Hard drives are computer components that store gigabytes of data, and serve as a repository for a user's documents, programs, applications, and files. Selecting the right drive for your system can be a difficult decision as there are quite a few factors to consider, and before buying a hard drive, you'll need to check to see if the drive meets all your basic requirements.
One of the main things to be kept in mind is the size. Hard drives are available in different storage capacities. Although a 1tb hard drive space sounds great, few computer users, apart from gamers, will have use for this much hard drive space. On the other hand, if it's for some basic computer usage, you can buy from the smallest drive available of 40 GB up to 80 GB of hard drive size, depending on your storage usage.
The size of the drives determines the cost. The higher the capacity, the more it's going to cost you, so choose a drive that is a perfect match for both your wallet and your need. Apart from the capacity, you should also check the speed of data access, buying the fastest drive you can in accordance with your budget.
The pricing of hard drive is also affected by the revolution per minute or RPM - the speed at which the hard disk revolves in the disk drive. The higher the RPM, the faster information is found on the drives. A rotation speed between 5400 to 7200 RPM is standard, and 10000 RPM offers the fastest hard drive performance.
Finally, determine if you'll need an IDE hard drive or a SATA hard drive interface, the choice of which is dictated by your motherboard, and depending on your requirement, you'll need to buy either external or internal hard drive.
Hard Drive: IDE/SATA
Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) and the Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) are two varieties of interface that connects the hard drives and the computer. As the technology has improved, the speed at which the hard drives work has increased with SATA offering faster and more efficient data transfer. SATA is used in all modern desktop computers and laptop hard drive, and has speed ranging between 150MB/s and 300MB/s, depending on the connection type. IDE is used in older computers. The ATA33, ATA66, ATA100 and ATA133 hard drives in IDE have corresponding transfer rates in MB/s, the bigger number achieving the maximum performance.
Hard Drive: External Hard Drives
With the increase of malware and multiple people using a single system with people wanting more hard drive space for music and videos, external hard drive offers a great solution for users. Not only do these drives give you additional space for storing data, but the portable external hard drive devices are also easy to use and transfer data. As this type of hard drive is not connected to the main computer all the time and sits in a portable encasement outside the main computer tower, it allows users to secure important data, store backups, and transfer data to another computer easily.
Earlier, this type of hard drive was not compact or portable. However, with the addition of USB hard drive and other types of portable hard drives, it became commonplace amongst computer users.
With a wide variety of choices available for hard drives, it becomes important to select a stable and durable brand. Branded hard drive devices like Seagate hard drive, Seagate external hard drive, Western Digital external hard drive, and Iomega external hard drive are known for their quality. Although you cannot notice any perceptible difference in the short run, for the long haul they are very reliable.
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