- Rating of the best hard drives for computer
- Best mechanical HDDs for computer
- Toshiba 1 TB HDWD110UZSVA
- Seagate Barracuda 1 TB ST1000DM010
- Western Digital WD10EZEX
- Disadvantages of
- Western Digital WD5000LPLX
- Seagate IronWolf 4 TB ST4000VN008
- Best SSD for your computer
- Kingston A400 240 GB SA400S37/240G
- ADATA 256GB XPG GAMMIX S11 Pro 256GB
- Samsung 860 EVO 250 GB MZ-76E250BW
- Western Digital WD Blue SATA 500 GB WDS500G2B0A
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500 GB MZ-V7S500BW
*Review of the best according to the editorial board. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not an advertisement and is not intended as a guide to purchase. Get expert advice before you buy.
Despite the fact that there are very few real hard drive manufacturers in the world (at least in 2021), even within the same company, there are successful models, and then there are failed models. Sometimes it happens even within one model line. This is true for both mechanical HDDs and solid state SSDs. That’s why it’s worth carefully studying the information about the available range before buying.
The editorial team at Expertology has done special market research, independent tester test results, and user feedback on major marketplaces. Based on this research and some of our own bench tests we’ve prepared for you an overview of the best hard drives for 2021.
Rating of the best hard drives for computer
|Best mechanical HDDs for computer||5||Toshiba 1 TB HDWD110UZSVA||2 624 €|
|4||Seagate Barracuda 1 TB ST1000DM010||2 990 €|
|3||Western Digital WD10EZEX||2 668 €|
|2||Western Digital WD5000LPLX||2 581 €|
|1||Seagate IronWolf 4 TB ST4000VN008||12 790 €|
|The best solid state SSDs for the computer||5||Kingston A400 240 GB SA400S37/240G||2 520 €|
|4||ADATA 256 GB XPG GAMMIX S11 Pro 256GB||3 466 €|
|3||Samsung 860 EVO 250 GB MZ-76E250BW||4 350 €|
|2||Western Digital WD Blue SATA 500 GB WDS500G2B0A||4 439 €|
|1||Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500 GB MZ-V7S500BW||7 150 €|
Best mechanical HDDs for computer
In the first selection we will look at classic mechanical type hard drives with rotating magnetic disks and a read head. Despite all the predictions that SSDs will quickly displace this “old-fashioned” form factor, HDDs are not going anywhere from the market. The reason so far the most obvious – a much lower price per unit of information. So much smaller that users are willing to put up with significantly slower read/write speeds.
Toshiba 1 TB HDWD110UZSVA
Consider the first model from the series of P300 made by Toshiba. This line of mid-range drives (there is also a premium flagship X300 series and a few other highly specialized), which combines a reasonable price and good performance.
We will consider conditionally the 1TB modification, but in this series the capacity varies from 500GB to 3TB, so there is more or less a choice. The model is in great demand and has received positive and massive user feedback.
Briefly about the key “factory” specifications. This drive is form factor 3.5″, which means that it is only suitable for desktop PCs and no way to fit into a notebook. Spin speed is 7200 rpm, which is high. 64MB buffer capacity. Supports sectors as small as 4KB. SATA 6Gbit/s. Supports NCQ (here and later, hardware-assisted instruction sequencing for faster performance).
Now let’s talk about what users are most interested in: performance. Due to its great popularity this model was tested by a lot of researchers, and there even turned out a certain recursion – according to the results of the tests the demand grew as well.
However, it is unlikely that the driver of sales can be considered performance, as it in this model is fully consistent with the price and class, that is the most that is average. The maximum sequential read and write speed here is about 180 MB/s (according to Crystal Disk Mark). But again, this is a feature, not a drawback since it is absolutely adequate for its class and price.
As mentioned above, this is a mid-range model and the optimal use of the drive is for normal home and office desktops. Users often write reviews about the minimal heat of this model. From the disadvantages most noted vibration and a specific hum. On the whole the user reviews the model as “solid average”, solid and reliable.
- reliability and reliability;
- Adequate read/write speed;
- does not heat up;
- Two-year warranty;
- reasonable price.
- Specific hum and vibration.
Seagate Barracuda 1 TB ST1000DM010
Seagate’s Barracuda line of hard drives has long been a legend. Models of this line have been around for over 20 years and have always been among the most talked about. And now, too, each new series causes an explosion of interest among experts and ordinary users. We are going to consider a 1TB notional variant, but in general there are variants up to 4TB in this series. The drive is comparable in price to the previous model.
Let’s look briefly at the key technical specifications. Drive form factor – 3.5″, i.e. only for full desktop cases. Claimed read/write speed – 156/156MB/s. Buffer capacity – 64 MB. 7200 rpm. Interface connection – SATA 6Gbit/s. NCQ support.
