Computer Hard Drives: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying One
Hard drives are an essential part of modern computers. It’s recommended to buy a new drive every few years, to use it as an extra hard drive or replace an old one. However, with so many options available, which one do you choose?
The best thing about shopping for hard drives is that it’s not that difficult. So long as you stick to the following guidelines, you shouldn’t have to worry about purchasing the wrong drive or anything of the sort.
HDD vs. SSD
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The very first point to consider is whether to choose a solid state drive (SSD) or not. Although an SSD functions just like a HDD (hard disk drive), it comes with its own pros and cons.
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So, how is an SSD different from an HDD?
Firstly, SSDs are faster in reading and writing data. Secondly, SSDs consume less power, which conserves energy and extends the life of laptop batteries. Thirdly, since SSDs do not have moving parts, they do not make noise and last longer. The drawback is that they have small storage space and are more expensive than HDDs.
What’s more important? If you just need a backup drive or price’s an issue, go for a traditional HDD. But if the drive will launch an operating system or contain numerous frequently-accessed files and applications, especially video games, choose an SSD instead.
Size and interface
After choosing between a hard disk drive and solid state drive, it’s time to select a form factor. Luckily, there are only two options and your choice will depend on your current setup. The form factors are 3.5 and 2.5-inch drives.
Desktop HDDs are usually 3.5 inches while laptop HDDs are usually 2.5 inches. SSDs, on the other hand, are much smaller since they do not require moving parts. Therefore, most SSDs tend to be 2.5 inches.
Performance and specifications
When it comes to storage capacity, there are all kinds of sizes of HDDs, and the storage limit is 4TB owing to physical limitations. SSDs, on the other hand, are far smaller and the storage capacity doesn’t go beyond 1TB. Despite that, many SDDs rarely exceed 512GB.
Many factors influence hard disk drive performance, but one vital factor is RPMs (revolutions per minute. The higher the RPMs the faster the transfer of data.
There’s a wide variety of prices for drives that look really similar on the outside. It’s your call to choose which factors matter to your requirements and to choose a drive that suits those parameters.
Internal versus external
The final point to consider is where the drive’s going to be housed. Will it be housed inside the casing? Or will it be set up externally? Either way, your selection will be dictated by your preferences and needs.