Welcome to the Sharky Extreme Hard Drive + Solid-State Drive Price Guide, which is a monthly feature that complements our CPU, Memory and Video Card prices guides. This will help provide a snap-shot of the overall desktop storage market, and follows the same basic pattern as our weekly and monthly price guides. We'll start off with individual price lists for both Parallel and Serial ATA hard drives, and Solid-State Drives, and then by using various sorted lists, take a more detailed look at overall value and pricing.
The hard drive price lists are not meant to duplicate the vendor selection of online price engines like PriceWatch or PriceGrabber, but instead will present an overview of the PATA, SATA and SSD storage marketplace. We have included a wide range of drives from the most popular manufacturers, as well as ensuring an extensive selection of capacities and features.
* Please note that unless otherwise stated (using an Retail designation) the listed hard drives are OEM models.
* All listed hard drives are 7200 RPM, other than the Western Digital 10K Raptor, WD 5400/7200 RPM Hybrid models and Samsung EcoGreen 5400 RPM drives
The Parallel ATA hard drive selection rivals that of SATA, and the market is still quite strong. For standard desktop use, these range from basic 80GB models with 2-MB of cache, all the way up to a monster 500GB and 750GB drives with 8-MB and 16-MB of cache. These are the two extremes, and the most popular models strike a nice balance, usually sitting in the 250GB to 320GB range, and sporting 8MB of internal cache. We've got all the angles covered in our PATA hard drive price list, and along with the usual drive, price and price change columns, we've also included one for $/GB (cost per GB) for easy look-up.
Last month showed very bad results for Parallel ATA hard drive buyers, and February is not looking any better. There were a few double-digit price drops, including the Samsung SpinPoint 250GB (-$35), Samsung SpinPoint 160GB (-$20) and Western Digital RAID Edition 160GB (-$10) drives. Unfortunately, there were also similar price increases, like a $35 spike to the Western Digital Caviar SE 400GB and another $15 stacked on the Western Digital RAID Edition 320GB. But it was the sheer number of smaller price jumps that did the real damage, and forced the overall chart up by an aggregate total of $36.