Three years ago I decided to upgrade the harddrive in my desktop as I was running out of space only my old 100g drive. I plumped for the Seagate 500gb hard drive due to the many reviews that I had read that praised it for its reliability and quietness. True to form the drive did not disappoint. I had been used to my old drive clunking away but the noise from this one is barely audible and it appears to kick out a lot less heat than my previous drive. Speed wise, it was great when I first bought it although at 5900rpm it does seem a little slow compared to more modern 7200rpm drives.
Until yesterday the reliability has been great. I did not have a single hardware related crash in the three years since I bought it....in fact I almost wish it had crashed more often as I had no warning when it died. The last harddrive that died on me would have problems booting, would make strange clicking noises and would crash fairly regularly - all signs that it was on its last legs. This Seagate drive worked perfectly until without any warning the pc stopped recognising it. Given the good reviews and my good experience to date I am willing to put this down to a one off and my replacement drive has already been ordered and will also be a Seagate.
One word of warning - the drive requires a Sata interface on your motherboard - be careful here if you have an old pc as many of these will only accept IDE drives.
You can pick up one of these on Amazon for around £35 but if you are considering doing that I recommend you spend fifteen quid extra and get yourself the Seagate 7200rpm 1tb drive. The extra capacity will mean it will last you a lot longer and at 7200rpm it will run noticeably faster as well.
I have always been partial to Seagate products ever since my bad experience of dead on arrival hard drives from Wester Digital and Samsung.
My trust in Seagate is not unfounded or misplaced, they have delivered reliability and performance hard drives with their range of products.
I used to run this as a backup secondary drive to store photos, music and videos. The tough question is whether or not 500GB is enough and to answer it all really depends on how much you stash trash. To break it down according to my personal use; nearly 3/5th of the 500GB (thats 300GB) was used up for videos - and lots of them too as I record at every opportunity. The rest is an amalgamation of photos and music files; although more photos than music.
As is probably the defacto standard nowadays (especially with newer motherboards) the hardrive requires a SATA interface. So if your motherboard does not support SATA then you need to look elsewhere or upgrade your motherboard. Its quite a speedy card because the new interface allows for greater transfer speeds than older IDEs.
At 5900 rpm it isn't the fastest product available so if you are going to use it for programmes and games that rely upon faster load times this is probably not the drive for you. However because it operates at 5900rpm it is almost inaudible. In fact you will barely hear it spin or make a crinkly noise one would otherwise expect. It also leaves a very low heat signature therfore improves overall inside case and motherboard temperatures. A lot of the high performance hard drives produce a lot of heat.
Final say: Depending on your usage patterns (I recommend analysing how you use your current one HD) this would be an ideal hard drive as a storage medium. If it is coupled with a faster 7200/10000 rpm hard drive or a solid state hard drive, this will operate quite and cool.
Looking to add some more space to your PC for any purpose? Then look no further then this, ideal as both a primary OS drive as well as a secondary hard drive.
Now I use my PC for a lot of gaming, video editing and photo editing so space is always proving to be an issue for me, so far I've been using this for just that. After shifting my Steam folder to this drive, game load times have been significantly reduced as well as the frequent updates that come with using such a service. Instead of me having to wait for videos to load in After Effects, I now find my technical abilities are now the only thing taking the most time. With so much space I doubt that it would be possible to take enough images to fill this drive, 500GB is an ideal size especially if you just intend on storing images on it. For someone editing HD videos, you may find that the space will be filled quickly but this is entirely dependent on how much you intend to store.
Currently I use this hard drive as secondary storage primarily for games, this is paired up with a 160GB drive that I store Windows on; by pairing up drives speed has been increased because two data sources can be accessed at one time. With the speed offered by using one of these hard drives, one can only imagine the potential speeds that RAID would allow.