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Repairing and Upgrading Your PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Choosing a Hard Disk Drive

The good news about choosing a hard disk is that it's easy to get a good one. The brand we generally use and recommend, Seagate Technology (http://www.seagate.com), is widely available at online and big-box stores, and is competitively priced. Based on our own experience, reports from our readers, and discussions with data recovery firms, we believe that Seagate drives are more reliable than other brands. Seagate drives are quiet, cool-running, and have longer warranties than most competing models. Their speed, if not always best in category, is typically midrange or better.

All of that said, the differences between brands are not huge, whether in reliability, speed, noise level, or some other aspect of hard drive performance. Hitachi (http://www.hitachigst.com), Maxtor (http://www.maxtor.com), Samsung (http://www.samsung.com), and Western Digital (http://www.wdc.com) all make good hard drives for desktop systems. You might, for example, choose a Western Digital Raptor drive if speed is the top priority and you are willing to pay more for a drive with lower capacity, higher noise and heat, and lower reliability. Conversely, if price and noise level are top priorities, you might choose a Samsung SpinPoint model.

Manufacturers often offer two or more lines of drives that vary in several respects, all of which affect performance and price. Within a given grade of drive, however, drives from different manufacturers are usually closely comparable in features, ...

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