The 10 Best Internal Hard Drives

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in February of 2019. While magnetic hard drives may not be quite as fast as newer, solid-state storage devices, there are a few reasons you may opt for one. Primarily, they're significantly cheaper, and they offer much larger capacities than solid-state storage. If you're trying to extend the life of an old laptop or increase the number of movies and games you can retain internally, one of these should do the trick. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Seagate BarraCuda

2. Seagate FireCuda Desktop

3. Seagate IronWolf Pro

Editor's Notes

December 06, 2020:

Hard disk drives haven't seen as much recent innovation as other forms of technology. This is due in part to the fact that hard disk drives, or HDDs, are rapidly being replaced by their faster and newer cousins, the solid-state drives, also known as SSDs. Although manufacturers have focused their research and development on the newer storage format, they continue to upgrade existing hard drive sizes and improve upon existing tech. Traditional HDDs continue to offer reliability, greater capacities, and a cost-to-storage size ratio that can't be beaten.

For this recent update, we've removed the MaxDigitalData 3272DVR and added the Western Digital Blue. The Western Digital Blue is an all-around solid performer and a cost-effective choice for backing up personal data. Just be aware, if you're looking for a device for high performance, such as servers or RAID configurations, then there are other options better suited for those roles.

We've updated the listing for the Seagate FireCuda Desktop, and the Western Digital Gold. Also, we've revised the ranking order of some of the models to reflect price changes and current reviews.

February 12, 2019:

Maybe you're on a very limited budget, or just don't want to invest a ton in a new drive. Or maybe you're resistant to change. Most probably, if you're looking for a mechanical hard drive, you're outfitting a server or other enterprise-level computer. Whatever your intent, we won't judge you; in fact, there are some fantastic, fully mechanical, as well as hybrid solid-state/magnetic models out there. For everyday users of most types, it's almost impossible to beat Seagate's multiple offerings. Their FireCuda is as close as you can get to SSD performance without dropping a large amount of money, while their BarraCuda has been one of the most respected HDDs for a very long time. Western Digital has also been quite popular over the long term, although many people consider the Blacks to be overpriced. They're also pretty loud. If you're outfitting a server, large or small, the Seagate Ironwolf is almost certainly your best bet, although the WD Red Pro is a close second, and is less expensive. Whichever you decide upon, make sure to keep it regularly defragmented, as pretty much nothing is more frustrating than sitting around waiting for Windows to load.

4. Western Digital Black

5. Western Digital Blue

6. Seagate IronWolf

7. Western Digital Red Pro

8. Seagate Skyhawk

9. Western Digital Gold

10. Seagate Exos 7E8

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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