A Beginners Guide To Computers

Five Points to Consider Before Buying a Computer Hard Drive

A hard drive is a vital component in any modern computer. It’s recommended that you buy a new drive every couple of years, to replace an old one or use as an extra hard drive. 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. Provided you follow the guidelines below, you won’t have to deal with getting the wrong drive or anything of the kind.

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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, what are the differences between an HDD and SSD?

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, with no moving parts, SSDs don’t make noise and last longer. The drawback is that they have small storage space and are more expensive than HDDs.

What is more important? If you just need a backup drive or price’s an issue, go for a traditional HDD. However, if the drive will be used to run an OS or contain plenty of constantly-accessed files and applications, particularly video games, pick an SSD instead.

Interface and size

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. 2.5 and 3.5-inch drives are the two form factors.

Desktop HDDs are usually 3.5 inches while laptop HDDs are usually 2.5 inches. On the flip side, SSDs are much smaller because they do not need moving parts. Thus, most SSDs are usually 2.5 inches.

Specs and performance

When it comes to storage capacity, there are all kinds of sizes of HDDs, and the storage limit is 4TB owing to physical limitations. In contrast, SSDs are far much smaller, with their storage capacity capped at 1TB. Still, many SSDs hardly go beyond 512 GB.

Many factors dictate the performance of hard disk drives, but one crucial factor is 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. The onus is on you to pick which factors are important to your needs as well as which drive suits those parameters.

Internal versus external

The last point to take into account is where the computer drive will be housed. Will it be housed inside the casing? Will it be used outside? Either way, what you choose will be determined by your needs and preferences.