How to Choose a Hard Drive: Essential Features

Recently, we’ve been proud of a 40 GB hard drive on our computer! But now this might not even be enough for one high-quality movie.

With the development of technologies, even modern hard drives of hundreds or thousands of gigabytes may not be enough. In addition, hard drives have their own service life, which sooner or later ends, so the purchase of a new HDD or SSD is only a matter of time. If you are worried about the safety of your collection of films, photos, music, or any other data, it is better not to delay the purchase.

Which hard drive should I choose? What is the difference between an HDD and an SSD and is there such a big difference? Which hard drive is good for work and which one for playing games? These and other questions are of concern to any buyer, and we will try to answer them.

Getting to the Basics

Modern storage media can be divided into those with which it is convenient to work, and those on which you can store it. They differ in speed, “capacity” and others.

Types of Hard Drives

SSDs do not yet have the same capacity as HDDs. There are some models with 4TB, but they are insanely expensive and used for special tasks and server machines.

In a normal computer, SSDs of about 320 GB is used. This is because SSDs are more expensive than HDDs. But at the same time, such a capacity allows you to install on a hard drive operating system, as well as the most important programs and games.

SSDs are solid-state drives that have no moving parts, and the storage elements are in the form of chips.

The principle of operation is similar to the flash drive, but these devices are much more complex and faster. The difference in speed is especially evident in comparison with HDD. If magnetic disks can write and read the information at up to 220 MB / s, the SSD drives can be dozens of times higher.

High-speed writing and reading speeds provide faster access to data while working and loading applications. That feature is important for web designers, sound designers, and others. With the help of an SSD drive, you can easily use templates and mockups like this business card mockup. The same Windows operating system which is installed on an SSD boots 10-15 times faster than an HDD.

Read-Write Speeds and Advantages of Different Types of Flash Memory

Sequential read speed is one of the most important considerations for selecting a hard drive for your PC or laptop. The faster it is, the faster programs and games will access your files as they need them.

An SSD with a read speed of about 500 MB/s is the best choice for your home PC.

Writing speed is considered a secondary parameter — it does not affect the computer’s performance so much, rather it will make you wait when transferring large amounts of information from one drive to another, installing programs, and so on. Better if this parameter will be equal to the speed of reading, but in this case, the drive will be a little more expensive.

Briefly About the Main Features:

  • For an office computer, an ordinary HDD with a speed of 5400 rpm and a volume of 300 to 500 GB will be enough;
  • If you buy a hard drive for use in a home computer, where you watch movies and surf on social networks, HDD with 1TB will be enough;
  • If you are an active PC-user, like speed and short downloads, SSD with a capacity of about 120 GB can be added to 1 Tb HDD to install the OS and programs on it;
  • For a quality gaming PC, you might choose an SSD with up to 1TB + one or two HDDs with 2TB each, high spindle speeds, and read speeds;
  • If you’re a geek who likes to play with hardware, then try experimenting with SSD M.2 drives and other new products.

Hope our article helped you to understand the main differences and features of different hard drives.

How to Choose a Hard Drive: Essential Features was last updated November 29th, 2021 by Evelina Brown