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Consumers benefit again

According to reports, we may witness a price war in the hard drive business industry. At least this is what Seagate Technology CEO Bill Watkins said on Wednesday. Seagate is currently the world's largest hard drive manufacturer and competes with such companies as Western Digital, Hitachi, Samsung and Toshiba. According to Watkins "If pricing doesn't drop for us, it'll be an upside." Seagate is expecting stiff price cutting from its competitors through into 2007.

Seagate believes that despite the aggressive price cutting from competitors, the only gains they are receiving are minor. Watkins indicated that "[our competitors] are getting volume units and share, but it's lousy share." Watkins said that Seagate gains more share because of product quality, reliability and support rather than heavy price cutting. Watkins also noted that Seagate's competitors are cutting prices so much, it erodes into the profitability of its competitors.

Seagate acquired its largest competitor, Maxtor, earlier this year and announced that it would cut the company in half. Seagate mentioned that despite the job cuts, it would keep many of Maxtor's enterprise level product lines and services. Seagate also made several announcements of its own so far this year, including a 300GB, 15,000 RPM, perpendicular Cheetah and 1TB NAS products under the Maxtor brand name.

At the moment, Seagate is one of the few companies that are not under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is currently investigating more than 80 companies for stock-option manipulations and back-dating practices that give huge financial gains to executive level employees. Watkins indicated that he was confident about his company's business practices, saying "we have a very rigorous stock-option grant program. It's such a rigorous process. We feel confident."

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Seagate > All
By Funksultan on 8/10/2006 3:09:43 PM , Rating: 1
Hard drives are SO cheap now, how can ppl not spend the 4-5 extra bucks for a Seagate?

5 year warranty FTW. Rest of the industry needs to follow suit, or die.

RE: Seagate > All
By Dev17 on 8/10/06, Rating: 0
RE: Seagate > All
By masher2 on 8/10/2006 4:07:11 PM , Rating: 3
You rated Maxtor above WD?


RE: Seagate > All
By rklaver on 8/11/2006 1:16:06 AM , Rating: 2
Textby masher2 on August 10, 2006 at 4:07 PM

You rated Maxtor above WD?


yeah that's got me boggled too. I would put Fujitsu and Maxtor next to each other in the bottom of the trash.

RE: Seagate > All
By tuteja1986 on 8/11/2006 4:03:33 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung had the worst HDD ever ;( they were highly unrecommend. Well worst return rate in 2001.

RE: Seagate > All
By leexgx on 8/13/2006 9:50:07 PM , Rating: 2
I found Samsungs are very good an are properly the silent of any hdds I have used, 5400 models you never get any sounds out of then and my last Samsung that is 4 yrs old is still running in my friends pc

I use segates only as an rule now the are the second silent disk I have used, when not in use they are silent but if left for 10 secs they auto do an fast S.M.A.R.T test every time so they make noise

maxtore`s are close to as bad an fujitsu's are the most unreliable hdds (they cook them self’s to death the maxtores do if you keep them cool and they be happy) also never fill an Maxtor more then 90% full or it will die don’t ask me why but they do I had 10 reports from my old boss and some friend and me odd it is (dono ask me why but I am using 4x 80gb maxtores in my raid 0 setup now lol)

WD are good But they F vibrate and make lots of noise doing it the most of any hdds I have ever used so I never buy them agene I gave them 2 yrs to fix it

IBM/HT disks are odd they are noisy but you can use a floppy to make them quite reality of them are odd as they use some sort of bearing but they fail if left on for more then 8hrs an day ?? So I never use them as well as I cant trust if they are reliable or not

RE: Seagate > All
By frobizzle on 8/11/2006 6:37:19 AM , Rating: 2
by masher2
You rated Maxtor above WD?


Gee, Masher, you ocassionally post intelligent comments on DT. Must be you don't have anything worthwhile to say on this topic.

RE: Seagate > All
By TomZ on 8/11/2006 5:57:13 PM , Rating: 2
Gee, Masher, you ocassionally post intelligent comments on DT. Must be you don't have anything worthwhile to say on this topic.

Are you saying you prefer Maxtor drives to WDC? Now that's not intelligent at all.

RE: Seagate > All
By frobizzle on 8/13/2006 10:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
Are you saying you prefer Maxtor drives to WDC? Now that's not intelligent at all.

All I'm saying is that of the several dozen drives I've bought over the years, I have never had a Maxtor fail. Can't say the same about WD or Seagate.

