Greetings and thanks for joining us in this week's price guide. This time around, we'll be taking a look at most of your basic storage necessities, including hard drives with various interfaces and your most common external storage means: optical drives.

For all our price guides, we use our RTPE for reference. It not only tracks current pricing, but it also tracks price changes, available rebates, shipping fees; refurbished, OEM and retail products, and we also keep a historical log of prices. Unlike other price searches which are more interested in per click revenue, with our RTPE, we are interested in getting you the best product at the best price.

We are the only engine to use our own in-house created bots which crawl thousands of links an hour, gathering pricing data directly from vendors rather than collecting data from XML feeds and FTP servers, as many other engines do. This allows our users to have the most accurate information regarding not only pricing and shipping costs, but also product availability. There are few things that can be more irritating than ordering a product only to find it is out of stock, or that the vendor with the best price is backordered. Speaking of vendors, our RTPE only tracks companies that we feel are reliable, and the list consists of highly recommended and rated merchants. Since we don't collect any revenue for link traffic to these vendors, we are free to use merchants that have aggressive pricing rather than deep advertising pockets.

As per many requests from our loyal readers, we are still working on getting laptop hard drives into our RTPE. However, that task is not yet complete; rest assured that once it's ready, we will be sure to include that market segment in our storage price guides. We know many users also have a laptop or two, and some of them could use a hard drive upgrade/replacement.

One last thing before we get caught up in the midst of all these storage options. We realize that the pricing tables on the following pages do not allow better sorting options like the RTPE does, as all of the tables are listed in alphabetical order. The main thing that you will find in the RTPE is the cost per GB breakdown, as well as the ability to sort by price. This makes finding the best storage deals extremely easy, and we will provide a few direct links to the RTPE for lists sorted by price. We're still working on getting that functionality into our article tables, and hope to have that in the near future.

Now enough about our pricing engine and let's get back on track about what this guide is about. Starting off this storage guide, we'll first take a look at the SATA drives.

SATA – 3.0Gbps
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  • beoba - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    It'd be nice if, for the hard drive pages, there were a scatter plot showing capacity/price values across all drives and capacities, such that one could see trends in pricing across the different capacity tiers. (In other words: visually determine if, say, it were more economical to get a 300gb instead of a 250gb in a given month)
  • Crassus - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    Are there any SATA-attached optical drives out on the market or is everything still PATA?

    Seems that more and more motherboard makers drop the number of available PATA connectors while adding tons of SATA ones.
  • rrcn - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    There are only two optical drives that I know of which use a SATA interface: both from Plextor -- the PX-716SA/SW and the PX-755SA. I wasn't aware they weren't in the RTPE, but I'll get them added as soon as possible. If I can find any others, I'll also have those added as well.

    --Haider Farhan
  • CrystalBay - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    I think it would be useful to add external storage and external optical storage as well...
  • rrcn - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    We've never had a request for external storage devices, but if we receive more feedback regarding this, we'll see about getting external storage components at least added into the RTPE. Also, we try to mainly cover the basics in every one of our price guides because really, we can go on forever covering every single component out there. I cannot make any promises, but I'll pass your suggestion along and see what can be done. :-)

    --Haider Farhan
  • Whohangs - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    I would like to see external storage components on the list also.
  • gofor55 - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    Any chance you can include notebook hard drives in this guide next time?
  • rrcn - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    As soon as they're added into the RTPE, we'll gladly do so.

    I probably should have noted that in the guide before it went live, but I have gone ahead and done so now.

    --Haider Farhan
  • Calin - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    Not all DVD drives are created equal - by example, the Teac drives can not write DVD-RAM, while the LG ones can. While this is probably no show stopper for anybody, it might be nice to know beforehand
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    Having never used DVD-RAM, I figure anyone that needs it for whatever purpose is well aware of the fact. I use relatively inexpensive DVDRs and burn stuff at 8X rather than 16X (just to be safe), and I've used quite a few DVDR drives without problems. I think we've reached the point where it's a lot like CDR support - maybe a few people still worry about that, but for me any CDR capable DVDR drive is sufficient for my needs. Anyway, there are about 5 (or more) DVDRs in the $35-$45 price range that are worth considering. Get whichever one you fancy. :)

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