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Which hard drive to choose?

In this article we will try to explain to you in simple terms which hard disk to choose and for what purposes. After all, data integrity is important not only to FBI employees, but also to ordinary users. No one wants to lose the necessary information due to a malfunctioning hard disk, be it documents or just a favorite movie.


If you are faced with the question of which hard drive to choose, then the first thing you need to pay attention to is the manufacturer of hard drives. Competent choice of the manufacturer is often the determining factor in such aspects as the lifetime of the device, power consumption, heat generation, its speed and volume. At the moment, three worthy hard drive manufacturers, who are truly giants in the IT industry, have earned the trust of users: Seagate (also known as Maxtor), Samsung and Western Digital. Of course, there are Toshiba, Hitachi and others, but, in my opinion, these companies are already far behind the three leading companies in the industry and their products are an order of magnitude inferior to them.

Consider manufacturers separately.

WD (WesternDigital)

Once the standards of hard drives are now losing their positions. In practice, this company's HDDs are characterized by increased heat generation (which requires normal cooling) and low stability, but they operate at low noise and at an amazing speed. As they say, your choice depends on your needs. If you need a quiet and high-speed hard drive, then this is WD.


This company produces, in my opinion, standards of stability. The main feature of Seagate hard drives is their low heat dissipation. Also worth noting is their quiet operation and low consumption, which is very important with a modest power PSU. But the speed of these discs leaves much to be desired - they are rather slow.


Probably one of the main advantages of these hard drives will not leave anyone indifferent - this is a small price. Of course, for a fairly small price you will get a hard disk with fairly low rates, but the choice is yours! No special results you get from them.


Not sure which hard drive to choose? When buying, you need to know where and how it is inserted and which interface is better.

An interface is a way to connect a hard disk to a computer or to another device that supports connecting a hard disk. The disk bandwidth depends on the interface (i.e., write / read speed).

Since the article is prepared for novice users, I will miss such interfaces as SCSI, SAS, since these interfaces are not typical of home computers. Also, let's forget about the ATA interface due to its complete obsolescence.


In fact, there are only two SATA and eSATA interfaces left.

  • SATA. Currently the most common interface. There are several versions of this interface - SATA-I-II-III. They differ only in data transfer speed (150 MB / s, 300 MB / s, 600 MB / s, respectively, for each version).
  • eSATA. Most often used to connect external hard drives.

For external hard drives also use USB ports.

External or internal drive

When asking which hard drive to choose, do not forget: external or internal you want. You can always take the external one with you, but it is slower and more expensive; the internal hard drive is faster and cheaper, but not suitable for rough carrying, for example in a bag.

For a home computer, I recommend buying SATA hard drives, they are optimal in performance and price.You also need to remember that your motherboard must support SATA hard drives. By the way, if your SATA-I interface is on your motherboard, then you can easily stick a SATA-II or SATA-III hard disk into it and vice versa, there will be no problems with work.

Dimensions and capacity

Capacity depends purely on your personal needs! The more you are going to store data on your hard disk, the more you need it.

As for the physical size or form factor, the most common and, in fact, the only ones on the market are 2.5 and 3.5 inches. The first, as a rule, are used in laptops and external hard drives. For home computers, it's naturally 3.5 inches. By the way, by the way, 2.5-inch disks have a speed that is several times less than 3.5-inch disks.

Spindle speed cache

Spindle speed

Directly determines the performance and speed of data transmission. Currently, the standard rotation speeds are:

  • 5400, 7200 - laptops;
  • 7200, 10000 - desktops.

I recommend that you take the hard drives with the maximum value of this parameter.

Buffer size (cache)

A buffer is an intermediate memory for synchronizing read / write threads. The buffer increases the speed of any hard disk, becauseinformation is taken from the cache, not from the disk. In modern disks, the cache size is usually from 8 to 64 MB. Naturally, the more, the better.


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