The Storage Effect

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Are hard drive reviews only for techies?

Image by: http://www.everymac.com/

When it comes to hard drive reviews, does anyone but the true tech enthusiast read them?

The great tech reviewer Dong Ngo offers up a glimpse into how CNET conducts their internal, external, and network based storage reviews: How CNET tests storage devices

I can see real value in the testing of hard drives, especially external and network based solutions, because general consumers need such information to make an educated decision.  But when it comes to internal drives, do the reviews resonate with the masses – those non-technical users out there that just want a faster more reliable system?

3 reasons why they may not:

1. Internal hard drive upgrades are not for everyone:  Though hard drive upgrades are fairly simple these days and there are a ton of videos that show you how, many consumers just won’t open up their desktop or notebook and fiddle around with cables, screws, software, etc.  The main reason:  fear.  Fear of voiding a warranty. Fear of doing something wrong and rendering the system useless.

2. Consumers seldom (if ever) know what internal drives are integrated into OEM solutions. The OEMs like Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. have no issue promoting what specific Intel processor is in the system, but seldom will specify what hard drive make and model they use.  Maybe it’s Intel’s marketing clout. Maybe it simply comes down to the OEM placing more marketing value on the processor than the drive.  Of course, there are exceptions like Seagate’s Laptop SSHD – solid state hybrid drive (formerly known as Momentus XT) because it is a unique storage device with a unique value prop to the consumer. But, in general, the rule is capacity + spin speed and nothing else.

3. Consumers seldom (if ever) can specify what specific make and model they want the OEM to integrate. When was the last time you went to Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. and requested a Seagate or WD hard drive model based on the latest review, and they accomodated?  I would argue never. The large OEMs are not designed to hand pick drives and integrate them.  They are about mass production and scale. True custom configurations is not their core competency. Enter the value prop of the local white-box system builder.

Why is this?  Why has the hard drive been demoted to a commodity?  The processor may be the engine that determines how fast a PC is, but the storage is the one thing that takes care of the photos, home movies, music, etc. that we cannot imagine losing, and it makes a huge difference in terms of overall system performance. So, why wouldn’t storage make and model be of marketing value?

Next time you purchase a PC…try asking for a specific make and model of storage and see what kind of response you get. Until the answer is a Seagate or WD XYZ, you’re going to have to trust the CNETs of the world and upgrade on your own.

Have you upgraded your PC lately?  How easy was it?

Related Posts:

Notebook shopping is about how much storage you can afford

Will Windows 8 be deja vu for hard drive sales?

Apple Fusion Drive or Seagate SSHD? Is there a difference?

 

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