Best Internal Hard Drive

In our search for the best internal hard-drive for work computers, home PCs or gaming rigs, we clocked over 10 hours testing 20 different drives. We tested everything from installation to drive type (HDD vs SSD) and speed on each of the drives, measuring them specifically on their ability to become a seamless component in your machine. We also looked for reliability and durability so you can buy without worrying about short lifespans. We also took into account product warranties, so you can rest assured that your drives are protected in the case of failure.

With all of these features and considerations in mind, we picked the WD Blue WD10EZEX 7200rpm internal hard drive as the winner for this category. Its trusted brand reliability, large variety of storage options and excellent warranty make this a hard option to beat. Continue reading below to learn more about the WD hard-drive and the other choices on our list.

Top 6 Best Internal Hard-Drive

 #1  WD Blue WD10EZEX Internal Hard-Drive

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: The WD Blue WD10EZEX internal hard drive is fast and reliable, with 7200 RPM of speed and high-quality Western Digital components. It also comes with a great 2 year warranty and tons of storage capacity options.

Pros
  • Best 7200 RPMUp to 6TB capacity
  • 2 year warranty
Cons
  • Slightly noisy
  • Not good for gaming

Whether you’re looking at the WD Blue WD10EZEX internal hard-drive to replace an outdated drive or build a new PC, you can bet you’re going to be getting a reliable unit here. Western Digital is well known for its high-quality drives built from premium materials, and that brand reliability is definitely present with this drive.

The WD Blue comes in a variety of storage capacities, ranging up to 6 terabytes, one of the widest varieties we feature on our list. This drive features 7,200 RPM of speed, which gives you around 120 MB/s of read and write speeds. This is a good amount of speed for most applications, but we weren’t impressed with the drive’s gaming performance. If you need an internal hard-drive for standard home and business use, the WD Blue WD10EZEX is an excellent choice. And in case you’ve got a PS4 and don’t want to deal with the install, check out our guide on the best external hard drive for the ps4.

 #2  SeaGate BarraCuda ST4000DM004 Internal Hard-Drive

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: The SeaGate BarraCuda ST4000DM004 is the most reliable internal hard drive on our list, with premium build quality, fast read/write speeds and cutting-edge caching technology. It also comes in a variety of storage capacities for the ultimate versatility.

Pros
  • Most reliable
  • Quick performance
  • Multi-tier caching technology
Cons
  • 5400 RPM is disappointing
  • Slow 4K speeds

SeaGate is one of the most well-known hard-drive brands and there’s a good reason for it, which is evident in the BarraCuda ST4000DM004 internal hard drive’s overall design and performance. While it only features a lower, 5400 RPM speed when compared to our top pick, the drive performs well, especially when it comes to large file transfers and storage. One of our favorite aspects of this internal hard-drive is its multi-tier caching technology, which improves overall read and write speeds by combining DRAM memory, NAND flash and media caching technologies.

The SeaGate BarraCuda also performs fairly well for gaming, in spite of the lower read/write speeds. You also get a wide variety of storage space options, from 500GB all the way up to 14TB. This is one of the widest ranges on our list, giving you the most flexibility in what you can do with your internal drive. Also, check out the best external hard drives for the Xbox One.

 #3  WL 3000GSA6472E 3TB Internal Hard-Drive

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: The WL 3000GSA6472E 3TB is a no frills internal hard-drive that offers top-of-the-line build quality and plenty of speed, making it perfect for enterprise applications. You also get an impressive 3 terabytes of storage space at an affordable entry point.

Pros
  • Best enterprise
  • 7200 RPM speeds
  • 3 TB of storage
Cons
  • Only 1 storage capacity option
  • 1 year warranty

If you’re looking for an internal hard-drive for business applications, look no further than the WL 3000GSA6472E 3TB drive. This HDD offers 3 terabytes of total storage space and snappy read and write speeds. During our testing, we measured transfer rates up to 6 GB/s and sustained data rates of around 171 MB/s, both of which are good speeds for business applications.

We were also most impressed with the WL 3000GSA6472E 3TB hard-drive’s overall build quality. Built from premium components, this drive will last a long time and can be used for high-capacity solutions like datacenters, business desktop computers or surveillance camera storage. Also, consider the best external SSD, as they’re easy to install, portable and ultra fast.

 #4  SK hynix Gold S31 1TB Internal Hard-Drive

Award: BEST SOLID STATE

WHY WE LIKE IT: The SK hynix Gold S31 solid-state drive is the best internal hard drive for gaming on our list. With blazing fast read and write speeds, along with a rock solid warranty, this drive is the perfect upgrade for any PC.

