Welcome to another installment of the weekly Price Guides.  We have not done a whole lot with storage lately so we are going to take some time to reflect on what is going on in the magnetic and optical storage industry.  As always, don't forget to check out our Real Time Price Engine for up to the minute price deltas and listing.

We start today with our cross section of Serial ATA hard drives. Prices have not changed much over the last few months (the page may state that our week delta is Not Available, this is just a small glitch that will probably be fixed in the next day or two).  For those of you who watch our news feeds, you know that Maxtor recently disclosed its unbridged SATA drives at IDF.  This opens the door to new opportunities in the SATA technology since there is no longer a separate chip needed to control the SATA interface on the hard drive.  Keep in mind that VIA, Intel and NVIDIA are all working on moving their SATA controllers right onto the southbridge as well.  SATA will soon become a two point technology whereas last year it was four point. 

Undoubtly, choosing the right hard drive is not as easy as just picking the cheapest hard drive for the size desired.  Without a doubt, the best performing drive on the market right now is the new Raptor WD740GD, albeit expensive.  74GB does not go as far as it did several years ago, but if you need a good system drive to put your OS and majority of applications, nothing beats the Raptors right now.  If you are looking for something with a  little more modest performance, perhaps for an additional drive rather than a system build, IDE still reigns champion for its low cost.

IDE Drives
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  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, February 29, 2004 - link

    MadAd i will look into adding this.

  • MadAd - Thursday, February 26, 2004 - link

    I think a column indicating price per gigabyte would be helpful addition to the magnetic storage chart, giving your table an 'at a glance' sweet spot record of the price data already listed.
  • artifex - Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - link

    It'd be really nice to have the +-R(W) status of each item on the DVDR list, without having to click on the individual names.

    Also, you might point out that drives are one of the few areas where it may pay to shop locally, as stores like Fry's and Best Buy and others frequently carry rebates for Maxtor, Western Digital, and now Hitachi (Deathstars, anyone?).

    Last year I was typically getting my 160GB 8MB Maxtor IDE drives for around $80-90 after rebate, and this year so far I've bought a 180GB Deathstar for what should be around $70, assuming the rebate ever comes...
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - link

    Just a note to folks looking into the DVD drive market...I recently bought the NEC 2500A listed, from NewEgg. If you're a newbie, you might find its lack of documentation and bundled software a problem, but for everyone else, an 8x -R /8x +R DVD burner is a steal at that price. I have yet to burn a coaster, or a disc that I couldn't read in a decent DVD player or drive. And, it's whisper quiet. I'm a happy camper.
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - link

    oops... fixed :-p
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - link

    On page 1 "...Matrox recently disclosed its unbridged SATA drives at IDF"

    Unless Matrox really have expanded from the graphics-card market, I think that should be Maxtor :)

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