Disclosure: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post contains affiliate links so that, as an Amazon and B&H Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you. Prices for B&H as of February 15th 2021. Click on Amazon links to see current prices. Prices and availability are subject to change.

This is one of many articles on the best computers parts

Do you want to know what are currently the best CPUs, graphic cards and other components?
Check out the Best Computer Parts for Your Money page.

This is one of 3 articles dedicated to storage drives:

1. Best External Hard Drives, SSDs and USB Flash Drives
2. Best Internal SSDs
3. Best Internal 2.5″ and 3.5″ Hard Drives (this article)

Summary:

Click to skip to the recommendations

The Best 3.5″ internal desktop hard drives:

  1. Consumer Hard drives
  2. NAS Hard Drives
  3. Surveillance Hard Drives
  4. Data Center Hard Drives

The Best 2.5″ internal mobile hard drives

No time to read reviews and just want the answers?

I do realize that most of us have busy schedules, have no time to read detailed hard drives reviews and just want to know what is the best hard drive for their need.

With 20 years of experience with computer hardware, keeping up with new products and ever-changing prices, I’m here to help you find the best deals. See my About page.

How do I pick my recommendations?

I recommend the drives that offer the best combination of reliability, performance and storage capacity at a given price.

Alternatives that offer higher performance, longer warranty and that are designed for 24/7, RAID, server or archiving usage are also suggested.

A worldwide guide!

B&H offers worldwide shipping, while Amazon links should direct you to your local Amazon site (USA, UK, Germany, etc.)

Hard Drive Failure Rates: Which brand is the most reliable?

How do I know which hard drive is more reliable than another?

The Backblaze hard drive reliability statistics article is worth a look. While their setups aren’t similar to the typical computer, as they use proprietary Storage Pod enclosures, which contains as many as 60 3.5″ drives in four units of rack space, it’s still an excellent resource available with real-world data on hard drive reliability.

Although these numbers don’t paint the complete picture of world wide failure rates, they are still an interesting sample to look at.

The Best 3.5″ Desktop Hard Disk Drives (HDD):

Best Consumer hard drives:

High performance V.S. Low Cost:

I now recommend two class of consumer hard drives: High Performance and Low Cost.

– The high performance drives are 7,200rpm drives that offer the highest performance, at higher prices. Ideal if you plan on using it as a boot drive or simply need higher performance.
– The Low cost drives are 5,400rpm drives that don’t offer as high performance, but still very good performance, at lower prices. Ideal if you just want a lot of storage capacity at a lower price, for your games, videos, media library and backups.

Best High Performance 1TB Hard Drives:

Seagate Barracuda vs WD WD1003FZEX Caviar Black:

– The Seagate offers a great price, great performance and is reliable. 2 years warranty.
– It’s a good alternative at a much lower price than the WD Caviar Black.
– Get the WD Caviar Black if you want a longer 5 years warranty.
– Stay away from WD Caviar Blue, the Seagate drive offer better performance at a similar price.

Get a 1TB Hard Drive:

– Seagate Barracuda 1TB from Amazon, B&H ($45.95)  
WD WD1003FZEX from B&H ($69.99)

Best High Performance 2TB Hard Drives:

– Same story as for the 1TB hard drives: The WD Caviar Black is more expensive, but offers a longer 5 years warranty.
– The Seagate drive is a good alternative at a much lower price than the WD Caviar Black, with a 2 years warranty
– The Hitachi drives are the least expensive. They are refurbished drives, but they are reliable enterprise drive designed to run for millions of hours before failure and customer reviews are great. Both drives are similar, just pick whichever one is the least expensive at the moment. 1 year warranty.
– Stay away from WD Caviar Blue, it’s a lower performance 5400rpm drive, the Seagate drive offer better performance at a similar price.

Get a 2TB Hard Drive:

– Seagate Barracuda 2TB from Amazon, B&H ($45.00)
– Western Digital Caviar Black WD2003FZEX from Amazon or B&H ($99.99)

Best 3TB Hard Drives:

High Performance:

– Seagate discountinued the ST3000DM008, a 7200rpm, 3TB hard drive. The new ST3000DM007 is a 5400rpm drive, avoid it.
– The only 7200rpm HDD worthy of a recommendation is the well refurbished enterprise drive, the HGST Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB.