RE: Seagate > All
By Wwhat on 8/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: Seagate > All
By glennpratt on 8/15/2006 5:05:52 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you get to decide when things are unintelligent by posting anecdotal evidence! I wan't to be where you are in life.

RE: Seagate > All
By deeznuts on 8/10/2006 6:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
Seagate's noise hasn't been what it used to be lately. I loved the Cuda IV, still have one running in a modified PVR.

RE: Seagate > All
By therealnickdanger on 8/10/2006 4:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
5 year warranty FTW

Yeah, but unlike WD, Seagate makes you pay $25 for an overnight replacement. When my Raptor died, they sent me a new one in less than 36 hours along with a return shipping label for my broken one. If Seagate can match WD in that arena, then I would be a Seagate fanboy.

RE: Seagate > All
By imaheadcase on 8/10/2006 4:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
HD are so cheap warrenty does not matter to most people. Who wants to return a drive with all the hassle that goes with it when a new one is dirt cheap.

RE: Seagate > All
By slashbinslashbash on 8/10/2006 5:51:57 PM , Rating: 3
That's kind of the point. WD makes it super easy. Go to their website, type in the HD's serial number and your credit card number (not charged unless they don't receive your bad drive), and they ship you a replacement ASAP. Put the old one in the box and send it back, badda bing, badda boom. It's really hard to imagine that the system could be further streamlined.

It's nice that it's so easy, since I've had to do it at least 3 times in the past couple of years :( I'm buying Seagates now.

RE: Seagate > All
By dice1111 on 8/10/2006 5:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Those that don't have $120 lying around for a new 300GB. Believe it or not, money can be tight for some...

RE: Seagate > All
By mendocinosummit on 8/10/2006 6:33:53 PM , Rating: 1
Actually it is $95 for a 320GB, but only 300 usuable. If you need the storage your better off not wait.

RE: Seagate > All
By Frank M on 8/10/2006 9:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but unlike WD, Seagate makes you pay $25 for an overnight replacement. When my Raptor died, they sent me a new one in less than 36 hours along with a return shipping label for my broken one. If Seagate can match WD in that arena, then I would be a Seagate fanboy.

Yep, mine too. Absolutely 100% satisfaction. Turns out that my HD was fine, it was my Bios that was screwing everything up. My Maxtor, on the other hand...

RE: Seagate > All
By johnsonx on 8/10/2006 9:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't anyone remember the good old days when seagate drive were the worst pieces of crap? I guess it isn't true any more, but it's sure hard for me to forget.

RE: Seagate > All
By KenGoding on 8/18/2006 3:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
My personal experience has been that the IBM/Hitachi drives are the best, although I don't have a problem with Seagate.

Not what the article says
By Phynaz on 8/10/2006 3:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hard Drive Price War Coming

The linked article states that current conditions will contune for another year.

RE: Not what the article says
By Master Kenobi on 8/10/2006 3:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
And current conditions are very nice. I'm a huge Seagate fan, use their drives whenever I'm looking to snag standard hard drives for normal use, but Western Digital has them beat with the Raptor when I want to setup a gaming rig. Always use two Striped Raptors and then usually a monster big 500GB+ drive from Seagate for added storage.

RE: Not what the article says
By Xponential on 8/10/2006 4:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I just recently got the 74GB Raptor w/ 16MB cache (WD740ADFD) and I have to say, even compared to the first generation Raptor, this thing is definitely faster. Load times and transfer times have significantly decreased. I'm in
XP less than 25 seconds after hitting the power button.

If Seagate could make a drive to compete with the Raptor, then I'd be impressed.

RE: Not what the article says
By haris on 8/10/2006 4:14:07 PM , Rating: 1
You might want to start getting ready to be impressed. That 300GB 15K Cheetah looks like it's about to give the Raptor some tough competition if it has a decent price and performance. No need for 2-3 drives if you can have one of the new Cheetahs.

RE: Not what the article says
By Vidmar on 8/10/2006 4:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Only if you don't mind buying a good SCSI adapter for it as well.

RE: Not what the article says
By gramboh on 8/10/06, Rating: 0
RE: Not what the article says
By hwhacker on 8/10/2006 5:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm tempted by a 74 or 150 Raptor in my C2D build, but I could buy 2x 7200.10 320's which will be faster in RAID 0 (I think) and have SATA 3.0gbs for faster burst rates over 1.5gbit.

