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Hard Drives Over 1 Terabyte: Not a Buffet of Selection

written by: Jesma•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/6/2009

We examine the current selection and availability of various HDDs over 1 Terabyte (that's 1000 Gigabytes!), and even one fresh 2 TB drive from none other than Western Digital.

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    1 TB and Larger Internal HDDs

    If you're in the market for a new HDD and want to get something that will offer a distinct enhancement over your old model, then there is a very good chance that your gaze has strayed toward the 1TB and greater capacity disks. Just a few years ago, having 1 TB of storage (that's the equivalent of 1000 Gigabytes) was practically unheard of - let alone on a single disk. Now, these beasts of storage are starting to show up more and more. They still have yet to reach the popularity levels of 250, 320, and 500 GB drives, which enjoy such a massive selection that the buyer may find themselves feeling like they're at a delectable buffet. There are currently only a few choices, some of which have met with wild success while others have fallen like a ton of bricks. Lets take a look at our current selection.

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    The first offering on our platter is one of the more successful and well reviewed of the 1TB HDDs. Boasting a 32mb cache, a 5 year warranty, and stunningly good consumer reaction, the WD appears to be the winner in its division, weighing in at around 130.00 USD.

    Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    The next option laid before us boasts the same specifications, but a higher price tag of around 170.00 USD (you can get the one with a 3 year warranty as opposed to 5 for around 100 USD). Seagate additionally has been beset by a series of unfortunate events that has caused them to severely falter in the eyes of consumers, who up until now typically viewed them as a reliable company. Interestingly enough, the 1.5 TB HDD that started all the bad news is sitting pretty with a price tag equal to Western Digital's 1 TB offering. This is likely due to the bad press and reputation it has received since launch. The latest firmware update, however, is reported to have completely resolved the former issues and you are safe to purchase.

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    Samsung has brought their dish to the table, and is offering up a 1 TB solution for the same price and warranty as the questionable Seagate - 100 USD and 3 years, respectively. It isn't the model of reliability and success that the slightly more expensive and more warrantied Western Digital model, but for the most part consumers have had little to complain about.

    HITACHI 0A38016 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    This is the last 1TB drive we're going to consider in our examination. Coming in with a price tag of under 90 USD, many might look at this as a superb bargain. Beware though, real consumer numbers are showing nearly a 25% DOA rate on these drives. Figure in the cost of shipping it back for RMA (around 10 USD) and you've completely lost your "bargain", along with 2 weeks of time. Additionally, this drive has a 16mb cache as opposed to the other selection's 32mb. You could get lucky and get a good drive the first time and save your 10 bucks. Then again, you may not....

    Western Digital WD20EADS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    The last drive we're going to consider is... what? Another Western Digital? Ahhh, but look at the storage. Two terabytes. Wow. I won't lie, though, you're going to pay a pretty penny more for the ability to have 2 TB on one disk instead of split across two, but then again if you buy this you'll get to be the Jones', at least for a few more months. With a price tag of around 300 USD and apparently very limited availability, you may want to hold off on springing for this monster, at least until the verdict comes back. So far, so good though, as only one of 20 Newegg.com customers has reported a DOA.