It will be useful for those who have specific cases to know that this model is noticeably thinner than 2-3-4terabyte modifications, 20 mm vs 26. This is due to the fact that there is only one magnetic plate and two reading heads, one on each side, as the physical media.
Third-party and our own speed tests in the HD Tune Pro 4 benchmark.50 showed full compliance of actual reading and writing speeds with the manufacturer’s claimed performance – 162 and 156 MB/sec, respectively.
As for heating, tests showed maximum heating of the board to 53 ° C, and the case to 39 ° C. It is quite acceptable, though by no means a record.
This is, as mentioned, one of the most talked about models on the market, and on the marketplaces, one of the record-breakers in terms of purchasing and mass feedback from users. In their reviews, customers mostly succinctly pointed out that the drive works well, the noise is moderate, and not particularly warm.
From Yandex user review.Market with the status of “IT specialist of the 7th level”: “Before I had a WD Blue 1Tb, I have nothing bad to say about the company, I just wanted to try Seagate. If you compare them, Seagate is quieter, the temperatures are within the normal range of 35-42 (it depends on the airiness of the case)”.
- The legendary brand;
- Not a bad read and write speed;
- The heating is acceptable;
- not noisy;
- combination of price and features.
- no obvious flaws detected.
Western Digital WD10EZEX
Now we offer you to consider another superpopular model, which is in extremely high demand on the Russian trading floors and the amount of user feedback is just huge.
From the many reviews of users we can judge the reliability and durability of this model. Many having experience of using many units of this model for a long time in quite actively used systems say that the drive really doesn’t let me down.
Less obvious, but important advantage of this model is typical for the whole “blue” series. There is no chance of losing some information during recording, because a different algorithm is used here than in the “purple” line of the same manufacturer.
Now briefly on the key features. The form factor of this model – 3.5″, 7200 rpm, SATA 6Gbit/s connection interface. Claimed speed of reading and writing – 150 MB / s. Independent testing and our own tests have demonstrated full compliance with the advertised actual speed.
From Yandex review.Market with the status of “Aytishnik 4 level”: “It is unlikely to report anything new, the drive is not noisy, heats moderately, from experience with similar drives I can say that it is quite reliable. I can’t think of a better option to replace the drive in the system unit.
- reliability and durability;
- I can say that from my experience with similar drives, it is quite reliable and allows to avoid losing some data during recording;
- Low noise level;
- moderate heat;
- not bad read and write speeds;
- adequate price.
- no obvious flaws noted.
Western Digital WD5000LPLX
Now consider the option of a hard drive, which may be necessary when equipped with a desktop, but very compact computer.
This disk production Western Digital, and the form factor is already 2.5 inches. In fact, it’s a laptop drive, but then again, there are ultra-compact desktop computers that will fit a 3.5 inches simply will not fit.
The fundamental difference between a typical “laptop” HDD and this model is in the spindle speed. Here it is 7200 rpm, like a full-format PC drive, while notebook drives are mostly 5,400 rpm, and this directly affects the speed of reading and writing.
We have to warn you right away that this particular model has a peculiarity which can already be considered a disadvantage in 2021 – the storage capacity is only 500 GB. This model has been available for many years, and that says only good things about its quality and performance, but this volume is a “side effect” of the fact that the drive was developed quite a few years ago.
The drive runs quietly and cools down moderately. In terms of speed, independent tests show a maximum read and write speed of about 140MB/s. This is, to put it bluntly, not the most outstanding result, but then again, we are dealing with a specific drive that has survived many generations of re-releases and reliability comes first here. The model has been tested by many years of use and many users. Besides it’s about synthetic tests, and in daily work the drive shows definitely better results than its “brethren” with a rotation speed of 5400 rpm.
- Reliability and durability, proven over the years;
- 7200 rpm is a lot for a form factor 2.5 in;
- minimum heat.
- Small volume and relatively low speed.
Seagate IronWolf 4 TB ST4000VN008
Will complete the selection of the best mechanical HDD drives for the computer interesting solution, which, in addition to the present PC, you can successfully use for a network storage device (NAS).
Since the disc is designed for NAS among other things, here we have a bigger capacity by default – 4GB. And the price, respectively, also proportionally higher. And that’s not the limit, as Seagate’s IronWolf lineup also includes modifications for 10GB and more. Here we talk about the youngest model, which you can buy at a more or less decent price.
The fact that this is a junior model implies some peculiarities of the technical characteristics. For example, the spin speed here is 5900 rpm, while the older IronWolf modifications are characterized by the maximum spin speed – 7200 rpm. However, it’s a pretty consistent Seagate policy that only flagship drives get the maximum spin speed.
As for speed, this model significantly lags behind the older modifications, but this is not surprising. Nevertheless, if you compare with the usual budget “hard drives” for PC, then here the speed is definitely more. For example, large files are read or written at up to 200MB/s.
