Sunday, January 23, 2005

Hard Drives

What is with the price premium for Serial ATA hard drives?

The basic mechanics of the drive are identical, spinning platters and a head for reading the data. The only difference is really the power connector and the interface connection, both of which are probably just a different circuit board.

The Comp USA flyer this week advertised a Hitachi 250G IDE drive for $99 after rebates. Circuit City offered a 250G IDE Western Digital drive for $109 after rebates.

The exact same 250G Western Digital, 7200RPM 8MB cache SATA drive from NewEgg is running $148 for the OEM drive only.

That's a 36-50% price premium because of a different circuit board.

I'm not really all that worried about the performance improvement of SATA over Parallel ATA, I just don't want to buy a new drive that might not work with my next computer.

Currently we already have a 160G SATA drive, and a 120G IDE drive using an SATA adapter card. Since both drives are virtually full, I wanted to get a bigger SATA drive so I could get rid of the bulky adapter card and move the 120G drive to the IDE chain with the DVD burner.

But I have a hard time paying 50% more for basically the same thing.

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