3TB Hard Drive Round-up: Hitachi, Seagate, WD

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When we reviewed our first 3TB hard drive almost a year ago, the market wasn't quite ready for the huge storage capacity being made available. Fully compatible motherboards featuring the unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI) were still months away, and having to use a separate host bus adapter (HBA) card was inconvenient and added extra cost. But a year brings a lot of changes to the technology landscape. UEFI-equipped boards are prevalent, starting with P67 based products and spreading to the latest Intel Z68 chipset as well. Many of AMD's 990FX motherboards also sport UEFI. If you're building a new system any time soon, we've got good news for you. Chances are your mainboard will natively support high capacity hard drives out of the box, without the need for an HBA card.

Western Digital AV-GP, Caviar Green, Hitachi Deskstar, and Seagate Barracuda XT

If you're currently in the market for a large capacity hard drive, you've come to the right place. Today we take a look at four of the latest 3TB drives to hit the market, from Hitachi, Seagate, and Western Digital. Although each HDD offers the same amount of storage, there are some distinct differences between them. Read on to find out what separates these products from one another, and then you can examine the performance numbers we recorded from each drive after running them through our benchmark gauntlet.

3TB Hard Drives Go Head-To-Head
Here We Go!

  Hitachi Deskstar 3TB

Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB
  Western Digital AV-GP 3TB
  Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB


As expected, prices are coming down on 3TB drives. A year ago, the Caviar Green sold for $239, and now it runs for only $149. Every drive in our round-up is well under $200, so prices are within reach for many consumers. And whenever the next milestone in HDD storage capacity is reached, we would expect to see these drives around the $100 mark like many 2TB are currently.

Before we get to the raw performance numbers, let's take a quick look at each product and find out makes them unique.

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