g., 5, 10, 15; or 20, 30, 40; or 150, 250, 350, etc.

    I feel this is more intuitive and helps getting a quick idea of how prices or volume are changing.
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - link

    I'll try my best.

  • huges84 - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    I just bought a Seagate 7200.8 250GB SATA drive for my computer becuase it was so quiet in the computer that I built for my brother. My old 120GB Maxtor 6Y120L0 was the loudest part of my computer.

    With the Seagates you can't even hear them in either computer unless you put your ear right next to that part of the case. Now I actually have to look at the HDD activity light to know when my harddrive is busy. And the speed is amazing.

    I would definitely recommend that anyone who thinks they could use a new drive not hesitate and jump on it. The improvement is well worth it, especially since the harddrive can be the biggest bottleneck in any modern system.
  • PrinceGaz - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    Pretty much any decent new hard-drive these days has fluid dynamic bearings, so all of them from any manufacturer are a lot quieter than drives of a few years ago.

    The prices of both PATA and SATA drives up to 250GB or so, is so cheap now there's no reason to opt for anything less. Even if you're only likely to use 100GB or less, having a larger drive that costs only slightly more will give higher performance as all the data will be on the outside of the disk giving higher transfer rates and reduced seek-times.

    Hard drives are an absolute bargain these days imo.
  • SpaceRanger - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    Would like to see them start adding Notebook HD's in there as well. Reply
  • huges84 - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    agreed Reply
  • CZroe - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    Retail has always been the best way to purchase hard drives so I really don't see the point of this guide. Fry's had the Raptor 36GB drive for $69 after rebate this past week. Best Buy had the WD1200JB 120GB drives for $19.99 after rebate and I've been buying them for that cheap for years now (They show up every few weeks). I've gotten four 7k400 400GB drives from Fry's for $179.99ea with NO tax. Even Office Depot and Office Max have MUCH better prices. These price guides are only useful if you can't do anything else but purchase immediately and you have no local electronics stores. Reply
  • bdoney - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    Nice price guide, and it's useful but it would be nice to have rebate information on there. I just picked up two WD 160GB drives at a local electronic store chain. The price was $120 each with $80 of rebates for each drive. With pricing like that, I can't see buying any other hard drive unless you REALLY want the cutting edge. Reply
  • huges84 - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    The price guides have never been about rebates, because you are still paying $120 for the drive. You cannot get that drive if you only have $40. Yes, when all is said and done 8 weeks (or more) later, you may or may not get $80 back. But even then you will have lost that purchasing power for a while and lost all possinbility of interest on that money.

    Besides, the price guides are all about finding good components at the best (relativley) dependable prices. You should be able to read a price guide from two weeks ago on motherboards and the recommendations should still be mostly the same as they would be right this second. Afterall, the priceguides for every category aren't redone every week.

    But of course rebates still offer low prices, and some people have no problem with them. (I don't like them but it doesn't mean I won't jump on a really great deal). For those people, there are the forums where people can post hot deals. Also, I would suggest you checkout the best place for hot deals: That place is all about the absolute best prices.
  • PrinceGaz - Monday, August 29, 2005 - link

    Splitting the HD price tables into seperate sections depending on capacity is good, but there's a slight glitch. In the 400GB tables, 40GB drives are showing up as well. I guess a little more tweaking is needed of the algorithm used to select them.

    I picked up a Maxtor MaxLine III 250GB SATA drive last week which I've been very impressed with so far. You have the drive listed in the SATA section rather than SATA II, but according to Maxtor the drive has

    SATA II features, including:
    - Native command queuing
    - Hot plug
    - Staggered spin-up
    - Asynchronous signal recovery

    so the MaxLine III drives probably belong in the SATA II section.

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