Hard Drives may have used for a long since been superseded by SSDs when it comes to your main system drive.
But if you have a big media collections or even just lots of games, then you will still need one or two hard drives to store all that data.
The important question is Which should you buy? Is there a place for performance hard drives or should you just buy the cheapest one? You’re going to find out.
There are many choices out there, but I have grabbed four of the most common hard drives options:
- Western Digital Blue and Seagate Barracuda for the Budget.
- Western Digital Black and Seagate Barracuda Pro for the Performance.
You can also get hard drives from Toshiba or just pick one from several specialized Hard Drives designed for surveillance video recording purposes or Network storage devices, But for normal desktop use these your four main options, so what differentiates them?.
Well, a few years ago performance high drives would spin at 10.000 rpm than conventional ones at 7200 rpm leaving the slowest cheapest drives running at 5400 rpm.
Now those 10.000 rpm drives are no more leaving 7200 rpm drives as the performance ones and 5400 rpm as the standard and sure enough that’s the main difference between the Western Digital Blue and Western Digital Black and the Barracuda and Barracuda Pro otherwise the Black can.
Barracuda Pro drives are also available in larger capacities, with the Barracuda Pro top out at 10 terabytes plus the faster drives have larger caches and longer warranties so not only are they faster but more durable too.
There are three downsides to the faster drives though, The first is the most obvious which is price.
(★ Recover Lost Partitions ★)
The performance drives can be anything from 20% to 50% more expensive, meanwhile they are also louder and more power hungry, though in the ground scheme of things they still use very little power.
Of all these factors it may actually be the noise that’s the biggest concern for many while the Western Digital Blue and Seagate Barracuda all but inaudible over other fan noise the pro drives are much more noticeable.
Otherwise with these drives all looking as totally ordinary as each other, It really comes down to how they perform.
1. CrystalDiskMark Benchmark
Starting the comparison with the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, We can see that there’s a clear difference in sequential read and write speed for the budget and performance drives.
With the Barracuda pro pulling out a comfortable overall lead, this holds true for random read and write operations too.
The Barracuda Pro lead is not as significant and in fact it is the budget Barracuda that really suffers in this test coming in well below the WD blue.
2. AS SSD Benchmark
Moving on to a AS SSD Benchmark, here we again see the Barracuda pro on a comfortable lead over all others while it’s a Western Digital Blue that struggle this plasma gain holds true for random read and write performance.
Most telling with this benchmark though is the access time.
Access time is the speed with which a drive can look up any single chunk of data and it’s the figure that defines what SSDs feel so quick because hard drives have to physically move a read/write head and the discus has been round to the right place they have access times measured in the milliseconds.
With SSDs though there is no physical movements so access times are measured in hundreds of the milliseconds.
The backside performs of these hard drives the fastest spindle speed and more aggressive read/write head movement means access times that the pro drives are vastly faster than of the normal, this is what’s crucial to making these drives feel so much faster in use.
3. PCMark 8 Benchmark
Moving the storage benchmark of PCMark 8, it uses the data traces of several popular apps to test the performance of a drive.
In some ways this highlights both why the faster drives are worthwhile and why they are not, you can clearly see a consistent level of better performance exemplified by the overall bandwidth figure.
However, the real world impact can also mean that you’re only saving 5 or 10 seconds out of 100.
Windows Boot Time
Nonetheless, there are scenarios where the difference is much more acute loading up an installation of windows 10 onto these drives and we can see big difference in boot time.
So, on the end the picture is quite clear, if you feel you could do with the performance of a faster hard drives such as for storing games or video files that you might still be editing and the Barracuda Pro is the drive to get.
It’s clearly the fastest out there and is priced competitively it’s a touch louder and pricier than the Western Digital Black, but not enough to make up for the performance difference.
Meanwhile if you are just ask the chief bulk storage and performance is only a secondary consideration, then assuming you can pick them up for the same price the Western Digital Blue is the better choice.
On average, it’s the faster of the two drives are being no louder or significantly more power hungry.
So, there we have it except for one final thing to note which is the performance will vary depending on capacity as different drives within the same range are configured with different data densities number of platters and so on, while the differences for these four terabyte drives are clear. If you are buying other capacities, it’s not guarantee you will see exactly the same results.
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