Considering that we’re living in the age of technology, talking about computers every once in a while is inevitable. These data processing devices have been used for several decades, and they keep getting better at what they can do each time the earth completes its orbit around the sun. Forgive the seemingly off introduction, but computers are evolving at a steadier pace than most of us can catch up with!
Well, the good thing is that the reliability of your computer will basically depend on its specs, and what you do with it. Now, the hard drive literally stores all the data that needs processing or retrieving at a later date/time, which only means one thing. It is undeniably one of the most important parts of the computer, providing storage room for your documents, videos, photos, music, operating system, and other software.
The Importance of Hard Drive Storage
All in all, your computer’s storage disk can have an impact on its overall performance, effectiveness, and reliability. Whether you’re getting a new laptop or buying a new hard drive for your desktop computer, you need to put a few things in mind to ensure you make the right pick. These may range from the drive’s technical parameters to motherboard compatibility and a lot more. Despite having said enough already, here are a few tips on how to choose the right computer hard drive.
Understand the Different Types of Hard Drives
In today’s market, various types of computer hard drives are available. As you can see at this URL, some of these range from SATA SSD to M.2, and NVMe SSD. HDD options are also quite common, sometimes giving the various types of SSD a run for their money depending on the intended use. To make the right pick for your computer, here are some hard drive types you should know about.
● Solid-State Drives (SSD)
The acronym SSD has become a staple these days in the computer market. It is among the latest and most preferred types of hard drives because of its numerous perks over its earlier HDD counterpart. Since it is made entirely of memory chips, a solid-state drive is quieter, faster, and more reliable compared to traditional hard disks like HDDs that come with rotating magnetic parts.
Moreover, SSDs are more generous when it comes to power consumption, and they’re also less likely to crash or experience failure. However, you can expect to spend more on an SSD hard drive compared to traditional options like SATA HDD.
● Serial ATA (SATA) HDD
For starters, HDD is the short name for the hard disk drive. SATA or Serial ATA hard drives are among the most common types of HDD hard drives used today. This is perhaps because of their reliable speed, longer connection cables, and more connection ports on the desktop motherboard.
They are available in two sizes, with desktop and laptop SATA HHD drives measuring 3.5 and 2.7 inches respectively. The main difference between SATA HDD drives versus SSD drives is that the former depends on the rotation speed of magnetic discs to transmit data. Also, SATA drives may have different speeds depending on the model. Besides, they are cheaper compared to SSD as well.
As the revolutions per minute increase, however, the vulnerability of failure also increases in SATA hard drives. Other than this, SATA drives will often require unique drivers, plus the cables will only connect a single hard drive at a time. HHD drives also tend to have limited data transfer and lower loading speed compared to SSD.
Hard Drive Interface
Once you’ve considered the above factors, you may also want to think about the best connection interface before picking a hard drive for your PC. SATA and SSD drives have their own unique, specific connection interfaces in this regard. If you’re buying a hard drive for an older PC, however, you might want to dig deeper. At the very least, you should understand the following options:
As an acronym, SCSI stands for Small Computer System Interface. Developed in the seventies, it is actually considered a type of (outdated) hard disk drive. The drive used a flat ribbon connector with 50 pins to connect to the motherboard and other peripherals. Surprisingly, you could connect between seven and fifteen drives to a single motherboard using SCSI connectors and enjoy data transfer speeds of up to eighty Mbps!
● Parallel ATA (PATA) IDE
Also known as IDE or Integrated Drive Electronics, these drives have also been around for ages. They were developed in the mid-eighties, to be precise. The interface allows several devices to be connected to the computer simultaneously. While you could get up to 133 MB/s of data transfer speed, you are less likely to need these if you have a modern computer.
Storage space is something you can never run away from when getting a hard drive for your Mac, PC, or laptop. Well, this will largely depend on how you want to use the hard drive and what you do with your computer. For instance, most people find 320GB to 500GB storage, all the way to 1TB storage satisfying for personal or professional use. All the same, you might want to get a larger HDD or SSD depending on your budget if you constantly deal with large files daily.
Internal Versus External Hard Drive
When buying a computer, it will most likely come with an internal hard drive, which you can choose based on factors such as storage space, drive type, and so forth. If it’s time to upgrade your storage memory, however, you may want to pick between an internal or external hard drive.
Well, internal drives are more common for both laptops and desktop computers. This is where you have to choose between HDD and SSD options as explained above. They are always accessible anytime when using the designated computer, but they could limit you when it comes to portability and convenience.
On the other hand, external hard drives afford you the privilege of moving around with your essential data while on the go. With a portable hard drive, you can access your files from any computer whenever and wherever you please, as long as you have a USB connector. Wi-Fi-compatible “plug and play” hard drives are also available these days.
To sum it up, choosing a computer hard drive can be a challenging task. You need to consider a range of factors, including storage capacity, drive type, interface, and motherboard compatibility, among others. Luckily, the few tips above can help make your search less intimidating and your decision-making much easier.
About the Author
Jenna Kramer works as a Growth Assistant for a social platform where people ask questions, get expert video consultation, share knowledge and experience. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering and has been working in the field of Digital Marketing for the past two years. She is also a voracious reader and a big sports fan.