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When you think of shopping for a hard drive, the first criteria you might have set for consideration is its performance. The best performance hard drives are necessary for serious gaming, video editing, graphics designing, servers and workstations.

Price is the the nearest indicator of relative performance of the hard drives, higher the performance more is the price. So, your aim should be to buy a hard drive which apart from delivering high performance fits right in your budget too. The most important specification which contributes to the performance of a hard drive is its speed. This comprises of spindle speed and data transfer rate. In addition, the cache size of hard drives also affect the performance to a good extent.

When drives spin at a faster speed, it takes lesser time to access the data from their platters. Platters are disks stacked together one above another on which drive stores data. You should ideally go for high performance hard drives having a spindle speed of 7200 RPM. There is need for more performance in servers and workstations where the spindle speeds could be 10000 RPM or 15000 RPM.

The foremost essentiality prior to choosing a hard drive is to check that your system and hard drive must support the same standard. There are all sorts of internal and external hard drives present in the market. SATA and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) are currently dominating the market for performance internal drives' interface. For external drives delivering high performance, Thunderbolt is the newest interface with transfer speed up to 10Gbps but mostly supported on MacBooks without any driver installation.

The actual speed with which drives read or write data is slower than the interface transfer rate. The external data transfer rate should be more than 160 Mbps in these performance hard drives which will decide how fast the data is moved between the drive platters and the computer.

In large production enterprises, probably hard drives with Gigabit Ethernet would perform well as data have to be shared with different workstations. However, heat generation should be controlled in high performance hard drives for servers and workstations. Glass platters are more stable to temperature changes than aluminum platters.

Caching buffer of 16 MB to 64 MB is common in the topmost performance hard drives. While working with large videos and audio files, if data is already in the buffer then for the next request it won't be required to fetch the data from the disk platters all over again. Less time would be taken in data read and therefore performance would increase.

To help you further with your buying decision, we present here our listing of the best performance hard drive of 2013 based on opinions of the topmost reviewers across the web.

Browse All Top Performance Hard Drives »

WesternDigital My Book 4TB

WD My Book 4TB External Hard Drive Storage


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WD My Book 4TB
WD My Book Studio Mac
WD My Passport for Mac
Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB (STCK1000100)
Toshiba Canvio Slim
WD My Book 4TB External Hard Drive Storage
WD My Book Studio 2TB Mac External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0
WD My Passport for Mac 1TB  USB 3.0
Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB Built-In Wi-Fi Streaming (STCK1000100)
Toshiba Canvio Slim Portable Hard Drive 500GB
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Release Date
Oct 2012
Oct 2012
Aug 2012
Jan 2013
Sep 2012
Capacity
4096.0 GB
2048.0 GB
1024.0 GB
1024.0 GB
500.0 GB
Designation
Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer
Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer, Tower & Drive Cases
Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer
Desktop Computer
Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer
Enclosure
External
Plug-In Module
External
External
External
HDD Form Factor
3.5'
3.5"
Interface
USB, Serial ATA, FireWire
USB 3.0, USB 2.0
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
Serial ATA
USB
Spindle Speed
7200.0 RPM
7200.0 RPM
7200.0 RPM
7200.0 RPM
5400.0 RPM

  • The WD My Book (4TB) desktop-class external hard drive is a basic, large-capacity drive. It's what you need if you're a compulsive video downloader, photograph everything you do, or need to keep every MP3 you own in one place.


  • Western Digital's 4TB My Book World Edition II NAS device is an easy and reasonably cheap way to store large amounts of data in a central location. Its overall performance is slow, but for tasks where speed isn't critical this NAS device is a decent choice.

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    Western Digital's 4TB My Book World Edition II NAS device is an easy and reasonably cheap way to store large amounts of data in a central location. Its overall performance is slow, but for tasks where speed isn't critical this NAS device is a decent choice.

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    Compact and light enough to easily fit in a backpack or briefcase, Western Digitalâ?? s My Book Studio external hard drive is a cute little bugger. Designed to resemble a book, the 6.5-inch tall drive stands upright, and you have the option of digitally labeling your drive (with 12 characters or less) so itâ?? ll read like a title on the binding a book.

    Designed specifically for a Mac, this plug-in-and-go drive is compatible with Appleâ??


  • For the Mac user who requires copious storage but not the mirroring capability of the Studio II, the Western Digital My Book Studio (2TB) makes a good Time Machine or working storage drive.


  • Western Digital's My Book Studio Edition is quite possibly the sexiest external hard drive we've seen, if we're allowed to call external hard drives that. The powdered silver casing is one of luxury, a single stretched ovoid line lit by white LEDs calmly and serenely tracks back and forth when it's in use.


  • The WD My Passport Portable makes an excellent portable drive for use with both desktop and laptop computers, at home or while on the road.


  • The market is pretty saturated with USB-only drives from a variety of manufacturers. Price per gigabyte and speed have become paramount concerns, and the only technical way to compare the contenders. The My Passport for Mac stacks up well against competing drives, producing some of the best times we've seen in a USB-only drive. It has comparatively strong pricing (though it's by no means the cheapest on the market), and it has a solid warranty behind it.


  • The Western Digital My Passport offers a spacious hard drive for casual Mac users who simply want to back their data up, but there are faster drives with faster connections available.

  • Rating Unavailable

    If you have a digital library that's larger than the capacity of your tablet and want to bring it all with you on the go, the Wireless Plus is arguably the best choice on the market.


  • If you have a digital library that's larger than the capacity of your tablet and want to bring it all with you on the go, the Wireless Plus is arguably the best choice on the market.