The best hard drives will not be as fast as the best SSDs, but they are certainly cheaper. In addition, the best hard drives offer huge amounts of storage at a low price, instead of costing a fortune for a glorified flash drive. You will not find the best hard drives in the best Ultrabooks, but they are certainly worth a look as an external measure – especially if you have to store a lot of data.
Finding the best hard drive will usually depend on what you need. The best laptops and game consoles require 2.5-inch drives or one of the best external hard drives. If you're looking for archive storage for the best gaming PCs, you want the fastest and largest 3.5-inch hard drive you can buy. We know, it is confusing, but we have taken the liberty to collect the best hard drives you can buy in 2018, and have listed them here. Whatever you are looking for, you will find the best hard drives here.
Best hard drive: Seagate BarraCuda
High RPM and storage for a low price
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps | Capacity: 2 – 3TB | cache: 64 MB RPM: 7200
Fast rotating discs
The BarraCuda series from Seagate is the undeniable face of the best hard drives. And that's not for nothing – they offer a great gigabyte per dollar ratio and speed advantages to finish it off. The 2TB model scores a good picture by keeping high performance and affordability in balance. Since this drive combines 7200 rpm platters and high-density data, computers equipped with this drive can read additional data quickly.
Best hard drive with high capacity: Toshiba X300
Great rides with fast speeds
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps | Capacity: 4 – 8TB | cache: 128 MB RPM: 7200
Toshiba is a huge name in computer science. Even if its laptops are not as popular as they once were, it has a lot to offer on the component market. When it comes to hard drives, the Toshiba X300 is a powerful, powerful champion that is worth watching. The X300 drives have a gigabyte to dollar value without sacrificing on the performance side. These drives all run at 7,200 RPM and contain 128 MB cache for fast operation. The only drawback is that the guarantee is only valid for two years, which is a shortcoming for a journey that is intended to store so many important data.
Best gaming hard drive: WD VelociRaptor
Turn around faster, play faster
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps | Capacity: 250 GB – 1 TB cache: 64 MB RPM: 10,000
Insane HDD speed
Priced as an SSD
When it comes to PC gaming, speed is everything. So for anyone who opposes the allure of an SSD, and is looking for the kicking of the old school with one of the best hard disks, it's time for something that runs just a bit faster. And with the WD VelociRaptor and the crazy speed of 10,000 rpm, you want to pay attention to it. With capacities up to 1 TB available, the VelociRaptor disks are ready to store large game libraries, and the super-fast platters help start those games and load quickly.
- This product is only available in the US and the UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: view a good alternative in the Seagate FireCuda
Best budget hard drive: WD Blue Desktop
Heavy on storage, slightly appreciated
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps | Capacity: 500 GB – 6TB | cache: 64 MB RPM: 5,400 – 7,200
An option for every budget
Faster option available
Less value of smaller disks
Western Digital offers a solid bargain with its line of WD Blue hard drives. With a wide variety of storage options, from a small 500 GB to a spacious 6 TB, the WD Blue is a viable choice for almost any type of PC build that meets a budget. The best value comes from the larger disks – they give you much more storage space per dollar spent. And if you are looking for a bit more speed, there are also 7,200 rpm models available that are not accompanied by a too high price increase.
Best hybrid hard drive: Seagate Firecuda Desktop
Faster than an HDD, cheaper than an SSD
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps | Capacity: 1TB – 2TB + 8GB | cache: 64 MB RPM: 7200
A soon plateau
SSDs are all fad nowadays and it is not difficult to understand why. But if you need a lot of fast storage, hybrid hard drives – which contain a small amount of solid-state storage space to increase their speed – are a great option. The SeaGate FireCuda is the best hybrid drive out there, it can hold up to 2TB of data, and then the 8GB solid-state cache storage learns the data you use most to open it faster, and stores it. That speed boost is even sweeter when you consider that this drive runs on a new 7,200 rpm. With its 5 year warranty and low-threshold price tag it is easy to see why this is one of the best hard drives out there.
Best NAS hard drive: Seagate IronWolf NAS
Lots of storage space for the network
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps | Capacity: 6 – 12TB | cache: 256 MB RPM: 7200
Ready for RAID
Faster than smaller options
More pricey than non-NAS drives
It's a bit of a shame that the Seagate IronWolf NAS drives have a good price, but they are not priced more expensive than a standard hard disk on their capacity. However, their native NAS optimization makes that premium absolutely worthwhile. These drives can run 24/7 at a fast rotation speed of 7,200 rpm without worrying about disk errors. Really, if you are one of the best NAS devices for your business or home, the Seagate IronWolf NAS is really the best choice.
Best laptop hard drive: Seagate FireCuda Mobile
Adds more energy to a laptop than to an HDD
Interface: SATA 6 Gbps | Capacity: 500 GB – 2TB + 8 GB cache: 64 MB RPM: 5400
Multiple capacity options
Performance above a standard HDD
Flash storage comes at a premium
Upgrading storage in a laptop on a hard disk can be difficult because they usually require a smaller disk to fit. Many of the 2.5-inch options are not very attractive, because everything that is fast comes with a serious layout, but the 2.5-inch FireCuda hybrid drive from Seagate has a nice balance. It provides an easy way to place a lot of storage space on a laptop and at the same time give a speed boost with 8 GB of flash storage. A 5-year warranty on the drive also ensures that it lasts as long as the lifespan of almost every laptop is guaranteed.
Best game console hard drive: WD My Book
For when you have to fit all games
Interface: USB 3.0 Capacity: 3 – 20TB
Huge storage options
Easier upgrade solution
Game consoles hard disks quickly fill up with huge libraries. And, like laptops, the upgrade path for 2.5-inch hard drives is not that great, but that's where an external drive comes in. The WD My Book offers an amazing balance between storage and price, and offers enough space for gigantic game libraries. It works on USB 3.0 and may not be as fast as an internal disk upgrade, but it performs games and offers more storage space at a lower price.
Best external hard drive: G-Technology G-Drive
Interface: USB 3.1 (Type-C) | Capacity: 4 – 10TB
USB Type-C V2
Larger than expected
As time goes by and the best SSDs become increasingly ubiquitous, there are many who quickly explain the death of the best hard drives. Fortunately, devices such as the G-Technology G-Drive are here to show these naysayers the life that remains in spinning disks. This external hard drive not only offers huge amounts of storage up to 10 TB, but thanks to the compatibility with Thunderbolt 3, it can even charge your laptop while you work. If you have a MacBook Pro, it is difficult to come up with an external hard drive that would be a better companion.
Read the full review: G-Technology G-Drive