How to choose a hard drive for your computer


  1. HDD or SDD
  2. Physical size – 3.5 or 2.5 inches
  3. Type of bus – ide or sata
  4. Tire generation
  5. Drive rotation speed
  6. Hard drive capacity
  7. Buffer memory
  8. Heating Temperature and Power Consumption

When choosing a hard disk, you need to consider parameters such as its physical size (in inches), bus type (IDE or SATA), bus generation, drive rotation speed and, of course, capacity. Especially sophisticated users can pay attention also on the amount of buffer memory and heating temperature. Also worth distinguish between HDD and SSD.


how to choose a hard drive

HDD (Hard Disc Drive) is the most common type of hard drive. drives. These are traditional magnetic drives in which they rotate. “pancakes” with information recorded on them. It is this mobility and leads to various problems like the appearance of bad sectors after mechanical impact on the case of a working disk or sudden outage.

SSD (Solid-state Drive) – a new type of hard drive in which recording technology similar to that used in flash drives. Nothing moves in them, so the risk of bad sectors are pretty small. However, SSDs very high price and short service life due to limited number of rewrite cycles. But then these drives work very fast (read / write speed is higher than that of the HDD) and not need defragmentation.

Thus, we can distinguish the following advantages of HDD over SSD:

  1. Low price, especially in relation to the ruble per gigabyte;
  2. Long operational period, which, subject to all conditions can be several years.

An SSD over an HDD has the following advantages:

  1. High speed reading and writing;
  2. No need to defragment;
  3. File access speed (especially when reading / writing random sectors) does not decrease over time.

The optimal configuration is as follows. On SSD small capacity installed operating system and the most important programs, and on a large HDD custom data.

Physical size – 3.5 or 2.5 inches

Winchesters are available in two formats – 3.5-inch and 2.5 inch The first are intended for use in system blocks, the latter are usually inserted into laptops and external hard wheels.

Technically, you can install “laptop” in the system unit HDD. However, this is not worth doing. The slide in the housing, which fix the hard drive, protect it from vibration.

Bus Type – IDE or SATA


It’s worth mentioning right away that the IDE bus is practically not applies. Only very old computers are equipped with it and motherboards. However, on the “cars” that were released Until about 2008-2010, this standard is used, and there is simply no connector for SATA.

In modern configurations, SATA is used. He provides Higher data transfer rates (up to 6 Gb / s).

It is worth considering that these connectors are not interchangeable. That is not it turns out to connect the IDE-drive to a computer whose slots only for SATA, and vice versa. In urgent need, you can use special adapters, but they greatly reduce the speed and stability do not differ.

Tire generation

SATA bus exists in several generations (revisions). They cross compatible so you can connect a SATA 1 hard drive to motherboard equipped with a SATA 3 slot. However, it is worth remembering that the data rate will be as supported older standard.

That is, if you install the SATA 3 hard drive on the motherboard board that only supports SATA 1, data transfer rate will match SATA 1 speed.

Similarly, if you connect the SATA 2 hard drive to the motherboard motherboard with SATA 3, data transfer rate will match SATA 2 speeds.

The best solution would be to use a hard drive. standard and generation that is supported by the mother board.

Drive rotation speed

HDD type HDDs use information storage special magnetic drives (“pancakes”). In the course of his work they rotate, and the read and write heads read and write data on them.

Drive rotation speed directly affects hard drive performance. The higher it is, the faster Winchester will be able to find stored information or free space to record a new one. Most modern railway models have speed rotation is 7200 rpm, which corresponds the search time is 8.5 ms, and the total response delay is 12.7 ms.

There are faster railway. For example, WD Raptor has speed rotation – 10,000 rpm. Search time for this the device is 5.5 ms, and the total delay is 8.5 ms. Seagate Cheetah at a speed of 15,000 rpm search time – 3.8 ms, and the total delay is 5.8 ms.

The “total delay” parameter is the sum of the search time and the time it takes for the hard drive to spin up drives.

It is worth considering that the rotation speed determines exactly the time search. If you need to read information from a large, serial data unit drives with different meanings of this Parameters work approximately the same. Therefore recommended regularly defragment your hard drive.



Capacity measured in GB or TB is important first for the user. It determines how much information can be accommodated. to the hard drive.

However, taking very cheap low-capacity models is not recommended. First, the Windows operating system “picks” 20-30 GB for your needs, and this amount over time only increases due to the emergence of new files. Secondly even a web browser with active use for a week can “eat” 1 GB Finally, a swap file is located on the hard drive.

In addition, the higher the volume of the hard drive, the lower the cost 1 GB Therefore, for example, 750 GB and 1 TB drives differ in the price is insignificant.

Buffer memory

Buffer, or cache memory – a kind of RAM. Unless it is used exclusively in the hard drive. In her Winchester stores various data that it reads from magnetic drives. Also there is information to which most often access required.

Therefore, the higher the cache size, the faster the hard disk works. But it is only in theory. In practice, it turns out that the fundamental there is no difference between the models with 32 MB cache and with 64 MB. therefore it makes no sense to choose a train with a maximum buffer – it’s enough just to make it big (16 or 32 MB for desktop configurations and 8 or 16 MB for laptops).

Heating Temperature and Power Consumption

Like any other component of the computer, the hard drive heats up. With a significant increase in temperature, it can stop functioning normally, which will lead to the appearance of broken or unreadable sectors.

Particularly strong heating in configurations where used several hard drives at once. The solution to this problem will be installation of another cooler in the case, which will blow the array Winchesters.

If in the case there is no place for an additional cooler, then hard drives with low heat and power consumption. But it’s worth remembering that their performance also not too big.


When choosing a hard drive you need to pay attention first queue for computer motherboard specifications – standard connections, generation, etc.

You should not save when choosing very cheap models with low drive rotation speed or low cache size. Very expensive in most cases are not needed.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose an SSD. disk and secrets of choosing RAM for the computer.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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