Which Hard Drive is Best for Your Needs?

When deciding which hard drive to buy, there are a couple of things you’re going to need to determine first. It’s completely normal to get a new one when your old one gets filled up, but apart from that, you can also invest in a faster hard drive that will improve the performance of your machine. Typically, it shouldn’t be unusual to think about getting a new one every couple of years.

In any case, here are the top 5 things you need to consider to find the best hard drive for your particular needs:

  1. SSD versus traditional hard drives

An SSD has the same role as the traditional hard drives, except it’s much faster. This applies both to reading and writing data. The downside to that, however, is that it typically has much less storage space and that it’s a little on the expensive side.

If you’re using a laptop, it’s good to know an SSD requires much less power to operate, which is going to do wonders for your battery life. They also have larger lifespans.

  1. Physical size and connectors

Once you’ve decided whether you want an SSD or not, you’re going to need to pick between a 3.5-inch drive and a 2.5-inch drive. The former size usually tends to apply to desktop hard disk drives, and the latter size to those that would fit inside a laptop.

When it comes to connectors, most modern hard drives come with SATA connectors. If you have an older machine, it’s likely you’re going to need an IDE connector. When it comes to external hard drives, it doesn’t matter, since you’re going to connect it to your PC through an USB port anyway.

  1. Specifications

The main categories you need to consider are storage capacity, transfer speed, cache space, access times, and failure rate.

Due to physical limitations, the hard drive can’t have a greater storage capacity than 4TB. Consumer-level hard disk drives rarely exceed 512GB. The transfer speed (also known as RPM) dictates how fast the data gets transferred to and from the drive.

Cache space is needed when the hard drive wants to transfers data from one portion of the drive to another. A larger cache space will allow the data to be transferred faster. Access times have an important effect on how fast the drive is going to perform.

Finally, since hard drives are mechanical, they can be expected to wear down over time. Taking this into account, not all of them are built to last, and some will last longer than the others. 

  1. Pricing

The pricing entirely depends on what you’re going after: the better the specifications, the pricier it’s going to get. 

  1. Internal or external?

If you’re looking for a good way to store your backups, an external hard drive is a great choice, since they are rather portable and can be shared between different computers without hassle. If speed and performance is what you’re looking for, go with an internal hard drive.

You can check out to determine the currently top-performing external hard drive models.


Just by reading this article, you’re now well equipped to make a good buying decision. So why wait around? Do your due diligence, select a hard drive that suits your needs, and enjoy!

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