Welcome to the Sharky Extreme Hard 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 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 drives, and then by using various sorted lists, move into 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 and SATA hard drive marketplace. We have included a wide range of desktop hard 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 (as noted) 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.
January was another bad month for Parallel ATA hard drive buyers, and there was very little in the way of price drops. Only a few PATA drives showed lower prices and the largest cut was only $7 off the price of a Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB. Unfortunately, there were a few larger price increases, starting with a massive $53 spike to the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB. As 750GB is the largest PATA drive capacity, so it looks like supply and demand at work. The overall chart trends were also negative, as the PATA listings posted an aggregate chart increase of $78.