Current Cost: $258
Months on list: 2
Price Change: -$28
NCQ (Native Command Queuing) is currently all the rage when it comes to SATA drives, and as we're fans as well, our drive selection includes this high performance technology. NCQ uses intelligent algorithms to speed up hard drive access time and increase data throughput, and can upgrade the performance of a 7200 RPM drive quite nicely. The nForce4 SLI chipsets we use in our AMD and Intel systems both support this feature, so it's a smart be to choose a hard drive that takes full advantage of it.
This month we are sticking with the awesome Maxtor DiamondMax 10 (6B300S0) 7200 RPM 300GB hard drive, and like last month, we are opting for two of these drives in a RAID setup. This hard drive is one of our favorites as it has a 7200 RPM motor, 16MB cache, and supports NCQ. Priced at about only $129, these drives are very economical, and adding two of these into a high performance RAID array is certainly a worthwhile investment.
Maxtor's DiamondMax 10 series of drives are among some of the best performing drives on the market, and the 300GB 6B300S0 is no exception. Not only does this hard drive have NCQ support, but it also has a whopping 16MB cache. The DiamondMax 10 series of hard drives also feature Quiet Drive Technology, and with fluid dynamic bearings, this is one of the quietest models we have ever used. Maxtor includes a full 3-year warranty with the 300GB DiamondMax 10, and at only $258 for a dual drive array, we certainly aren't spending an extraordinary to include high-end RAID 0 performance in the guide this month.
As the debate between the Blu-ray and HD-DVD continues to rage on, the DVD+/-R market has continued to stagnate, with only minor updates here and there. This month we are continuing to recommend the Pioneer DVR-110D as it is currently one of the best DVD recorders in its class. The Pioneer DVR-110D features writing speeds of 8X DVD+/-R for Dual-Layer media, 16X for DVD+/-R, 8X for DVD+RW, 6X for DVD-RW, 40X for CD-R, and 32X for CD-RW. At a measly $44, it is unlikely the cost of this drive will break the bank meaning that we can put even more money into other areas of this guide.
The Pioneer DVR-110D is also available with either a black or beige faceplate, which allows you to mix and match according to personal preference.
For those of you who continue to cling onto the ancient technology of 1.44MB floppy disks, we continue to include one in our extreme machine. Any old floppy drive will do, but we recommend sticking to a known brand like Panasonic, Sony or similar.