Wednesday, February 21, 2007

$0.28 Per Gigabyte for 500GB Hard Drives

I purchased two 500GB hard drives from ZipZoomfly recently at a cost of $139.98 each.

Maxtor 7H500F0 500GB Serial ATA HDD 139.98
shipping & handling + 0.00
÷ 500GB
=$0.28 per gigabyte

Normally I'm a NewEgg fanboy, but I read some reviews on NewEgg that cited warranty concerns on OEM drives. Here's an example:

Cons: Regarding the controversy surrounding these drives' warranty/lack of warranty, let me offer some further insight. The retail version of this drive carries a 5 year warranty from Seagate--there is no dispute here. The version Newegg sells is an OEM version, which MAY or MAY NOT carry this warranty, depending on the source of the specific drives in any given purchase. Seagate customer service maintains that Newegg obtains some product from auctions (nothing wrong or illegal about this). However, the source of these auctioned drives can be corporate overstocks, bankrupted companies, etc., which companies may have originally purchased these drives directly from Seagate WITHOUT warranties.

Other Thoughts: If the specific drive you buy from Newegg originally came from one of these "warranty-less" batches, you are out of luck as far as warranty coverage. The only way to check to see whether your specific drive has a warranty is to go to Seagate's website and check the drive's serial number for warranty coverage. I'm sure a lot of the OEM product Newegg sells is, in fact, covered under the manufacturer's warranty. However, it is an undisputed fact that some of the product sold does not have any warranty coverage. Sort of like playing Russian roulette, don't you think? The bottom line: if getting the best possible price is most important to you and you are willing to take a risk, go for it. If guaranteed warranty coverage and security weigh heavily in the equation, I would pass on this particular deal.

ZipZoomfly listed the 5-year warranty right on their product page. I received the drives today, and they were OEM versions. I immediately verified the warranties by serial number on Seagate's website(Maxtor was recently purchased by Seagate), and both drives have warranties that expire in February of 2012. I do not relish the thought of data loss - it's nice to know Seagate has me covered, and ZipZoomfly is being upfront about the warranty. Unfortunately, NewEgg isn't posting their warranty info on their pages in that same upfront way. I won't be buying hard drives from NewEgg until warranty information is posted on their product pages.

I previously suggested 4 rules when buying a hard drive - those rules still apply.