1. Western Digital VelociRaptor Series
Price: 300GB Drive at $229.99 on Newegg as of 12/03/08
When it comes to Hard Drive performance, the Raptor name is legendary. Once it signified Western Digital's line of high-performance 7200RPM drives, but it is now used, with a Veloci- prefix, for their new 10,000RPM offerings. The VelociRaptor series is unique, because Western Digital is the only company that offers 10,000RPM hard drives for the consumer market.
What that translates to is performance that leads the pack in the majority of tests. Because the VelociRaptor drives can spin faster than other hard drives, more data can be read off them at a time. This means that they perform very well when creating files, installing new programs, or completing any other task that might cause a drive to spin up for an extended period of time. The VelociRaptor line-up is also well known as a gamer's hard drive, and for good reason, as the VelociRaptors are better at loading game levels and content than any other drive on the market.
All of that performance does come at a price. The 150GB VelociRaptor costs around $175 dollars on-line, which makes it more expensive than most terabyte drives, but still a far better deal than Solid State Drives. But if you simply must have the fastest drive available today, you'll find no better choice.