You don't have to be a gamer to understand the value of hard disk drives. They
have been the main stay for storage in PCs for a long time. For the most part,
desktop users are more concerned with performance in single drive configurations
and RAID 0 (striping). RAID support do offer the capabilities to 'squeeze' more
performance out of hard drives, but not without some compromise. Even if they
don't use RAID capabiliites, users can still use two (or more) drives in their
system - one for the systems and applications and the other for data.
Out of the many SATA II hard drives available on the market, the drives we're
going to look at today are the 80 and 160 GB Hitachi's Deskstar (HDS721616PLA
P220 and HDS728080PLA PF20), Seagate's Barracuda 7200.9 (ST3160211A and
ST380211AS) and Western Digital's Caviar SE (WD800AAJS and WD1600AAJS).