Pros
  • Bestfor gaming
  • Up to 560 MB/s speed
  • 5 year warranty
Cons
  • Not many storage choices
  • Installation can be tricky

If you’re looking for the best internal hard-drive for PC gaming, look no further than the SK hynix Gold S31 SSD. This is a solid-state drive that provides excellent speeds for starters: up to 560 MB/s for read speeds and up to 535 MB/s for write speeds. It also offers better durability and lifespan than other models we tested, with support for up to 1.5 million hours MTBF (mean time between failures) and up to 600 terabytes written over the life of the drive.

SK hynix also produces all of their components in house, so you know you’re getting a reliable drive that just works. We were a little disappointed with the overall installation process. There aren’t very clear instructions on where to download the cloning and migration software (you can download it directly from SK’s website). On the plus side, this is a 2.5 inch drive, making it the best hard drive for laptop on our list. All in all, this solid-state drive is an excellent choice if you’re looking for speed and reliability in your gaming PC or gaming laptop. And speaking of solid state, take a look at the best micro SD cards on the market today.

 #5  MaxDigitalData MD1000GSA6472 1TB Internal Hard-Drive

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: The MaxDigitalData MD1000GSA6472 brings you speed and reliability on a budget, making it the best 7200 RPM internal hard-drive on our list. If you’re looking for a new drive on a budget, you can’t go wrong with this option.

Pros
  • Best for RAIDUltra quiet operation
  • 2 year warranty
Cons
  • No variety in storage capacity options
  • No variety in storage capacity options

The MaxDigitalData MD1000GSA6472 doesn’t stray too far from the beaten path in design or cutting-edge features, but it excels at providing speed and reliability. With a total of 7200 RPM as it runs, this internal hard-drive is one of the fastest HDDs on our list with read and write speeds up to around 150MB/s. This speed mixed with an affordable entry point make this hard drive a wonderful option for anyone who wants reliable performance without spending a ton of money for it.

This hard-drive is also built well, with ultra quiet operation even during heavy usage periods. We were impressed that the MaxDigitalData drive could keep noise to a minimum, which is one of the main reasons this is the best cheap drive on our list. We were a little disappointed that you couldn’t get any other storage tiers with this hard-drive, but the 1TB capacity should be more than enough for most users. If you’re looking for a great hard-drive on a budget, the MaxDigitalData MD1000GSA6472 is the pick for you. And while it’s cheap, it’s not portable, so have a look at the best USB flash drives if you need something on the go.

 #6  Toshiba HDWE140XZSTA Internal Hard-Drive

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Toshiba HDWE140XZSTA is the best internal hard drive for desktop computers on our list because of its ultra-high storage capacity, durable design and overall high speeds. Whether you have a gaming PC or high-performance workstation, this hard-drive can handle your needs.

Pros
  • Best for desktop computers
  • Durable overall design
  • Comprehensive built-in protection
Cons
  • Loud operation
  • Can sometimes run hot

The Toshiba HDWE140XZSTA brings more performance and quality to the table than most internal hard drives available on the market today. With 7200 RPM of speed, a whopping 4TB of capacity (configurable up to 8TB, making this the largest internal hard-drive on our list) and built-in, comprehensive protection, this drive easily takes the spot for best quality on our list. If you need a new drive for a high-performance workstation or gaming rig, you cannot go wrong with this Toshiba drive.

We were pleased with the overall design quality of the Toshiba, as well. It’s built to last and comes with a 2 year warranty to protect it against any initial failures, which is always nice. Be aware that the drive can run a little hot during peak performance, and it gets noisier than other models, but these things don’t detract from the drive’s overall performance. We were also impressed with the built-in data protection the Toshiba offers. With an internal shock sensor and ramp-loading technology, this drive works to protect itself from any harm so you don’t have to worry about any data loss.

How We Decided

When researching and testing the best internal hard-drives, we looked at a variety of different models from different brands while reviewing features like performance, ease of installation and overall storage capacity. Most of the drives we picked list a single storage capacity but you can typically purchase them in any size you want.

Overall speed and performance are among the most important features to consider when purchasing, so the drives we included on our list are among the fastest and most reliable internal hard drives you can buy today. When it comes to speed, you can only choose between 5400 RPM (100 MB/s) or 7200 RPM (120 MB/s) on HDDs, and we of course favored drives with higher speeds..

