The Best & Fastest Hard Disk Drive (HDD) – 2014


Hard disk drive (HDD) is not dead yet. It’s still the most preferred and commonly used storage means in the modern computers. Although the emergence of solid-state drive (SSD) still chips away at the market share of the mechanical hard drive, so many people still go for this type of storage device for two main reasons: [1]. Cheap price and [2]. large capacity.

During the last few years hard disk drives consistently developed and improved their stability, performance and speed. While it is true that they are magnitudes away from solid state drives in terms of speed and multi-task performance, they surpass SSDs in term of capacity and price.

If you are a computer enthusiast and you are reading this article in the hope that you find a super fast solution for your heavy-resource games and applications, it is strongly recommended to go for an SSD for the things you need to speed up (i.e. OS boot time and your favorite apps). Check out our SSD special list where we gathered the best premium solid state drives available in the markets today. Then you can get a hard disk drive in a combination with SSD for the rest of your data.

Choosing a hard disk drive (HDD) for your computer is not always an easy action to carry out especially when there are many brands and models available in the market that add to the confusion of consumers who look forward to buying the best suitable hard drive for their computing needs.

In this article four various SATA III hard drives are selected to be the best, and this selection is based on four standards:

1- Type of computer (i.e. whether it is a desktop or laptop)
2- Speed & Performance (i.e. The best of 10,000 RPM and 7,200 RPM drives)
3- Capacity (The best performing of the largest capacity drives)

Note: The products prices are as of 04-August-2014 at 03:30 GMT -

** For Desktop Computers **

In Terms Of Speed

WD Velociraptor 10K RPM HDD

Capacity Price Where To Buy
1 TB $269.99
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500 GB $164.99
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250 GB $199.99
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This drive is widely renowned as the fastest consumer 3.5-inch SATA mechanical hard drive. The main bullet point that stands out with the Raptor Series is the rotational speed. The new VelociRaptor retains its 10,000 RPM platter speed, giving the drive unparalleled access time for a consumer drive.

The new Western Digital VelociRaptor might be slower compared to the latest crop of SSDs, but it still has a lot going for it. The first is it’s based on proven technology. When was the last time you had to flash your mechanical HDDs firmware just to keep it from blue screening? Users that keep a lot of data on their boot drive also favor spinners because they offer much more capacity over equally priced SSDs. The cost per GB of space is much lower, even for a flagship VelociRaptor drive.

Basic Features

•) The 2.5″ Velociraptor Drive is enclosed in a IcePack mounting frame that will fit a standard 3.5″ drive chassis
•) High spindle speed of 10 000 RPM
•) Low random seek time of 6.8 ms (for reads)
•) Seek time for writes: 8.8 ms
•) Interface Type SATA 6.0 Gb/s (SATA 3)
•) OSes supported: Windows, Mac, Linux

Awards & Testimonials

  Anandtech (April 16, 2012):

The new VelociRaptor is a great evolution of the design and it’s truly a very fast hard drive. Just as before, if I needed to buy a high-performance mechanical hard drive, it’s the one I’d pick.

  Tom’s Hardware (August 1, 2012):

Almost exactly two years after Western Digital first introduced its 600 GB WD6000HLHX, the company’s brand new VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ reaffirms its dominance as a purveyor of the fastest 3.5” desktop hard drives you can buy.

  PC Magazine (September 28, 2012):

These new models in the trusty family, ranging in capacity from 250GB to 1TB, promise outstanding performance for their class, and they deliver it. For that reason the VelociRaptor earns our Editors’ Choice award.



If you find this drive expensive and you cannot afford it, consider a 7200 RPM hard drive. One of the best hard drives of this class is “Western Digital Black Hard Drive”

Western Digital Black

Capacity Price Where To Buy
4 TB $319.99
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3 TB $249.99
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2 TB $179.99
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1 TB $109.99
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The new generation of WD Black hard drives feature Vibration Control Technology (VCT) which allows the disks inside the drive to adapt to any mounting problems or vibration conditions that are inside your case, resulting in increased data accuracy, performance and reliability over time. Put simply, this means you can game harder, faster and longer. In addition to Vibration Control Technology (VCT), WD Black is also equipped with StableTrac Technology, which secures the motor shaft inside the drive at both ends to help reduce additional system-induced vibrations. StableTrac confidently stabilizes the platters inside, resulting in more accurate tracking in a particular sector during read and write operations and delivers increased performance. (2 TB models and above)

Basic Features

•) Next-generation desktop performance hard drive designed to intensify your PC experience.
•) Improved Architectural Designs, featuring a Dual Core Processor, High Resolution Controller, and StableTrac Technology
•) Improved Data Protection, with Vibration Control Technology, Corruption Protection Technology, and No Touch Ramp Load Technology
•) Superior responsiveness with the next-generation speed that you need
•) Interface Type SATA 6.0 Gb/s (SATA 3)
•) OSes supported: Windows, Mac, Linux
•) 5 year limited warranty



In Terms Of Capacity

The fastest 3.5” high-capacity desktop hard drive in this round-up is Seagate’s new 3 TB Barracuda (ST3000DM001). It offers almost 200 MB/s sequential read performance, similar write speeds, and it runs relatively coolly thanks to its three-platter design.