Get a 3TB High Performance Hard Drive:

Get the HGST Ultrastar 7K3000 HUA723030ALA640 (0F12456) 3TB (Refurbished) from Amazon

Low Cost:

– WD offers the WD Blue 3TB at a very good price, with a 2 years warranty

Get a 3TB Low Cost Hard Drive:

Get the WD Blue 3TB  from Amazon or B&H ($69.99)

Best High Performance 4TB Hard Drives:

– Stay away from the Seagate ST4000DM004, WD Caviar Blue, 5400rpm drives and Seagate ST4000DMA04, 5900rpm drive. I don’t recommend Toshiba X300 drives, due to poor reliability.

Get the Seagate Exos 4TB from Amazon, B&H ($140.99)

– Highest performance 4TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

Get the HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 (0F18567) 7200RPM (Refurbished) from Amazon

– Lowest cost
– Refurbished Entreprise drive
– 3 years warranty

Low Cost:

– WD offers the WD Blue 4TB at a very good price, with a 2 years warranty

Get a 4TB Low Cost Hard Drive:

Get the WD Blue 4TB  from Amazon or B&H ($84.99)

5TB Hard Drives: None recommended

Best High Performance 6TB Hard Drives:

Get the Seagate Exos 6TB from Amazon, B&H ($239.99)

– Highest performance 6TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

Low Cost:

– WD offers the WD Blue 4TB at a very good price, with a 2 years warranty

Get a 6TB Low Cost Hard Drive:

Get the WD Blue 6TB  from Amazon or B&H ($129.99)

Best High Performance 8TB Hard Drive:

Get the Seagate Exos 8TB from Amazon, B&H ($229.00)

– Highest performance 8TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

Low Cost:

– WD offers the WD Blue 4TB at a very good price, with a 2 years warranty

Get a 8TB Low Cost Hard Drive:

Get the Seagate Barracuda 8TB  from Amazon or B&H ($154.99)

Best High Performance 10TB Hard Drive

Get the Seagate Exos 10TB from Amazon, B&H ($253.58)

– Highest performance 12TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

Best High Performance 12TB Hard Drive

Get the Seagate Exos 12TB from Amazon, B&H ($279.00)

– Highest performance 12TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

Best High Performance 14TB Hard Drive

Get the Seagate Exos 14TB from Amazon, B&H ($299.99)

– Highest performance 14TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

Best High Performance 16TB Hard Drive

Get the Seagate Exos 16TB from Amazon, B&H ($349.00)

– Highest performance 16TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

Best High Performance 18TB Hard Drive

Get the Seagate Exos 18TB from Amazon, B&H ($468.99)

– Highest performance 18TB hard drive
– Enterprise class quality drive
– 5 years warranty

The Best NAS 3.5″ hard disk drives (HDD)

Designed for 24/7 usage, NAS (Network Attached Storage) and RAID.

– Seagate Ironwolf offer better performance at lower prices than WD Red. 1-4TB: 5,900rpm, 6-16TB: 7,200rpm. 3 years warranty, 1-8 bays
– Seagate Ironwolf Pro drives consume more power, higher performance (7200rpm), offer a 5 years warranty, up to 16 bays
– WD Red Pro drives consume more power, higher performance (7200rpm) and offer a 5 years warranty.

Seagate IronWolf:

– 1TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)
– 2TB from Amazon, B&H ($81.95)
– 3TB from Amazon, B&H ($94.95)
– 4TB from Amazon, B&H ($104.99)
– 6TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)
– 8TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)
– 10TB from Amazon, B&H ($269.95)
– 12TB from Amazon, B&H ($279.99)
– 14TB from Amazon, B&H ($499.99)
– 16TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)

Seagate IronWolf Pro:

– 2TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)
– 4TB from Amazon, B&H ($135.99)
– 6TB from Amazon, B&H ($199.99)
– 8TB from Amazon, B&H ($251.99)
– 10TB from Amazon, B&H ($305.59)
– 12TB from Amazon, B&H ($389.95)
– 14TB from Amazon, B&H ($440.00)
– 16TB from Amazon, B&H ($509.95)
– 18TB from Amazon, B&H ($579.95)

 Western Digital Red Pro:

– 2TB from Amazon or B&H ($99.99)
– 4TB from Amazon or B&H ($139.99)
– 6TB from Amazon or B&H ($194.99)
– 8TB from Amazon or B&H ($279.99)
– 10TB from Amazon or B&H ($349.99)
– 12TB from Amazon or B&H ($415.99)
– 14TB from Amazon or B&H ($459.99)
– 16TB from Amazon or B&H ($519.99)
– 18TB from Amazon or B&H ($608.99) 

The Best Surveillance, Video recording 3.5″ hard disk drives (HDD)

Designed for 24/7 usage, optimized for simultaneous read and write operations and RAID.