Comparing to the previous generations, not only this one, but all other 4TB HDDs on the market are far ahead of the curve. There were some expectations because of the increasing density of recording, but the “fashion” of lower rotation speed compensated this advantage not in the best way. So these points can not be considered a disadvantage, it’s just a given.
From Yandex user review.Market with the status of “Aiteishnik 5 level”: “Works stable, cool, reliable, trouble-free. Speed is quite satisfying. It is a pleasure to work with and I would recommend it to others. The main thing is that it’s cool, fast and quiet and not annoying with its buzzing sound like the old drive”.
- CMR recording technology (conventional magnetic recording, in this context it’s an advantage);
- Relatively high write and read speeds;
- not noisy;
- moderate heating;
- suitable for a network attached storage (NAS) device.
- Isolated, not systematic user feedback on various issues.
Best SSD for your computer
In the second selection, we look at a fundamentally different type of hard drive for the computer, which are not drives at all, and the term “drive” was just a kind of cultural heritage. In fact, SSD – this is more like a “big stick”, if you compare quite crudely. And here too there are not so many real manufacturers and not every released line proves to be successful. We have chosen for you the most adequate in 2021 options, tested by both experts and numerous common users.
Kingston A400 240 GB SA400S37/240G
First in this part of the review, we will look at the most inexpensive solid state SSD drive well known to all brand Kingston. American private company Kingston Corporation has long been even a kind of symbol of quality flash drives, and in general everything related to computer memory.
There is an even stronger direct correlation between price and storage capacity in solid state drives than in mechanical HDDs. Therefore, if we consider an inexpensive SSD, we assume that its capacity will be modest. That’s the case here, although the 240GB capacity is still noticeably more serious than the minimum 128GB. In the line there are modifications and larger capacity, but the price is also the same.
Now about what users are most interested in SSD drives – speed. Manufacturer’s claimed maximums – 500 Mbytes/s read and up to 350 Mbytes/s write, as it often happens with SSDs, in practice not only is not lower, but even higher, as numerous tests show. For example, it can read up to 560 Mbytes/s and it can write more than twice as fast as the listed speed up to 540 Mbytes/s.
Again, this is not unique to this model, but rather common. The reason most often is a good combination of the characteristics of the controller and the memory itself. Just in case we would like to specify that such a big difference is possible only for sequential read or write operations. In other modes the results are not so impressive.
Such favorable picture with speed has a downside. When copying really big amounts of data the controller may not be able to cope with the load, which can lead to short-term drops in speed of up to 3-5 Mbyte/sec. And this can already be considered a disadvantage.
- metal case;
- Efficient controller;
- Read/write speed even faster than advertised;
- the most affordable price in the selection;
- Three years manufacturing warranty.
- Speed sags when copying large amounts of data.
ADATA 256GB XPG GAMMIX S11 Pro 256GB
Now let’s consider an SSD with almost the same capacity as the previous one, but with a fundamentally different connection interface. Unlike the above device this model connects via M interface.2, PCI-E 3.0 x4. This is the flagship product of the Taiwanese company ADATA Technology Co., Ltd.
The drive attracts customers most by its price-to-performance ratio. Users in numerous reviews on trading platforms in runet in unison assert that the price is really very comfortable for such a set of features. Let’s take a look at what these properties are.
The memory capacity is obvious but not everything can be said about the other specifications. So, this model uses high-efficiency TLC 3D NAND memory. Without going into too much detail, we can say that this drive was one of the fastest read/write speeds on the market, according to numerous independent tests compared to dozens of alternatives from other manufacturers. And these results generally agree with the manufacturer’s stated specifications: read – up to 3350 MB/s, write – up to 1150 MB/s. In some conditions the speed can be even faster.
Minimal heat is also important for this model. Actually, the heat of the chips themselves in operation is significant, but this problem is solved by the radiator. So even with the most intense workload the temperature does not rise above 70 degrees, and such a figure is a great rarity. The rarest cases where the temperature may rise above this threshold happen only when there is a long and maximum intensive data transfer in a poorly ventilated enclosure. But for that case there is an emergency temperature protection mode.
The heatsink together with the board is enclosed into the case, which is also distinguished by a bright gaming design, so that in the open case of a desktop PC the drive will look very impressive.
From Yandex user review.The market with the “Level 5 I.T.” status: “High speed performance (it is declared as such). Does not overheat. Best SSD in terms of price-volume-speed ratio! High endurance tests (multiple, multi-vendor).
- flagship product;
- Near-record high read and write speeds
- Suitable for both desktop and notebook PCs;
- Minimal heat thanks to the heatsink;
- dramatic design in the style of gaming.
- No obvious flaws detected.