However, Seagate didn’t design this Barracuda for 24/7 operation. If you need higher availability, you’ll want to check out Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K3000 or 7k4000, depending on your needs. Both are five-platter designs, robust, and still fast enough for video editing or video surveillance servers. Three terabyte hard drives are probably the best compromise between capacity and cost, as 2 TB disks might not always be big enough and 4 TB models are still very expensive.

Seagate Barracuda 3TB HDD ST3000DM001

List Price: $214.99

Price: $101.98

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Barracuda hard drives from Seagate give you with the Power of One. One terabyte per disc technology. One drive platform for every capacity need and every desktop storage application. One hard drive qualification effort. One hard drive platform to choose from. One hard drive with trusted performance, reliability, and simplicity to deliver the lowest total cost of ownership.

You no longer need to choose between low power drives, mainstream drives, or performance drives. One hard drive with 7200RPM performance and capacity points from 250GB to 3TB makes it easier than ever to choose the right drive for any need.

Basic Features

•) 3TB storage capacity with SATA 6Gb/s NCQ Interface
•) SATA 6Gb/s interface optimizes burst performance
•) Seagate AcuTrac servo technology delivers dependable performance, even with hard drive track widths of only 75 nanometers
•) Seagate OptiCache technology boosts overall performance by as much as 45% over the previous generation.
•) Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
•) Best Fit Applications include: Desktop or all-in-one PCs, Home servers , PC-based game systems, Desktop RAID, Direct attached external storage devices (DAS), Network attached storage devices (NAS)


Hitachi Deskstar 3.5-inch 7200 RPM 4TB HDD 7k4000

List Price: $233.52

Price: $168.95

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The Deskstar 7K4000 offers the industry’s highest hard drive capacity at an enormous four terabytes of storage with 7200 RPM performance in a standard 3.5-inch form factor. This drive uses Advanced Format, which increases the sector size on HDDs from 512 bytes to 4096 (4K) bytes, thereby increasing capacities and improving error correcting capabilities. Consult the Hitachi Advanced Format Technology Brief for more information. The 7K4000 also boasts a 6Gb/s SATA interface and 64MB cache buffer to balance performance and capacity. The Deskstar 7K4000 is designed to help manufacturers deliver high-performance, high-capacity, power-efficient systems. Manufacturers planning to use the 4TB drive in systems should consult the Hitachi High Capacity Technology Brief.

Basic Features

•) Enormous 4TB capacity
•) Advanced Format
•) 512 emulation
•) 7200 RPM performance
•) 6Gb/s SATA interface
•) Eco-friendly, halogen-free design
•) Interface : SATA 6Gb/s
•) Sector size (variable, Bytes/sector) : 512
•) Max areal density (Gbits/sq. in.) : 446
•) Data buffer (MB) : 64
•) Rotational Speed (RPM) : 7200
•) Media transfer rate (Mbits/sec, max) : 1638
•) Interface transfer rate (MB/sec, max) : 600


** For Laptop Computers **

In Terms Of Speed

HGST Travelstar 7K1000 2.5-Inch 1TB 7200 RPM HDD

List Price: $99.99

Price: $72.05

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Travelstar 7K1000 is the industry’s only seventh-generation 7200 RPM mobile hard drive and ideally suited for notebook PC upgrades and portable, high-capacity personal storage products. At 500GB/platter, this 2.5-inch hard drive offers a 1TB capacity and leverages Advanced Format, which increased the physical sector size from 512 bytes to 4,096 (4K) bytes to improve drive capacities and error correction capabilities. The Travelstar 7K1000 is the industry’s first high-performance 1TB 2.5-inch HDD with a 6Gb/s SATA interface and delivers the highest mobile HDD performance in PCMark Vantage benchmark testing. HGST provides best-of-breed operating shock and outstanding power management in Travelstar 7K1000 for sturdy unplugged notebook performance. Highlights include proven seventh-generation technology, 1TB capacity, low power consumption, industry’s highest shock tolerance, halogen-free design for an eco-friendly footprint and Serial ATA 6Gb/s for high data throughput. The Travelstar 7K1000 allows manufacturers to deliver high-capacity, power-efficient systems with desktop-like performance. Manufacturers can consult the HGST Advanced Format Technology Brief for more information on using these hard drives. The 7K1000 continues HGST’s tradition of ecological leadership and carries its EcoTrac classification. Travelstar 7K1000 delivers speed and capacity, without sacrificing battery life or audio quality, to meet the multi-tasking demands of commercial and consumer users on the go.

Basic Features

•) 1TB of Capacity
•) Advanced Format, industry standard 4K sector size
•) 512 byte emulation (512e)
•) 7200 RPM high-performance HDD
•) 6Gb/s SATA interface

Please download the HGST Travelstar 7K1000 Specs Datasheet for more details


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