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How Much Does A Laptop Hard Drive Cost

Most laptops are normally equipped with a 500 GB to 1 TB hard drive. Depending on their intended purpose, they may run at different efficiencies, usually spinning at 5,400 RPM but going to 7,200 RPM at various cache. The drives mainly use the Sata interface though some the mSata (mini-serial ATA) like for the solution that utilizes a hard drive that is part of a dual/hybrid system consisting of both a hard drive and an ssd.

Laptop 2.5" Drive Pricing Aspects

Factors affecting retail pricing typically have to do with the given brand, drive size and speed with most drives falling into the $45 to $160 range.

The cache size, easily overlooked yet notable, not only affects performance but cost sometimes also. The 8 MB cache being more the norm as some model drives, for example, certain WD Black's are at 16 MB. An enterprise drive like the Seagate 1 TB Constellation is at 64 MB but for which you'll pay, likely upwards of two hundred dollars.

A performance drive rated at 10,000 RPM, the WD VelociRaptor WD5000BHTZ having the 64 MB cache also and 500 GB in the 2.5 " form factor runs around $170 depending on place of purchase.

  • 250/500 GB Hard Drives - with the phasing out of 250 GB models, they are often priced more than drives of significantly higher storage capacity, but can be found for as little as $55 like for a WD Blue. The 320 GB's offer some economy but this depends on brand, where the WD Blue, again, now drops in at under $50 and Samsung at the other end of the spectrum is around $150.

    The 500 GB class brings similar bottom prices, or slightly above, on to roughly $110 for mainstream drives. Except for drives like Seagate Momentus (32MB cache) and the Constellation and VelociRaptor mentioned above.

  • 750 GB Drives - the next semi-popular stage of drive begins at around $60 for new, unless one wants to go reburbished. Extending to roughly a hundred dollars beyond this for most drives.

  • 1 TB - beginning at around $70 - like for the Samsung Spinpoint, these drives offer the most bang for the buck, in terms of cost per gigabyte storage. Most 1 TB hard drives are scaled slightly above that of nearing capacities.

Many of the emergent Hybrid Drives are competitively priced, starting near $110 for brands such as Toshiba and Seagate. Whease the WD Back2 Dual Drive is confidently poised at just over $200 for the 1 TB HDD/120 GB SSD combo - a drive heralded as the first of its kind.


Foremost, the type of hard drive has to be able to connect with the laptop interface which is usually Sata but this could also be a Ultra ATA/IDE pin connector.

Physical dimensions are crucial. How thin the drive is will determine whether it fits or not. Verifying compatibility ahead of purchase can thus be worth the effort.

An important measure of speed is measured in GB per second. Which is related mostly to drive RPM but also the cache and other factors.

A drive for use within a laptop means movement. As such, the spinning hard drive will be susceptible to jostling. HDD's having enhanced shock abilities help guard against this.

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