How to Choose a New Hard Drive

July 7, 2009 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Day by day computers are getting more advanced. Capacity and performance are increasing with every passing year. This is true for the primary storage also. Latest Hard disks are getting bigger in capacity and with higher rotational speed can access the data faster. This is good news for computer users. The digital revolution has brought with it the need to store vast amounts of data. The new Hard disks are ready to take the challenge. Whats more, these Hard disks with higher capacity are affordable.

Thanks to a very competitive market and demanding consumers. Hard disk technology is suitable for the speed demands of todays applications. The 7200 rpm hard disk drives with a minimum storage space of 40 GB and above are now more common than ever before. The demand for storage in PCs has boomed. With a lot of multimedia files being used today, including MP3, Flash files and movies—even todays entry level 40 GB hard disks are often proving to small for many users. Consequently, 80 – 400 GB, 7200 rpm drives are also available and are preferred by professionals.

Depending on your need, you should select the proper hard drive. Ask yourself few questions, before going for the selection of a new hard drive. This strategy will be useful in the long run. Think of the following points.

  • Hard drive storage capacity,
  • Rotating speed,
  • Transfer speed
  • brand and price

1) First select the Hard drive storage capacity

  • What software, you will loading in your computer.
  • What type of files, you will be loading.

If you are a basic computer user, go for the 40 to 80GB hard drive which is sufficient for OS and file storage. Text files require very little storage space however multimedia files require large storage space. If you are a gamer or a graphic designer, go for a minimum 80 to 120 GB hard drive. If you are a movie or song lover who would be storing a lot of movies then go for the higher capacity of 240 GB depending on your budget.

2) Second select the proper speed.
The most common speeds which are available in the market are 5400 and 7200 RPM. The 5400 RPM means the hard disk will be rotating at a speed of 5400 revolutions per minute. The faster the rotating speed the faster the hard drive. Now there is not much price difference between 5400 and 7200 rpm so it is generally better to go for a 7200 RPM hard drive.

As to transfer speed, there are 2 main types used. The old IDE (or ATA) kind, which comes in 4 flavors: ATA33, ATA66, ATA100 and ATA133, each number corresponding to the transfer rate in MB/s, the bigger the faster. This type is pretty standard. If your computer is older, you may only be able to use this kind, and depending how old will determine which speed. SATA is a newer kind. It uses a different cable and allows much faster information transfer. The slower kind is 150MB/s and the faster (SATA ll) transfers at up to 300MB/s, so they are much faster than IDE.

3) It is also generally better to go for a standard brand.
Seagate, Maxtor, Western Digital, Samsung, Hitachi and Mitsibishi are the standard brands available in the market. The above suggestions are for your internal hard drives. If you have to carry data frequently, you can go for an external hard drive. These drives can be connected to your computer through a USB port. There is absolutely no difference between an external hard drive and internal hard drive if you consider the operation or drive mechanics. The USB interface has made external hard drive installation very user friendly. External hard drives give alot of portability. However these external hard drives have a higher access time compared to a desktop internal drive because of the USB connection (bit like a small water pipe compared with a big water pipe). Iomega, Freecom and Transcend are some of the manufacturers of external hard drives. These drives normally require an external power supply and are most suitable for additional desktop/laptop backup or storage space. When youre selecting an external hard drive, check whether the manufacturer is offering a carry bag, data cable and power supply if it is externally powered. Also check the warranty offered by the manufacturer. Now a days, some of the manufacturers offer 3 year warranties.

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