Despite the arrival of the Solid State Drive (SSD) on the market, offering quicker speeds and improved durability, the (HDD) remains the most common type of hard drive for personal computers today. Offering a higher storage capacity and a significantly lower price per GB of storage than the SSD, this is perhaps unsurprising.
The uses one or several storage platters as well as a motorised arm that reads and writes information onto disk. These devices use random access data retrieval, meaning that information can not only be read sequentially, but also in any order required.
There are a number of factors to consider when investing in a HDD for your computer. These include looking at various specifications of the model as well as the price tag and compatibility with your PC. A few other important considerations are listed below.
One of the first things to take into account is how much data storage you will need. Although the hard disk remains a better option for storage volume compared to the SSD, HDD products can vary significantly so it is worth making an honest evaluation of your specific requirements before purchasing.
Those who should consider investing in a higher storage capacity drive – and therefore a possibly more expensive product – include those who record and store videos on their computer. Other computer users such as gamers, those with an extensive music library and professional photographers with large portfolios are also advised to opt for more space.
On the other hand, users who mainly use their computer for word processing tasks and a more modest collection of photos and music files can comfortably choose a smaller capacity drive and be reassured that they will likely never run out of space.
It is also critical to consider the capacity for performance before investing in a new HDD. There are various factors that fall under the ‘performance’ umbrella, including data transfer rate, cache or buffer size, spindle speed and interface. For technophobes, it is best to ask a drive specialist at a reputable computer store to explain how these factors will affect you specifically.
Spindle speed is a significant aspect to consider when looking for a disk drive whose principalfunction will be to store data. Spindle speed refers to how fast the mechanisms inside the drive work to read and write data. Faster spindle speeds, therefore, mean that information can be quickly written on and read from disks more rapidly.
Cache or buffer speed will also affect the performance of the hard drive. The cache is a memory for frequently-used information, allowing users to quickly access this data. It therefore is logical that any disk drive with a large cache can provide better speeds of data retrieval.
It is necessary to take into account the durability of the hard drive that you are looking to purchase. Because of their mechanical components, HDDs are susceptible to damage if bumped or dropped. Other factors such as heat, moisture and vibration also come into play here.
If looking for a hard drive for a laptop, which due to its portability is much more likely to suffer shock damage than a fixed desktop computer, consider manufacturers who take this into account and can deliver a more durable and shock-resistant product. Otherwise, if price and volume of data storage aren’t issues for, a solid state drive could be a great alternative option.
These are just a few of the factors that need to be taken into account when choosing a hard disk drive for your desktop or laptop computer. By looking at your data storage needs, the performance of the drive and its durability, you will be on your way to choosing the right disk drive for your specific requirements.