Planning to buy a new hard drive for your system? Often we find ourselves compromising on either performance or storage space. Our team conducted a research on hard drives and came up with some useful tips which will surely help you in getting a hard drive with decent storage space and good performance for an affordable price.
Decide the type of Hard Drive needed:
The first thing you must decide on is the purpose for which you are buying a hard drive. It may be required to replace the existing out dated hard drive with a new one or can be used as an additional storage for storing useful data.
There are following types of hard drive each one associated with a specific purpose:
(1) Internal Hard Drive – It is the simplest, less costly drive available .The existing hard drive can be replaced with a new one inside the system.
(2) External Hard Drive – They are little costlier than Internal Hard Drive but more convenient to use. They can be connected to the system using the USB port and can be seen as an additional storage option to the existing drive.
(3) Portable Hard Drive – A portable drive is similar to external drive with added shock protection for frequent usage and transportation.
(4) Network Hard Drive – Whether External or internal, network drives save data through multiple computers connected on a network. These drives should be large and faster, since they may be accessed by multiple users at a time.
Choose between Solid State Drive and Hard Disk Drive:
The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) has been the standard technology for storage drives for many years, but Solid State Drives (SSD) are gaining in popularity. The primary reason for this is the lack of mechanical moving parts in a SSD. This reduces the chances of drive failure and hence, the loss of your data. Solid state drives are also faster at accessing data and faster at the start up, and they’re not affected by magnetic fields or sudden temperature changes like a HDD. An important benefit is that hard disk drives offer over SSD is more storage space for less cost. A HDD can have twice the capacity of a SSD. In modern days, both internal HDD and SSD use SATA connectors. Some older HDD may use IDE connectors but it is a rare case. SSD’s are generally smaller than HDD’s as there are no moving parts in a Solid State Drive. A HDD may be typically of 3.5 inches while and SSD can have 2.5 inch standard size.
Getting the right Storage Space:
Storage space is a deciding factor when shopping for a Hard Drive. Always consider buying the Hard Drive with little more space than our requirements. If you store full-length movies or videos on your computer, you’ll require as large a drive as possible. If you use your system for games, you will need storage space of 20GB or more per game. Photos and music can also take up a lot of space. The Maximum storage size of a Solid State Drive is of 1TB while that of an HDD is 4TB.
Hard Drives are mainly mapped on following performance criteria:
- Access Time: It is the time taken by the reader to position itself to read or write data from/to the disk. This will greatly vary in different Hard Drives and should be taken care of before buying.
- Transfer Speed: Higher the Revolution Per Minute(RPM), more is the transfer speed. A 7200 RPM HDD is definitely going to be faster than a 5400 RPM HDD even if the latter has more SATA speed value.
- Cache space: A cache or buffer space is a temporary storage space for easily storing the data to be transferred. Larger the cache space, more will be the speed. An HDD can have a cache size of 8MB to 128MB.
In General, modern SSD’s have longer life than moder HDD’s. But for long term and disconnected storage needs, HDD is more reliable than SSD.
Connectivity and Interface options:
Following are the types of connectivity options available for connecting Hard Drives and your system.
(1) Universal Serial Bus (USB) .: They can be connected using the system’s USB port.
(2) IEEE 1394 (Firewire) – The IEEE port can be utilized for the connection.
(3) Wi-Fi – Hard Drives can be connected wirelessly over the network.
(4) Ethernet -.An Ethernet adapter can be used for the connection.
(5) Serial ATA (SATA) : These are mostly used these days for the internal Hard Disk connection.
The Price Factor:
The last factor is the price of the Hard Drive. We should always spend what is affordable as per our needs. Consider ‘price per GB’ as an option when deciding on the price factor. The price can be divided by the storage available and go for a decent value for money option.
To ensure a longer life span, we should always keep the Hard Drive clean and constantly scan for viruses and other errors.