The 7 Best SATA Hard Drives to Buy in 2017

Selection of best hard drives for value, capacity, performance and features

The rise of cloud storage and solid state drives has begun reducing the need for SATA-based hard drives. Serial ATA, SATA for short, was once the great standard in both desktops and laptops before the popularity of Ultrabooks, where the thinner SSD (solid state drives) drives are preferred. However, if you’re looking to upgrade or build a new PC, few drives can offer the storage capacity and reliability of a SATA drive. Not sure where to start? Seagate and Western Digital dominate space and have the best SATA drives for all your needs, as well as for budgets large and small.

While hard drive capacity continues to get larger and larger every year, Seagate’s 2TB 7200RPM FireCuda 3.5 inch SATA drive offers more than enough space for music, video, and pictures. With enough space to store 80 25GB-sized games, the Seagate performs up to five times faster than traditional 7200RPM desktop drives. At 3.5 inches in form factor, the drive is ideal for desktop PCs, gaming machines, and workstations where reliable and quality performance count every day. As an added bonus (and for extra peace-of-mind), the FireCuda line is protected with a best-in-class, five-year limited warranty. With the potential for reading and write speeds greater than 200MB/s, the Seagate is a fantastic choice for any SATA shopper.

Ideal for desktops, the Seagate 3TB 7200RPM BarraCuda 3.5-inch SATA internal hard drive is an ideal choice for buyers looking for a great combination of storage, quality, and speed. Capable of reading and writing data at speeds around 210MB/s, the BarraCuda is both versatile and dependable. Whether it’s work or play, storing movies or music, the BarraCuda can store around 300,000 songs without running out of space. It is ideal for both desktops or all-in-one PCs, but and Seagate offers an additional 2.5-inch model that is a perfect fit for laptops. Backed by a two-year limited warranty, the BarraCuda offers the right mix of versatility and reliability combined with a great value that makes it a hard choice to pass up.

Released in 2012, the Western Digital WD Blue 1TB might be slightly older, but it offers such an outstanding price-to-performance ratio that it's still Amazon’s best seller for internal hard drives. The 7200 RPM offers 1TB of space, which is smaller than most of the other choices on this list, but still, has more than enough room for 200,000 songs or more than 17 hours of music. Additionally, the WD Blue offers features like IntelliSeek, which calculates the optimum speed to lower both power consumption, as well as noise and vibration to protect against data loss. Moreover, Western Digital offers Acronis True Image software downloadable from their website to completely copy all the data from the previous hard drive to get up and running right away. It also has read and write speeds around 170MB/s.

If it’s speed you crave, the WD Black series will satiate you. The line is designed to boost performance of heavier computing, perfect for creatives and gamers alike. It houses a dual-core processor that doubles the processing capability of a standard single-core processor to optimize performance. As such, it’s quoted to offer 218MB/s in sustained data-transfer rates and has significant cache sizes up to 128MB of DRAM. It's paired with WD’s Dynamic Cache Technology, which helps to maximize caching algorithms in real time and prioritize cache between reads and writes. So you can bet it's one of the speediest SATA hard drives on the market. On top of it all, the WD Black comes with a five-year limited warranty to deliver the protection you deserve.

If you took an average two-hour movie and attempted to fill up Seagate’s 8TB 7200RPM BarraCuda Pro SATA drive, you’d have more than enough space for 1,600 movies. Ideal for desktops, all-in-one PCs, home servers or even creative pro systems, the BarraCuda Pro leads the pack in feature-to-price ratio. Capable of reading and write speeds up to 220MB/s, the 7200RPM drive offers spindle speeds up to 256MB cache. With a five-year limited warranty, along with a free two-year rescue plan in case of the total data loss, the BarraCuda Pro tops it all off with low power management at 6.8W.

Seagate’s 2.5-inch BarraCuda SATA drive is an ideal choice for laptop owners looking to kick performance and storage to the next level. With a 6GB/s data transfer speed and the capability of reading and write speeds of more than 140-150MB/s, the drive comes in both 7mm and 15mm z-heights to best fit your laptop. Additionally, read and write performance is optimized with Multi-Tier Caching Technology, MTC for short, which optimizes data flow and allows apps to load faster than ever before. As a bonus, it works well with numerous all-in-one PCs, as well as ultra-slim desktop PCs. It also comes with Seagate’s two-year limited warranty.

If you want to do more with your SATA drive, the Seagate 10TB 7200RPM IronWolf Pro offers an awesome amount of storage – for a price. Coming in just under $500, the IronWolf Pro is more than just a drive, thanks to a bevy of features that offer extra versatility and support for the high price tag. Always on and always accessible, the inclusion of AgileArray technology and standard Rotational Vibration sensors offer optimal reliability and overall performance. Additionally, the purchase of the IronWolf Pro includes two years of Seagate’s free rescue plan for complete peace-of-mind in the event of unexpected data loss. With read and write speeds consistently performing around 210MB/s or higher, there’s more than enough oomph to justify the higher cost. To add some extra incentive, the 10TBs of storage space can hold more than 15 hours of 4K, 360-degree virtual reality video without missing a beat.

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