It is not uncommon for me to provide advice to my friends on their Gadget Purchase Issues. The most frequent question being – Should I purchase Product A or Product B? Determining the superiority of a product is not only based on comparison of features, price & requirements; but also factors such as aesthetics, brand trust etc.
Some of my friends (not all of them well-heeled) prefer products that are stylish even if it means they are expensive and have less features than the nearest competing product; while others (who are quite well-heeled) solely request price as the decisive factor.
Making this decision for lifestyle related products can be daunting, but deciding on IT related products is generally a breeze courtesy clear cut documentation & competitive pricing.
When purchasing new hard disk drives, most common questions are:
- Desktop (3.5″) or Laptop (2.5″) profile?
- IDE (PATA) or SATA or USB or Firewire connectivity?
- Manufacturer: Seagate or Maxtor or Western Digital or Hitachi?
- Capacity: For data backup? For massive Internet downloads storage?
- Budgetary limitations?
While the first few questions are easy to answer, the thorniest question remains the price that should be paid. Some veer towards a drive that is clearly commanding a premium but features the latest and the greatest, while others veer towards the one which is the cheapest of the lot. This can sometimes result in the purchase of a drive that does not deliver the “best value”.
What I suggest to them is to consider the “Price per Gigabyte” factor and make the purchase.
The Price per Gigabyte factor can very easily reveal if you are paying premium prices, or if you are actually paying higher price/GB although the drive is the cheapest? The second situation is very likely if the drive you are purchasing is at-least 3 year old model and the manufacturer is incurring higher cost to produce this old piece of technology.
My studies have revealed that in today’s market, the 40GB drives deliver the worst price/GB, the 1.5 TB drives command the maximum premium (bad Price/GB) and the 1 TB drives actually have the lowest Price/GB although the 500GB drives seem way cheaper.
Click on the thumbnail image above to visit the Online Google Spreadsheet document that I have created and update from time to time. The document clearly mentions the various Hard Disc Drives available in South India, applicable prices, date of quotation and best Bang for Buck!
The document also feature a equivalent USD price for those who wish to import the HDD from a foreign country and want to decide if the premium they are paying in India justifies the pain in importing the unit. In some case, Indian prices are lower than that of other countries.
It is very easy to re-purpose this spreadsheet to calculate best bang-for-buck for items such as CPUs (MHz vs. Cost), Toner Cartridges (pages vs. cost), Groceries & Home-needs etc.
You can download and customize the Microsoft Excel 2003 spreadsheet to suit your own requirements. If you have thought of an interesting application of this concept, do share it other readers of this blog by leaving feedback in the comments.