Regardless of the rise of solid state drives (SSDs), standard mainstream Hard drives are still commonly used in almost every consumer build because of the higher capacity and lower prices as compared to SSDs. Obviously, the huge gap between the two is speed. SSDs are several times faster than your typical hard drives. Despite that, using an SSD as your main form of storage can get quite expensive as a 1TB SSD will cost you several times more than a 1TB HDD. So as games get larger and larger in size, it has become important to have a high capacity and reliable hard drive in your system. Fortunately, these days hard drives at even the highest of capacities have become relatively affordable and that is thanks to the rise of solid state drives. Still, if you need to store your massive game library without worrying about running into storage issues or lack of space, look no further and pick up a good old hard drive.
1. Western Digital WD Black 2TB
Our Rating: 10/10
- 2x DRAM cache up to 256 MB for faster read operationsGreat Random Write performance
- Long Warranty
- Low Failure Rate
- 5-year manufacturer's limited warranty
- Much pricier than other hard-drives
Cache: 64MB | RPM: 7200RPM | Form Factor: 3.5' Internal
Western Digital has been the go-to brand when it comes to hard drives for almost a decade. The WD Black is their best selling hard drive to date and with good reason. This drive ticks all the boxes whether it be in speed, capacity or reliability. Western Digital has really managed to strike a great balance between all of these aspects.
The WD Black delivers great performance with reasonable price/gigabyte ratio. It has many storage variants ranging from 500 gigabytes all the way up to 6 terabytes of capacity. It delivers impressive sequential read and writes speeds at 180MB/s and 175MB/s respectively.
Another great element of this drive is the 5-year limited warranty you get the and the impressively low failure. In the end, if you want the best of the best when it comes to performance and reliability the WD Black knocks it out of the park. Highly recommend for all users.
The Seagate BarraCuda ends up as the runner-up on our list. Seagate has also become a very popular brand for gamers in recent years. Not only have they been making great HDDs for PCs but they are also pumping out hard drives and SSDs for laptops and consoles.
Right now we are concerned with BarraCuda 2TB hard drive. This is a close competitor to Western Digital’s offering. It actually has better sequential read/write speeds at up to 200MB/s and 180MB/s which is impressive for any hard drive. If you want a higher capacity pick up the 2TB one although the 1TB does seem to have better value.
The reason this doesn’t hold our number one pick is the somewhat higher failure rate as compared to WD. Mind you, these drives will still most likely last you a long time but there have been reports of some of these drives failing in under a year. Those reports are not in the majority of course but something to keep in mind especially, when Western Digital gives you 5-year limited warranty while Seagate only gives you 2-years.
The WD blue lineup has represented amazing value in the HDD market for years. The price/performance ratio is the main selling point of these hard drives as they are available in high capacities at a low price tag. The performance also seems to be up to par with most of its competitors.
The WD blue has a high data transfer rate with read and write speeds up to 150MB/s and 140MB/s respectively. It is paired with 64mb of cache and has the standard 7200RPM rate. Just like all western digital drives, the WD blue has a really low failure rate. This drive has remained the top seller in hard drives for many years and it is easy to see why when you see the amazing price/performance ratio. Unfortunately, unlike the WD Black, you only get 2-years of warranty.
If you are someone who has a massive game library, you probably require a high capacity drive. The Toshiba X300 6TB can provide you with that without breaking the bank. As the name implies, you get a massive storage capacity of 6 terabytes. Honestly, that is more than most users will ever use but if you truly require that much storage than the X300 represents exceptionally great value.
The X300 is paired with an impressive 128mb of cache and has the standard 7200RPM spinning rate. It also has an impressive sequential data transfer rate at 200MB/s representing both read and write speeds. All in all, Toshiba has made an exciting offering with the X300 giving you great value and performance for a high capacity hard drive.
Last up on our list is actually the most interesting drive out of all the above. This is Seagate’s FireCuda SSHD. An SSHD or hybrid drive is your typical mechanical hard drive but with a little twist. A hybrid drive has NAND chips built into it which are used for flash storage in SSDs. In short, this is a sort of combination of a mechanical hard drive and an SSD
This type of drive automatically stores your most used data on the NAND chips for faster access. Mind you the flash storage is usually just 8 or 16GBs in this drive. This FireCuda uses 8GB of flash storage and you can utilize the flash storage to boot up windows.
But is this hybrid drive really that much faster than your typical mechanical hard drive? Well, not by a lot. The read and write speeds are both well above 200MB/s averaging out at 210-215MB/s for both which is still quite impressive. The drive comes with a long 5-year limited warranty and has a relatively low failure rate.
Still, we would not recommend this over even a budget SSD, as even that would get speeds up to 400MB/s. Do not expect this to give you a huge performance boost over your standard mechanical hard drive. It is still a good choice because it is not that pricey compared to the market and you get decent performance out of this from your system if you pair it with an SSD.
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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.