– WD Purple support up to 64 cameras, support for more than 8 bays, offer a 3 years warranty.
– Seagate Skyhawk support up to 64 cameras, up to 8 bays: 1-4TB, more than 8 bays: 6-10TB, 3 years warranty.

Western Digital Purple:

– 1 TB from Amazon, B&H ($59.99)
– 2 TB from Amazon, B&H ($79.99)
– 3 TB from Amazon
– 4 TB from Amazon, B&H ($139.99)
– 6 TB from Amazon, B&H ($199.99)
– 8 TB from AmazonB&H ($252.99)
– 10TB from Amazon, B&H ($329.99)
– 12TB from Amazon, B&H ($359.99)
– 14TB from Amazon, B&H ($499.99)
– 18TB from Amazon, B&H ($599.99)

Seagate Skyhawk:

– 1 TB from Amazon, B&H ($52.49)
– 2 TB from Amazon, B&H ($69.99)
– 3 TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)
– 4 TB from Amazon, B&H ($104.99)
– 6 TB from Amazon, B&H ($154.99)
– 8 TB from Amazon, B&H ($219.95)
– 10 TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)
– 12 TB from Amazon, B&H ($314.95)
– 14 TB from Amazon, B&H ($393.95)
– 16TB from Amazon, B&H ($389.95)

The Best Data Center / Enterprise 3.5″ hard disk drives (HDD)

High performance 7200rpm, 128 to 512MB cache, 5 years warranty, rated for a 550 TB workload per year, 2 millions hours MTBF and highly reliable.

Designed for enterprise servers, datacenter environments, enterprise storage systems, data warehousing/mining, enterprise NAS, and high end surveillance systems.

Being data center-oriented HDDs, they are optimized for RAID environments and they support technology that protects against vibration (by monitoring linear and rotational vibration in real time) as well as head positioning system, which improves positional accuracy. The drives also support time-limited error recovery technology (TLER), which prevents drive fallout caused by extended HDD error recovery processes.

Seagate Exos drives:

– 1TB from Amazon, B&H (N/A)
– 2TB from Amazon, B&H ($124.76)
– 4TB from Amazon, B&H ($140.99)
– 6TB from Amazon, B&H ($239.99)
– 8TB from Amazon, B&H ($229.00)
– 10TB from Amazon, B&H ($253.58) 
– 12TB from Amazon, B&H ($279.00)
– 14TB from Amazon, B&H ($299.99)
– 16TB from Amazon, B&H ($349.99)
– 18TB from Amazon, B&H ($468.99)

Western Digital HGST Ultrastar drives:

– 1TB from Amazon, B&H ($84.99)
– 2TB from Amazon, B&H ($109.99)
– 4TB from Amazon, B&H ($149.99)
– 6TB from Amazon, B&H ($179.99)
– 8TB from Amazon, B&H ($239.99)
– 10TB from Amazon, B&H ($289.99)
– 12TB from Amazon, B&H ($329.99)
– 14TB from Amazon, B&H ($459.99)

The Best 2.5″ Laptop Hard Disk Drives (HDD):

Compatibility warning:
Make sure to double-check which height of hard drives your laptop supports: 9.5mm are common, but some laptops only support drives with a 7mm height.

Mainstream performance 2.5″ 5,400rpm hard drives:

 1. Seagate 1 and 2TB

– 2 years warranty
1TB: Amazon or B&H ($46.95)
2TB: Amazon or B&H ($71.95)

High capacity 2.5″ hard drives:

3, 4 and 5TB 15mm thick 2.5″ Hard Drive:

– Seagate 3TB Barracuda ST3000LM024 15mm thick
– Seagate 4TB Barracuda ST4000LM024 15mm thick
– Seagate 5TB Barracuda ST5000LM000 15mm thick

These drives are NOT COMPATIBLE WITH LAPTOPS! With a height (thickness) of 15mm, they are mainly meant for bigger external enclosures, NAS, servers and desktops.
Double-check compatibility with your device before buying.

Note that they are SMR drives, with lower sustained write and random write performance.

– 3TB: Get it from Amazon
– 4TB: Get it from Amazon
– 5TB: Get it from: Amazon

Conclusion

I hope that you enjoyed the latest edition of this article.

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please leave a comment below!