I'm facing that same predicament. I already have a couple 250gb hitachis in raid for storage, and want raptors to go alongside them when I make the the jump to C2D...but those $99 16mb 320 7200.10's are almost too tasty to pass up, and may just sacrafice a little speed for massive space yet again. These price wars sure are nice...I just wish there was more competition to the raptor. :)

RE: Not what the article says
By AaronAxvig on 8/10/2006 6:05:35 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Not what the article says
By Sh0ckwave on 8/10/2006 7:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, cant afford raptors so I picked up some of those 16mb 320 7200.10's for my C2D build aswell. Better value for money and they are not much slower in RAID0.

RE: Not what the article says
By sdsdv10 on 8/11/2006 1:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone have a link to real world benchmarks showing RAID0 is faster for a typical desktop computer than a single fast drive (newer Seagate or Raptor)? Everything I have read suggests they are the same or sometime slower in normal activities (like booting OS, loading WORD, Photoshop or DVD ISO files, not synthetic throughput benches) than a single fast drive? Not a flame, but I keep reading about people using RAID0 on their desktop PC and haven't seen where it's better. Thanks

RE: Not what the article says
By frobizzle on 8/11/2006 4:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone have a link to real world benchmarks showing RAID0 is faster for a typical desktop computer than a single fast drive (newer Seagate or Raptor)? Everything I have read suggests they are the same or sometime slower in normal activities (like booting OS, loading WORD, Photoshop or DVD ISO files, not synthetic throughput benches) than a single fast drive? Not a flame, but I keep reading about people using RAID0 on their desktop PC and haven't seen where it's better. Thanks

Maximum PC benchmarked RAID vs non-RAID a few years ago and found for some applications, RAID was actually slower.

RE: Not what the article says
By TomZ on 8/11/2006 9:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Maximum PC benchmarked RAID vs non-RAID a few years ago and found for some applications, RAID was actually slower.

No, I don't think that makes sense. If you take a particular drive, and compare that to a RAID0 array with the same type of drive, the RAID0 drive should outperform non-RAID for most operations.

There is no question that a software RAID 0 IDE array will make your computer run faster, as the Content Creation Winstone 2001 scores clearly showed. Performance gains on the order of 13% are not negligible

RE: Not what the article says
By skyyspam on 8/12/2006 3:53:51 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, it doesn't make sense, and a raid 0 array should outperform a single drive, but this isn't necessarily the case. Also, the article you linked is 5 years old. Here's one from 2004:

We were hoping to see some sort of performance increase in the game loading tests, but the RAID array didn't give us that. While the scores put the RAID-0 array slightly slower than the single drive Raptor II, you should also remember that these scores are timed by hand and thus, we're dealing within normal variations in the "benchmark".

If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.

RE: Not what the article says
By leexgx on 8/13/2006 10:01:52 PM , Rating: 1
My 4x 80gb maxtores 10s are beating 4x raptors

Why is it coes the user who tested the raptors used properly the old NF4 chip set

Problem with NVIDIA and Silicon Image is they used hack to get Sata to work

What they did was take an UDMA 133 controller and split it among 4 SATA ports so the Max speed the hdds could do total was about 120MB/s

So what that meant was it made little difference having 2 or 4 disks in an RAID 0 config as the max speed each disk could do was about 50-60MB/s any way that totals up to about 100-120mB/s

With NF 5 (amd 64 AM2) now out they have resolved that problem I get 200MB+ data rate speed now with 4 disks and there is a benefit to using more then 2 disks

(I have seen LOTS of reviews that webs sites like tomshardware and anandtech have been using Onboard raid on NF4 chip sets to see if RAID 0 is faster and becoes of the limit on the chip set to 120MB/s disk speed will not increases, now if thay retest on NF5 570/590 chip set thay be suprised)

RE: Not what the article says
By mindless1 on 8/16/2006 2:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
We can say that with that 686B chipset (yuck!), one drive was slower at content creation benchmark. Quite inconclusive.

In general we should expect that the the more compute-bound the process, the more significant the overhead from software raid. It depends how it's implemented too, as you'd noted in another DT article feedback, PCI is running out of steam and in real world uses, today's RAID-for-performance should be on a southbridge integral SATA controller.

By Ardan on 8/14/2006 2:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
How do you people manage to blow up your hard drives after a year and a half or more? Is it just bad luck, or what? When lightning struck my house last year (the 2nd time in 5 years), it totally fried most components. In the two desktop machines we built, the insides of the cases smelled like one great big electrical arc happened and everything was dead. You know what component survived? The Seagate HDs in both.....and the Western Digital in one of the machines, the two 80GB Hitachi Deskstar SATA drives in this one and the two Maxtor drives in the other machine (which was 10ft away from the lightning).