Samsung 860 EVO 250 GB MZ-76E250BW
Back to Form Factor 2.5″ and SATA 6Gb/s interface. Now we will consider the SSD drive for computer, which is rightly considered one of the record holders in terms of sales, both in Russia and around the world.
Let’s make a brief clarification, which will cancel the questions about the shattering speed difference between this model and the previous one. Here we have a maximum read and write speed of about 500 MB/s. The cost of the drive is even slightly higher. The question arises about the meaning of the purchase.
The fact that the SATA 6Gb/s interface itself has a bandwidth limit of 600 MB/s. And indeed, with the advent of SSDs such as the previous (NVMe-drives in M.2-version) SATA drives have begun to lose ground in the market, as they are physically unable to compete in terms of speed. However, this is still a mass segment and it’s too early to write off SATA. And this confirms the policy of major manufacturers such as Samsung, Western Digital, Micron and Intel, who are not going to curtail the production of SSD on SATA interface.
This model uses the new generation of TLC 3D V-NAND flash memory with a 64-layer design. The result is a dual benefit: maximized access speed and increased storage density per chip, which, in turn, drives significantly lower costs.
Not only a new generation of memory itself is the key to high performance, and as a consequence, the explosive demand for this drive. Another important factor was the improved MJX controller. This controller is a proprietary Samsung development, which is an adapted version of the MARU controller, which is used in server drives.
The feedback from the longest-serving users of this line of SSDs from Samsung is noteworthy. Many of them report that these drives are extremely reliable and last for years. Here, of course, a completely different architecture than in the same 840pro, but all the same product inspires confidence. However, the 5-year manufacturer’s warranty unequivocally hints at that.
- one of the best selling SSDs in the world;
- Fourth-generation TLC 3D V-NAND flash memory;
- Advanced MJX controller;
- reliability and longevity;
- 5-year manufacturing warranty.
- no obvious disadvantages.
Western Digital WD Blue SATA 500 GB WDS500G2B0A
Another SATA 6Gb/s SSD, this time from Western Digital. This is a representative of the famous line of Blue, which includes a mechanical HDD, and solid-state drives of different capacities. We are going to look at the 500GB variant, but that’s relative – there are modifications up to 2TB in the line, but the cost is, of course, unaffordable.
The main thing that is good in this SSD drive is the same as in the previous one from Samsung, which is a combination of a new generation of TLC 3D NAND memory and an efficient controller. Here a four-channel Marvell 88SS1074 acts as a controller. By the standards of the computer industry this solution is relatively old, but only in terms of its conditional “age”. Since it is superior to the new developments of Si
All the described about the memory and the controller gives the main advantage – data transfer rate, which is close to the bandwidth of the interface itself. So, if the maximum interface speed is 600 MB/s, then the maximum claimed speed of reading and writing the drive is 560 and 530 MB/s, respectively.
Users in their reviews are unanimous in their positive opinion of the speed of the device, the low degree of heat, reliability and durability. The latter is indirectly confirmed by the warranty – the manufacturer is not afraid to give a 5-year warranty for the entire lineup.
- next-generation 3D NAND memory;
- Efficient, time-tested controller;
- high read and write speeds, almost equal to the interface speed;
- reliability and durability;
- 5-year manufacturing warranty.
- no principal disadvantages revealed.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500 GB MZ-V7S500BW
And Expertology concludes our review of the best hard drives for the computer in 2021 with the most interesting in its class among the more-or-less affordable ones. It’s representative of the same EVO line made by Samsung that we looked at above, but only a generation newer.
This, like the Samsung 860 EVO, is an NVMe drive with an M.2. Which means you can expect read and write speeds here that are many times faster than any SSD on the SATA 6Gb/s interface. And it really is.
The combination of the latest 3D V-NAND memory, a high-efficiency eight-channel Samsung Phoenix controller with five ARM cores and a fast interface is bound to impress. Claims 3500MB/s read speed and 3200MB/s write speed.
Here let’s make a little clarification for full understanding. 3D V-NAND memory is in use by many SSD manufacturers in 2021, and is rapidly becoming the industry standard. However, the production technology is still different. TLC 3D V-NAND memory used in this SSD is fundamentally different from similar solutions by other manufacturers. Samsung engineers managed to implement growing of 96-layer crystals in a single technological process, while other producers take a simpler way, building 96-layer crystals from a pair of 48-layer blanks. It was this approach that allowed Samsung to incorporate a number of important improvements to its fifth-generation memory while maintaining a reasonable price.
From Yandex review.The market with the status of “Aitech 3”: “Excellent speed, speed stability. Working with virtual machines or large files in (CAD) is a pleasure. Availability of software from the vendor for condition monitoring and testing”.
- The newest and most advanced 3D V-NAND memory;
- A powerful eight-channel controller;
- fast interface;
- top-end reading and writing speed;
- five year official warranty.
- No major flaws detected.