SATA - 1.5Gbps

Now, we come to the 1.5Gbps hard drives. As mentioned already, these SATA hard drives have yet to even reach their 1.5Gbps bandwidth. So again, we would say that you should allow the price to be the determining factor regarding which drive you ought to buy. Worth mentioning is that not all motherboards support the higher bandwidth SATA specification, but luckily, the drives are backwards compatible.

There are also a number of excellent drives from which to choose here and we can only make so many suggestions. To start off the recommendations, we would suggest the Maxtor 1.5Gbps 300GB 7200RPM 16MB DiamondMax 10 [RTPE: 6L300S0], which is currently priced at $120 shipped, breaking it down to $0.40 per GB.

The Maxtor 1.5Gbps 250GB 7200RPM 16MB DiamondMax 10 [RTPE: 6L250S0] is another viable option. At $0.40 per GB, this hard drive is on sale for just a hair under an even $100 shipped.

If you have any doubts that most users will never notice the difference in performance between 1.5Gbps and 3.0Gbps, consider for a moment that Western Digital Raptors are all 1.5Gbps - even the new 150 GB model. Speaking of which, the Western Digital 36.7GB 10000RPM Raptor [RTPE: WD360GD] drives have been steady for quite some time now. With a few dollars up and down from time to time, at the moment, this drive is priced at about $105 shipped. The 74GB Western Digital Raptor [RTPE: WD740GD] is now priced at $149 shipped after a $20 mail-in rebate from TigerDirect. Finally, the overall fastest drive on the market, the 150GB Raptor [RTPE: WD1500], is now selling for $276 shipped, making it slightly cheaper per gigabyte than the lower capacity models. Some people might also be interested in spending $75 more to get a small window on the hard drive, but we're certainly not going to recommend it.

SATA – 3.0Gbps PATA


View All Comments

  • AznBoi36 - Sunday, March 19, 2006 - link

    I think it would be a good idea if the drives shown include NCQ/RoHS since there are both the same models that have/doesn't have these features.

    Like for example; there are models of the 7200.8 that feature NCQ and then there are models that do not have NCQ.

    Just to clarify a point...
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - link

    NCQ may be useful to some, but RoHS? Who really cares about that? Reply
  • jamori - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    While I understand that most of the anandtech staff doesn't like to deal with rebates, there are those of us who are willing to in order to get the best deal on a product.

    Under the old RTPE, cost/GB would be calculated with before-rebate prices, and I recall that even when sorting by price in the 'rebate' section, the before rebate price would be used to sort. It seems that the new 'rebates' sections don't have any sorting options, but in the storage section, the cost/GB for products with rebates doesn't make any sense.

    For example, in the SATA drive rebate section, the drive at the top is a 250GB Maxtor drive from TigerDirect for $119.99 - $30 MIR, with (it looks like) $8.36 in tax/shipping/whatever for me. The price displayed is $88.37 after MIR, and it says $.39/GB.

    This doesn't make any sense, though. $88.37/250 = $0.3535 / GB
    Ok, so are you using the before-rebate price? Let's try $128.37 -> $0.5135 / GB. Definitely not.
    $119.99 -> 0.47996 / GB. Nope

    The only thing I can find that's anywhere close is if you take the average of the retail price and the after-rebate price, ignoring shipping, to get
    (119.99 + 79.99) / (2*250) -> $0.39996 / GB, which (if that's how you're doing it), should be rounded up to $0.40 / GB anyway.

    How in the world are you calculating cost/GB??
  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    You'll have to ask our RTPE people, who are separate from the editorial staff. I'll forward this question to Lawrence to see if he can respond (or fix the issue). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    Actually, looking at">this page, I'm not sure which price/drive you're talking about. The P/GB results seem to take the rebates into account, plus shipping. If there's an issue with any of the values listed, send me a direct link, would you? Right now, just giving it a quick once-over, everything looks right. Reply
  • rrcn - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link


    I base my cost/GB prices on what the RTPE lists it as.

    I don't know which Maxtor you were using in your example, but I will give you an example of my own.

    The 250GB Maxtor [RTPE:">6L250SO] which can be found listed on the SATA 1.5Gbps is retailing for $99.99 shipped.

    Now if you click">here and scroll down to the third drive from the end, you will see the 6L250SO. You'll see that it's priced at $0.40/GB which is what is stated in the guide on page 3. That's the price of the hard drive plus shipping that gives you $0.40/GB.

    $99.99 (including shipping cost)/250GB = $0.39996 = $0.40/GB.

    I base my prices on exactly what the RTPE states. And the price listed in the RTPE is only the cost of the drive plus shipping, taxes are omitted from the prices listed as that varies from state to state.
  • PrinceGaz - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    "Moving right along, here you'll see the many PATA drives that are available. Looking at the cost per GB, these drives are right up there with the SATA drives these days. As most motherboards currently support SATA drives, we suggest that you go with a SATA drive. However, if you are running an older motherboard or one without the option of the SATA interface, a PATA drive is going to be your only option."

    A PATA drive is not your only option. It might be worth buying a cheap SATA PCI card so that you can use a SATA drive instead. That has the advantage that when you upgrade you can use the SATA drive in your new system.
  • SLIM - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    Can anybody explain why nobody seems to want to build sata optical drives??? Plextor is the only one I know of that ships one sata drive. Is it that much more expensive to use a sata interface? It would be nice to finally get rid of parallel cables (even rounded ones). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    The Plextor SATA drive apparently has issues, so it could be that other companies have looked into SATA optical drives and are holding off for now. Reply
  • Lamdon - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    I am sorta dissapointed there were no mobile drives posted. I am presently looking for a 2.5" hard drive for my laptop. Reply

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