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How Much Does A Hard Drive Cost

While many pc users feel that the magnetic hard disk has become outdated, employing spinning platters, most users agree that they will continue to offer economic benefits for the years ahead.

On a cost per gigabyte basis, the HDD represents a fraction of what the SDD costs particularly among the higher capacity drives. Users can pay less than one-fifth the price in some cases though this is a gap that is closing. Combined with the fact that magnetic drives are assembled in up to 6 GB capacities while most SSD's limit out at 1 TB - this renders cost-comparision out of the question for these single units.

Capacities and Pricing

Today most internal magnetic drives are designed with Sata interface. About the smallest hard disks are now 250 GB models - that can be purchased for $50 to $75 for the standard 3.5" desktop models. Reduced capacities such as for 160 GB and 120 GB are mostly available in refurbished units only due to their cuts from the production line.

Prices drops are dramatic with rises in capacity. Many 500 GB disks now actually press in on the same price range as with 250 GB models -- even falling below them in some instances, exhibiting backward pricing to some extent.

The Western Digital Blue 250 GB is around $60 with the WD Black, offering 64mb cache near $73. The WD Black 1 TB costs only around $7.00 more, or $0.028 per each extra gigabyte of storage. A practice that many brands including Toshiba take part in.

The 1 TB HDD models vary drastically by price. At the bottom end, is the Toshiba in the low $50's. Seagate Barracuda is found at $55 to $70. With Western Digital up to $120 for this common size drive.

Certain multiple terrabyte drives, popular for media storage and video editing, are set at the marker of a hundred dollars for a 2 TB with some of these lines to be part of a reverse pricing model.

It's not uncommon for 3 TB to 6 TB internal hard disks to have unit prices that manage to duck $.05 per gigabyte.

Other Considerations

When main OS magnetic drives age with use, it often makes sense to reformat such disks for use as a backup storage device instead of purchasing another outright.

Many disk warranties deserve close examination since manufactureres now typically offer replacements on drive failures based on 'X' number of years. But what is not so disclosed, upfront, is that many a warranty provides that a refurbished drive of indeterminate wear be given back in return. Thus in some cases, it may make sense to buy a seperate store warranty that could bypass the manufacturers' so as to obtain a new disk under a claim.

Coupling the drive and entire system with a surge/constant power supply can possibly help preserve & extend the life of the drive and lower long term operating costs.

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