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Best hard drives 2019: the top HDD for desktops and laptops
3:00 am | March 22, 2019

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While the best hard drives will come nowhere close to being faster than the best SSDs, they’re so much cheaper and more capacious. Sure, you won’t find them in the best Ultrabook, but a hard drive can be useful as an extra drive or even an external measure – especially if you have a lot of data to back up.

Finding the best hard drive for your needs ultimately boils down to what you need to do with it. If you’re looking for the best hard drives for game consoles, you’ll want a 2.5-inch drive, or maybe one of the best external hard drives. However, if you’re rocking one of the best gaming PCs, and you just want the biggest drive you can get with a ton of space – and a ton of speed. It’s a lot to take in, but we went ahead and gathered up the best hard drives you can buy today.  

Best hard drive: Seagate BarraCuda

Image Credit: Seagate

It’s almost impossible to talk about hard drives without mentioning Seagate’s BarraCuda lineup – it’s a force to be reckoned with. And, it’s not hard to see why, Seagate BarraCuda drives offer a great gigabyte-per-dollar ratio and speed benefits to top it off. The 2TB model hits a sweet spot by balancing high performance and affordability. Since this drive combines 7,200rpm platters and high density data, computers outfitted with this drive will be able to read data extraordinarily fast.

Best high capacity hard drive: Toshiba X300

Image Credit: Toshiba

Even if its laptops aren’t as popular as they used to be, Toshiba is still a huge name in computing, and has a lot to offer. When it comes to the best hard drives, the Toshiba X300 is a high-capacity, high-performance champ worth taking a look at. The X300 drives boast great gigabyte-to-dollar value without sacrificing on performance. These drives all spin at 7,200 rpm and include 128MB of cache for higher speeds. The only downside is the warranty only lasts two years, which feels short for a drive meant to store so much important data.

Best gaming hard drive: WD VelociRaptor

Image Credit: Western Digital

When it comes to PC gaming, it’s better to be fast than capacious. So, if you’ve been resisting the allure of an SSD, and looking to kick it old school with one of the best hard drives, the WD VelociRaptor should be up your alley. Not only does this drive have a whopping 10,000 rpm spin speed, but you’re going to want to pay attention to it. With capacities up to 1TB, the VelociRaptor drives are ready to store large game libraries, and the super fast platters will help your games launch and load quickly.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Seagate FireCuda 

Best budget hard drive: WD Blue Desktop

Image Credit: Western Digital

Western Digital offers a solid bargain with its line of WD Blue hard drives. With a wide variety of storage options from a small 500GB to a capacious 6TB, the WD Blue is a viable pick for almost any type of PC build that’s sticking to a budget. The best value comes from the larger drives – they’ll give you much more storage per dollar spent. And, if you’re looking for a bit more speed, there are also 7,200rpm models available that don’t come with too much of a price hike. 

Best hybrid hard drive: Seagate Firecuda Desktop

Image Credit: Seagate

SSDs are all the rage these days, and it’s not hard to see why. But if you need a lot of fast storage, hybrid hard drives – which contain a small amount of solid state storage to bump of their speed – are a great option. The SeaGate FireCuda is the best hybrid drive out there, it can fit up to 2TB of data, and then its 8GB of solid state cache storage learns and stores the data you use most to access it faster. That speed boost is even sweeter when you consider this drive spins at a fresh 7,200rpm. With its 5-year warranty and approachable price tag, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best hard drives out there. 

Best NAS hard drive: Seagate IronWolf NAS

Image Credit: Seagate

It’s a little unfortunate that the Seagate IronWolf NAS drives come at a premium, but they aren’t priced much more expensively than a standard hard drive at their capacity. However, their native NAS optimization makes that premium totally worth it. These drives are capable of running at a fast 7,200rpm spin rate 24/7 without having to worry about drive failure. Really, if you have one of the best NAS devices for your business or home, the Seagate IronWolf NAS really is your best bet. 

Best laptop hard drive: Seagate FireCuda Mobile

Image Credit: Seagate

Upgrading the storage in a laptop in a hard drive can be tough, since they typically require a smaller drive to fit. A lot of the 2.5-inch options aren’t terribly attractive, as anything fast comes with a serious markup, but Seagate’s 2.5-inch FireCuda hybrid drive strikes a nice balance. It offers an easy way to add lots of storage to a laptop while also giving it a speed boost thanks to 8GB of flash storage. A 5-year warranty on the drive will also help ensure it for as long as almost any laptop’s lifespan.

Best game console hard drive: WD My Book

Image Credit: Western Digital

Game consoles hard drives fill up fast with massive libraries. And, like laptops, the upgrade path for 2.5-inch hard drives isn’t all that great, but that’s where an external drive comes in. The WD My Book strikes an amazing balance of storage and price, offering enough room for massive game libraries. Running on USB 3.0, it may not be quite as fast as an internal drive upgrade, but it will run games and offer more storage at a cheaper rate.

Best external hard drive: G-Technology G-Drive

Image Credit: G-Technology

A lot of people seem to think that the best hard drives are ancient and dead technology in 2019. However, with devices like the G-Technology G-Drive, you can show the naysayers in your life that spinning disks have their own place in the future. Not only does this external hard drive offer huge amounts of storage – up to 10 TB – but thanks to Thunderbolt 3 compatibility, it can even charge your laptop while you work. If you have a MacBook Pro, it’s hard to think of a better work companion.

Read the full review: G-Technology G-Drive 

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