Since I saw my first PC in 1991 or 1992 (I'm 23), not one hard drive has failed us. In fact, I have a Maxtor 40GB drive for linux I have to put back in my PC today and that drive has been just as consistent as every other hard drive we have ever owned.

In fact, my dad has two massive speakers in his basement that he bought in Germany in the early 70s after he was done in Vietnam that run like new, no repairs ever done :). The receiver he bought for those speakers still works great upstairs (obviously not as good as the 5 year old receiver downstairs), though the bulb lighting up the needle, frequency list, etc burned out a few years ago finally (so its tough to find a radio station). Just about every car we've ever had has ran an outrageously long time without problems, and we're of irish descent so....maybe its luck? ;)

Either way, I'd have to pound my hard drives with a hammer to have them fail. Bummer for all you people :P.

RE: Reliability
By gramboh on 8/14/2006 3:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
Never had a drive fail either, I ran an old 486/66 with Linux with a 1.2GB from sometime in the mid 90's 24/7 without ANY fans (including PSU), it had an uptime of 400 days (no UPS) before the power went out.

Gave my sister an old T-Bred 1200 with 6.4GB Quantum SE Fireball from 99 or 2000 that runs fine 24/7 to this day, have an old Maxtor D740X 40GB that ran fine 24/7 until I retired it.

I've used Quantum/Maxtor/WD/Seagate and I prefer Seagate (personally) for performance/noise/reliability.

Knock on wood :)

RE: Reliability
By ShapeGSX on 8/15/2006 9:11:26 AM , Rating: 2
Keeping the drives cool is key. When I bought a case that I knew I would be populating with 5+ hard drives, I made sure that the case (Thermaltake Tsunami) had a large 120mm fan pulling cool air from the front of the case over the drives. The case also separates the drives to allow air to flow over them. And it uses rubber grommets to isolate them from vibration.

I've never had a drive fail on me, either (knock on wood).

RE: Reliability
By bldckstark on 8/15/2006 1:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
My first hdd upgrade was in 1994. A WD 850Mb. I forget what the speed is, but I think it was somwhere around 2rpm. That is still running in my daughters computer. 12 years old and still going, uhhh, weak. But it is still going. I just have it in there to see how long until it breaks.

RE: Reliability
By mindless1 on 8/16/2006 2:28:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yes it can easily be bad luck. Manufacturing defect, or pre-delivered handling stress can take it's toll.

It's a matter of percentages though when all else is working well (like power & cooling), that a certain % of people will be in the percent failed group and you'll never hear the end of it from them how Brand X is crap.

I've had a couple Maxtors fail, and Seagates, Samsungs too. I have quite a few drives in fileservers, it's not unexpected and as telling is how many drives HAVEN'T failed, unlike those bashing Maxtor I see nothing wrong with them, they do fine and were a great value.

Gotta love Seagate's warranty but frankly, 3 years from now will I want to pay to ship off a drive, get back what may be a refurb and put that to a serious use? Probably not, it'll end up delegated to some old testbed instead, I'll untimately end up buying another new drive as a result of the failure. For someone who only has a few (like single-digit) drives, that spare drive may come in handy.

I have quite a few more and would've rather just had a pro-rated refund than $ tied up in a drive I don't want to put into any primary storage role. So I put a few in mirrored arrays and they do fine, but I won't store only online copy of any data on those arrays either.

By Vidmar on 8/10/06, Rating: 0
RE: Dell?
By GraySplatter on 8/10/06, Rating: 0
RE: Dell?
By tuteja1986 on 8/11/2006 3:59:40 AM , Rating: 1
My experience :
File Server 02 : 6 Seagate 120GB Hard drive
died = 3 died , warranty
File server 05 : 8 Western Digital Hard drive in raid 5
died = none

My current Hard drive buying = Western Digital only

RE: Dell?
By xKelemvor on 8/11/2006 8:48:11 AM , Rating: 3
And I'm just the opposite. My WD 160gig drive died after 1.5 years. And because I bought it at a retail store, they only give a 1 year warranty. If I would have bought the exact same drive OEM it would have had a 3 year warranty.

Seagate has the 5 year warranties and I'ev never had a problem with one. Seagate is the only drives I buy now.

RE: Dell?
By Garreye on 8/11/2006 11:30:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'll second that, I bought a WD HD and it died in less than a week, but it probably got damaged during shipping and I got a new one, which then died in a little over a year and I've had one other WD which died after about 2 years.
I havent had any problems with any of my Seagate drive tho, so I'm sticking with them...

