HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2010

The First Format: Hard Drives

You've got files, and so do your friends. So many files, so little room--isn't that the saying? Here are a few options to remedy your storage quandaries (er, those of your friends), SSDs listed first and conventional HDDs second.

OCZ Agility 2 (40GB)- $111

OCZ's Agility 2 is a relatively diminutive drive is meant to offer enthusiasts an attractive balance between price and performance. The SandForce SF-1200 controller is the current industry favorite, the published read / write specifications line up with its competitors, and the three year warranty is up to par with what's generally available elsewhere. This is also the cheapest SandForce SSD on the market, and you know Santa loves a bargain.

Micron RealSSD C300 SATA III SSD (64GB)
- $135

For a time, Intel’s X25 series of solid state drives stood head and shoulders above the rest of the SSD pack but that certainly has changed this year. The Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 controller is at the heart of the Micron RealSSD C300, and it affords the drive a feature not yet offered on any competing product -- SATA III support. Combine a reasonable price with great performance, and you've got a solid gift.

WD Caviar Green 3TB hard drive
- $259

To go along with its massive storage capacity, the Caviar Green 3TB serves up a super-sized combination of reduced power consumption, lower operating temperature, and a quieter working environment.

WD Caviar Black 2TB - $170

The WD Caviar Black 2TB drive is brimming with interesting technology. Besides their enormous capacities, the drive boasts dual processors; huge, 64MB caches; dual stage actuators; and more. What benefits do multi-CPU drive controllers offer? Quite simply, doubling the processing power of a hard drive should increase its performance noticeably--and platter drive manufacturers are looking for any way to compete with SDD drives. The dual CPU architecture should just about max out the efficiency of the drive's big buffer. Also, 2TB prices have sunk now that 3TB drives are out -- bargain shopping never looked so fun.

Related content