Things to Keep in Mind when you Buy a Hard Disk

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Things to Keep in Mind when you Buy a Hard Disk
Things to Keep in Mind when you Buy a Hard Disk

Of all the computer components, one of those that generally receive the least attention is the hard drive. Either because we do not see it or because we do not even notice its presence, we only notice it if it breaks down or the space runs out.

But in practice, a hard disk is capable of making our equipment respond with agility or go “on pedals” depending on its technology or its state of health.

Although it is a somewhat invisible component, the fact is that the performance of a team depends largely on it.

The time it takes to start up, or shut down, or start an application, or transfer a file, are parameters that can go from being measured in seconds to many seconds or even minutes if the disk is not optimal.

Functions of a hard disk

On the one hand, a disk has the immediate task of storing files. Whether it’s applications, movies, music, or photos, your computer’s hard drive is the preferred place to store them.

In addition, the hard disk acts as a buffer for RAM, which is where the processor goes to “look” for programs when it is executing them, or for data when it has to process them.

If a data or a program is not in RAM, the processor has to fetch it from the hard disk, or it may cause the hard drive failure. So imagine how important it is that it be fast.

External hard drives are more familiar to most users, but their mission is different. They usually only have to store files and connect via USB mainly. In addition, in an external disk we are not seeing the hard disk as such, but the box where they are placed.

Hard disk types

There are currently two different predominant technologies for hard drives. On the one hand, there are those based on magnetic storage technology. The traditional one has been in force for decades.

On the other, there are those based on flash storage technologies similar to that used by USB keys, but much more robust and fast. These disks have been called (Solid State Disks).

Magnets can be manufactured with very high capacities at very competitive prices, to the point of having 3 TB capacity models for €150, while a €150 SS D has a capacity 12 times less (250 GB).

However, the technological advantages of SS D disks are usually more than enough reasons to assume this loss in capacity in favor of its speed, its robustness, or its silent operation.

As they have no moving parts, they resist vibrations and shocks much better than magnetic ones, while not causing any noise. A traditional hard drive usually spins around 4,000–7,000 rpm. These are not negligible figures from a mechanical point of view.

Why buy a hard drive

In desktop computers, the hard drive is one of the components that we can most easily dare to change. Either we, or a fellow handyman, or a technical service can change or add a disk to our equipment to expand its capacity or improve performance.

As we said before, an SS D disk can make the difference between starting the computer in a couple of minutes or less than half a minute. And the same for other daily tasks such as shutdown or suspension. Not to mention the acceleration in other daily tasks related to the file system.

In practice, the most recommended option when buying an internal hard drive is an SS D model of at least 240 GB to use as a system disk. If there are enough expansion bays, the old disk can be left as a storage location, without forgetting to locate the important files that we had in it when we used it as a boot drive.

Magnetic discs, if purchased, are almost best done in the form of an external hard drive for mass storage of our movie, music, photo, and document collections.

What are my options

To buy a hard drive for storage, the possibilities are quite polarized towards the classic magnetic discs where we can have several terabytes for prices between €100 and €200.

As a system disk, the sensible choice is SS D drives. With 120 GB we can install the Windows operating system and commonly used applications, but do not think about installing games or using the unit as a storage system for photos or videos.

With a 250 GB SS D (there are models of 240 GB, 256 GB, or in that environment), we will have more space for less constricted use, but without joys. A 512 GB model is optimal for almost all uses.

Traditional magnetic disks are usually in a “large” 3.5 ” format. There are also smaller models for laptops, the 2.5 ” ones. But today they are not interesting and for a laptop, to change the disk, he is to do it for an SS D model.

SS D’s precautions

Solid-state storage technology is robust and reliable, but it should be noted that it also has its weaknesses. Thus, if we fill an SS D disk to the limit of its capacity, the performance will also be significantly degraded. It is advisable to leave a minimum of ten percent of the capacity unused.

On the other hand, the life of an SS D drive is measured in hundreds of thousands of hours. It will be enough for a disk to function without problems for years with normal use, but for environments where it will operate intensively and continuously, it will be convenient to choose professional (and more expensive) SS D.

Internal Hard Drive SS D Samsung 850

A proposal with good technology in its solid-state memory, with a perfect capacity for computers that are going to be used in a “normal” way without abusing the available storage capacity.

The quality/price ratio of this SS D is exceptional. With a capacity suitable for uses that do not require large storage space, it is an ideal solution as a boot drive in a computer.

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