HDD space
By biohazard420420 on 8/14/2006 8:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I am sorry this has actually nothing at all to do with the article itself or most of the posts I read. First off I have used WD and Seagate and never had any problems with either as far as drives failing. I did have one but it was close to 6 or 7 years old sorry cant remember the maker. The point of my post is this you buy a 300 or 350 GB HDD but you dont really get 300 or 350 GB of useable space. A fair portion is taken up by formatting maybe a few GB's maybe 10. So in reality in order to use your 300GB HDD you arent going to have 300GB of space to use. I realize this is kind of a nit picky thing and maybe it just me. I personally think if they are going to sell a 300GB drive then they should account for the space lost to formatting and work in anoth 5 or 10 GB over the 300 to give you an actual useable 300GB drive. and from my experience and I could and probally am wrong in this but the bigger the drive the more space lost to formatting. Im sorry but why buy a 400GB drive only to lose 10 maybe even 20GB in space formatting when I can buy a 450GB drive (If they make that particular size) in order to get the 400GB of space I wanted in the first place.

RE: HDD space
By bldckstark on 8/15/2006 1:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
In simple terms, each type of disk formatting uses a different amount of space. FAT, FAT32, NTFS, etc.. all have different systems for administrating the space so they can't label the box "272GB" because it changes with how you format it when you get home.

The larger the drive, the more space it must use to administer the data, so the larger the "lost" amount. If you check you will see that the area lost is a fairly consistent percentage of disk size dependent upon format.

If it really bothers you maybe you could join the class action suit in California against hdd manufacturers for this same reason. Although the readers of DT will continue to make fun of those people.

Maxtor sucks also
By Randalllind on 8/15/2006 10:21:00 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone tells me they are great frist drive I had was a 3.5gb back in the late 90's caught fire overheated. Maxtor said because it had black burmmarks on it it void my warrenty.

This was after I mailed it back and they saying it was going to be replace. Then they mailed it back with that comment. So I told the head of Maxtor customer service I will never buy another hd and I will be calling WD for now on.

I have never had an issue with a WD going bad by itself. I had one bad out of the box which was replace with no question ask. Then last year my pc went off ruining an HD again they replace it no question asked.

I also repair computers and for some strange reason maxtor drives love to disapear form bios on bootup with no known reason. This is another reason I can'r recommend them.

RE: Maxtor sucks also
By Kim Leo on 8/17/2006 8:41:25 AM , Rating: 2
i deal with Maxtor Drives and samsung, we have no warranty problems, and never ever had a HDD that burned, and i have replaced several Seagate disks.. however WD have always worked for me, my first from mid 1999 still works, but at the moment Maxtor and Samsung are fine disks, personally ive had all(mostly Maxtor) and no problems with any.

Is the Consumer Really Winning?
By AntiTomZandmasher2 on 8/15/2006 11:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, hard drive prices will drop, but will they go to ~$20 or so? Prices have been fairly constant; capacity and speed have gone up. Why can't I get a recently manufactured (not resold) 100 GB drive for super cheap? Planned obsolescence and corporate profit margins make me sad. In the end, I'll end up paying around the same if I want to get a new machine.

By mindless1 on 8/16/2006 2:38:21 AM , Rating: 2
You can't get one for super cheap because:

1) You're paying for research, manufacturing, maintenance, shipping, advertising, warranty coverage, etc. The least of the costs is actually a 2nd/3rd platter, another arm and pair of read heads. Single platter drives are by far the best value except when there are other goals like system data density.

2) There's still profit margin, stores have to be mindful of handling and dedicate the space.

3) Price per GB can't drop too much because capacity goes up due to platter density increases. The cost of a single-side one platter drive hasn't fluctuated so much, you're only considering capacity without the platter context and you can't buy a drive with only 1/3rd a platter or 67% of one head in it. There's still the PCB, housing, bearings and motor and all aforementioned overheads still.

Price wars!
By jediknight on 8/16/2006 6:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
So there's a price war on CPUs, a price war on hard drives..
damn, makes it seem like the near future is a good time to do some upgrading!

Competition. Capitalism at it's finest.

RE: Price wars!
By cuban0l0c0 on 8/17/2006 12:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
Definately one of the best years in recent memory for starting a new build.

By Soviet Robot on 8/13/2006 12:22:54 PM , Rating: 3
If you want to debate quality, my WD is going 4 and a half years strong.

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