Best options for new HDD

By geewiz
Jun 13, 2004
  1. Hi, I know this sort of question probably irritates you folks but I am very soon to be buying a new hard disk and I am not really up on whats hot and whats not. I dont have SATA on my mobo and so will be looking at plain old serial ATA. Probably between 80 to 120 gig, 7200rpm. Money is not an issue really, I am willing to pay for quality. Any recommendations on good performers?

    The last drive I bought was an 80G Maxtor DiamondMax 9 Plus with 8mb cache buffer. The damn thing is slower than my old 40gig Seagate with 2mb buffer and it makes sudden click noises often when its booting into windows and seeking files?

    Any advice will be very much appreciated
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

  3. geewiz

    geewiz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the review of that drive, it looks very nice but 200gig is a bit too much for me, 120gig is the maximum I'm looking at. Any recommendations for 80 - 120 gig drives?
  4. Schmapdi

    Schmapdi TS Rookie

    Actually, I have the 80Gb version of the WD he recommended. I think it's available in sizes b/w 40 and 200 GB. So you should be able to grab the 120 you want. Mine is fast, dependable and very quiet.
  5. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I have 2 WD SE 120GB's and they are great.

    On another note, if that Maxtor is making clicking sounds and is slow, you might want to check the warranty. That could be one of three things; extreme fragmentation, bad cable connections, or a dying drive. Check the cables, defrag it, and run PowerMax(Maxtor's diagnostic utility)
  6. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    From what I've seen recently, WD's are a very reliable brand. They aren't TOP on the performance, but very respectable, and reliable.

    Maxtors do better in the performance, and are generally reliable, but there's the 1 in some number that does the click of death routine (ala IBM Deathstars).

    I got a WD 120 EIDE w/ 8mb cache, no complaints from me.
  7. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I have two WD 80 SE with 8 mb cache. As usual no complains with them. They're always working flawlessly.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    If money isn't an issue, I might dump some into a Seagate / Samsung 200GB or better with a PCI SATA controller.

    You can always get IDE instead now, and when the next platform you move to has SATA, you can buy an adapter. So SATA isn't imperitive at this point, although it does perform slightly better.

    If you have a big case and would like to have some fun, I might setup a RAID 0+1 or RAID 0/5 depending on how important your data is to you. RAID performs fairly fast and makes a fun little project for people not familiar with it. :)

    I currently have 2 x 160GB Samsung's in RAID 0 and 2x 120GB in RAID 0 as my backups. It's been working great.
  9. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    PCI raid controllers are not worth the money in standard PCI slots - 64bit PCI raid cards might be great but RAID on the 32/33 PCI bus just isnt worth the effort.

    Personally I would recommend the Hitachi Deskstar 7k250 range - they are supposidly the fastest 7200RPM HDD's money can buy. However if you want some slightly slower and alot quieter head for a Seagate.

  10. cogenmaster

    cogenmaster TS Enthusiast Posts: 117

    Samsung Drives

    I am going to be upgrading soon and I was looking into the samsung sata drives which have gotten good reviews. I see that rick is using samsung anyone else used these drives, would you recommend them?
  11. geewiz

    geewiz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi again, thanks for the comments. Based on your recommendations I decided to plump for the Western Digital Caviar SE 120gb with 8mb Cache. I placed an order on

    I don't think I'll be buying Maxtor drives again tbh. The clicking is bearable because its only intermittent but I have never had it on older drives and so it's not acceptable for such an expensive drive. The clicks come when the drive is seeking, usually for instance when I open up folders with a large amount of content (such as my mp3 folder that has 24gb of music). It also hangs when I leave the folder for a few seconds? This has happened since the day I got it but I just put up with it as it isnt interfering too much with normal operation.

    StormBringer, thanks for the suggestions, the cables I are fine and fitted securely and I defrag every couple of months so I dont think its that. The drive was like it since new so I would hope its not about to die. I will try running Powermax like you said and see what happens. I am unsure whether the drive is still under warranty? I purchased it about a year ago now.

    Thanks again for everyones input, much appreciated
  12. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Re: Samsung Drives

    I've had some Samsung IDE drives, currently my 2nd machine has a 40 GB one. They've worked fine. No experience on S-ATA though.
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Re: Samsung Drives

    I've had a Samsung IDE and Samsung SATA for awhile now.

    From my experiences with other people's systems at work, Samsung gets my full recommendation for reliability and quietness.

    They are also very speedy drives, although never #1 in performance. Where you find high performance drives, Spinpoint drives usually hover somewhere in third place or so.

    If you are looking for raw performance, WD Raptors may be the way to go, but the sizes are limited.
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