Hard drives are the central storage device for data on your computer. On it rests the documents you create, the music you listen to, the games you play and the video you view. You’ll want to choose a drive which is optimized for your primary purpose.
There are a few main things to consider when selecting a hard drive: internal or external hard drive, connection type, speed and capacity. Whether you call it a Hard Drive, a Hard Disk, or an HDD, budget permitting, always go for the fastest drive you can. Speed of data access is measured using RPMs (revolutions per minute). Typical drives range from 5400 to 7200 RPM, with more and more 9600 RPM drive appearing on the scene. A faster rotational speed means greater performance, especially in games, but may cause greater heat and noise.
The capacity, measured in GB (gigabytes), should depend on your own storage requirements. A higher capacity drive will invariably cost more than a smaller drive, so a balance must usually be struck between capacity and cost.
The hard drive interface, whether it’s IDE, SATA, or SCSI determine a drive’s application: IDE and SATA for personal storage and SCSI for enterprise and mission critical storage. Please see our Internal Hard Drive Buying Guide for more information.
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