After we covered hard disk drives with the highest storage capacity available today in our 500GB HDD Shootout: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 and Others!, it sounds reasonable now to turn our attention to the other end of the capacity scale (showing some volatility typical of creative persons).
So what do we find there? We are still offered a handful of 40GB models and a rather large number of 80GB models. But is it worth the trouble reviewing such HDDs? Besides creative volatility, the reviewer must have an analytical mind in the first place.
So, let’s analyze the price/capacity ratio of modern HDDs with a SATA interface (we took the price list of a neighboring computer shop for that purpose).
As you see, this ratio becomes reasonable with 160GB drives. HDDs of smaller capacities may only be interesting for users who want to save some money (even though as little as a few dollars) and don’t need a large storage capacity. When you come to think of it, 40 gigabytes of hard disk storage is still quite enough for an office computer, but is too little for a home PC with all those games, music and video.
In this roundupwe’ll test 160GB HDDs with the SATA interface only (because if we took all 160GB drives irrespective of the interface, the diagrams just wouldn’t fit in the screen). Some of them are modern and some are not. You won’t find the results of the newest drives from WD and Samsung here – we’ll check them out in the second part of the review where we are going to compare all single-platter drives, perpendicular and otherwise. There is a lot of exciting matter in this review anyway, as you’ll see soon.
Now it’s time to get acquainted with the HDDs to be tested.