We included both solid-state drives and hard-disk drives on our list, without favoring one over the other. Solid-state drives are typically much faster than HDDs, which is why they’ll always win in the speed department, but they are also more expensive and offer lower capacity on average than HDDs. More important than SSD vs. HDD was the overall build quality and durability of the drives we included on our list. We only included options that are built from high-quality components. In the same vein as durability, we also focused on the warranties included with the hard-drives on our list. While you should always purchase a drive with at least a one year warranty, we favored hard-drives with longer warranties since you’ll be using the drive you purchase for much longer than a year.

As a final note, we didn’t rate drives with more storage higher since most options come in a variety of different storage capacities based on your needs.

Best Internal Hard-Drive Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. SSD vs HDD
    The first question you should ask yourself before purchasing a new internal hard-drive for your PC is whether you want a solid-state drive (SSD) or hard-disk drive (HDD). Both hardware components have their own pros and cons, but what you choose can have a huge impact in how your system runs certain applications. If you’re looking for more storage at a better price, HDDs are typically the way to go. HDDs are also typically better for storing larger individual files than SSDs. However, if you’re looking for speed and longer lifespan, SSDs are the way to go.
  2. Speed
    Since HDDs are literally just spinning disks, their speed is measured in RPMs. The higher the RPM, the faster you can expect the HDD to work. The best internal hard-drives will feature a speed of at least 7,200 RPM, while you can expect budget options to perform at 5,400 RPM and premium options to perform at 10,000 RPM or higher. Speed is also measured in megabytes per second of data written to or read from the hard-drive. A 7,200 RPM HDD will typically have a read/write speed of around 150MB/s. The speed of SSDs can also be measured in MB/s, with typical speeds sitting around 550MB/s.
  3. Storage Capacity
    You can’t forget about storage capacity when purchasing a new internal hard-drive. While a good bulk of customers purchase a new hard-drive because their old one went bad, there are just as many customers (if not more) who are simply looking to increase the amount of storage they have on their computer. You can purchase hard-drives in almost any size you want, but be aware that price goes up the more storage capacity you purchase.
  4. Cache
    The amount of cache, or high-speed RAM, that your hard-drive features directly affects the unit’s overall performance. Drives with more cache perform faster than those with less. Most hard-drives feature a 64 MB cache, but you can purchase options with up to 256 MB of cache, if you need the extra buffer.
  5. Interface
    There are a variety of different interfaces, or connection types, that hard-drives use to connect to your PC’s motherboard. While older drives used IDE ports, most modern drives use SATA III for their interface type. SATA III is good for personal usage and if you’re buying a new drive for your home computer, we recommend finding a drive with this interface. You may also see interface types like SCSI or SAS, which are better for enterprise storage options.

Internal Hard-Drive FAQs

What is the most reliable hard drive?

The most reliable hard drive on our list is the SeaGate BarraCuda ST4000DM004. This best-of-class internalSeaGate hard-drive is built with premium components and the brand reliability of one of the biggest names in storage: SeaGate.

What are the fastest internal hard drives?

Solid-state drives are usually the fastest hard drives you can buy today. Since they rely on flash storage technology instead of moving components, SSDs can read and write data much faster than traditional HDDs.

Which internal hard drive is best for PC?

The internal hard drive that’s best for PC based on our testing is the Toshiba HDWE140XZSTA because of its high storage, fast read/write speeds and built-in protection features.

Are hard drives universal?

For the most part, internal hard-drives are compatible with any computer. However, you need to make sure the hard-drive you purchase shares the same interface as your PC’s motherboard. If you buy a unit that doesn’t share a connection type, then it won’t work. SATA is the current standard, so if you purchase a drive with a SATA interface, you’ll likely be alright. You should also consider drive height, especially when buying a drive for a laptop. If you get a drive that’s too big, you’ll need to find something smaller.

Can hard drives be repaired?

Yes, most hard drives can be repaired, but the type of repair depends on the amount of damage done to the drive. In some cases, repair simply means recovering data from the drive. However, you should never try to repair an internal hard-drive yourself unless you have experience with hard-drive repair. It’s incredibly easy to damage your drive even further if you try to fix it yourself. We always recommend taking your PC to a reliable and trustworthy repair shop for hard-drive repairs.

Are hard drives plug and play?

For the most part, internal hard drives are plug and play, as long as you have the correct interface. Once you plug the drive in and turn your computer on, the operating system should detect the new drive and automatically install the appropriate drivers, if necessary.

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Ryan Hansen

When he’s not exploring everything Oregon has to offer with his family, Ryan Hansen is probably writing. He loves writing about anything he can get his hands on, and is always anxious for the next adventure.

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