A hard drive is a computer storage device that stores digital data for long-term accessibility. Computers have multiple storage devices, but the hard drive (also known as the "primary storage" or "main memory") is one of the most essential. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in buying a new hard drive for your computer. After all, there must be a reason why you’re reading this guide instead of something more lighthearted. But buying a new hard drive isn’t the same as buying almost any other piece of technology. There are several things to keep in mind when purchasing a new hard drive, whether it’s your first or fifth one.
What is a Hard Drive?
A hard drive is a data storage device that is part of a computer’s "primary storage" or "main memory". A hard drive is a "rotating media" (as opposed to "Flash memory" or "RAM") that stores data by magnetizing tiny iron particles on a spinning platter. It is used to store data long-term, like a USB thumb drive or Cloud storage would, but it is also used as a computer’s main memory. This means that when you open a program, it is read from the hard drive. When you save a document, it is saved to the hard drive. When you use a computer, it is reading and writing from the hard drive.
How does a hard drive work?
A computer hard drive is made up of several parts. At the core of the hard drive is the platter. The platter is a spinning disk that stores data magnetically. The platter is encased in an aluminium or plastic housing. The housing also holds a read/write head, which reads and writes data to and from the platter. The read/write head is held in place by a set of bearings and is controlled by a computer chip.
Why Do You Need A Hard Drive?
A hard drive is used to store your files and personal data on your computer. When you save a document or open a picture or audio file, it gets stored on your computer’s hard drive. Computer memory is very limited, which is why we use hard drives. A hard drive has a lot more capacity than RAM, which means you can store a lot more information on it.
Which Type of Hard Drive Should You Buy?
Hard drives are great because they store a lot of data, they’re reliable and they’re cheap. Because they’re so cheap, though, it’s easy to go overboard and buy a drive that’s too big. If you buy a hard drive that’s too big for your computer, you won’t be able to use it. The same goes for buying a drive that doesn’t match your computer’s ports. If you buy a SATA drive, for example, and you need an IDE drive, it won’t work. First, figure out what type of drive you need. IDE, SATA, SCSI and other drive types are common, but if you’re not an experienced computer user, you might not know what type of drive you need. If you don’t know the difference between all of the drive types, you should consult with a computer expert before buying a new drive.
Tips for Finding the Right Computer Drive
If you’re buying a new computer, your choice of a hard drive will be one of the biggest factors in what computer you buy. If you have an old computer and need to replace your drive, you have a bit more wiggle room, but it’s still important to know what you’re looking for. There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for a computer hard drive.
Capacity - The size of a hard drive refers to how much data it can hold. It’s measured either in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB). If you want to store a lot of photos or videos, you’ll want to get a drive with a large capacity. If you just use the internet to send emails, you can get away with a smaller drive.
Speed - The speed of a hard drive refers to how quickly it can read and write data. You’ll see two numbers associated with a hard drive’s speed: The RPM (rotations per minute) indicates how fast the platter spins, while the transfer rate indicates how quickly it can read and write data. You’ll want a fast drive, but also one that’s reliable. A slower drive might seem like a better choice if you’re just using it for word processing, for example, but it’s not recommended for other tasks like photo editing or video editing.
Storage Options: HDD, SSD, Solid-State Hybrid Drive (SSHD)
Hard drive capacity options The size of a hard drive refers to how much data it can hold. It’s measured either in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB). If you want to store a lot of photos or videos, you’ll want to get a drive with a large capacity. If you just use the internet to send emails, you can get away with a smaller drive. Hard drive speed standards The speed of a hard drive refers to how quickly it can read and write data. You’ll see two numbers associated with a hard drive’s speed: The RPM (rotations per minute) indicates how fast the platter spins, while the transfer rate indicates how quickly it can read and write data. You’ll want a high-performance, durable hard drive that also records data fast to speed up your computer.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive) capacity options
10 GB - This is an old standard that’s been around since the early days of computers. It’s rare to find a computer with a drive of this capacity, and it’s only useful for really basic tasks like word processing and email.
20 GB - If you’re looking for a low-capacity drive for basic word processing, email, internet browsing and the like, this capacity will do the trick.
40 GB - If you want to store a lot of photos but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a hard drive, this would be a good option. It’s also a good capacity to store mp3 files.
60 GB - This capacity is good for storing a moderate amount of photos, mp3 files and other documents.
100 GB - If you want to store a moderate amount of photos and you want to be able to store a moderate amount of music, this capacity is a good option. It’s also a good capacity for storing word-processing documents and spreadsheets.
Hard drive speed standards
7200 RPM - This is the standard speed for a computer's hard drive. It’s a good balance between speed and reliability.
10000 RPM - This is a fast speed that’s intended for servers and other machines that need to read and write large amounts of data very quickly. This speed is not as reliable as a 7200 RPM drive, so it’s not a good choice if you’re just using it for basic computer tasks like email and word processing.