Internal Hard Drive

The internal hard drive is a storage device. It can be found in desktop PCs, notebooks, and servers, as well as in modern consumer electronic devices like digital cameras, MP3 players, or digital audio players. They provide storage capacities for all your data – the operating system, programs, images, documents, music, or games.

Not all internal hard drives are compatible with all devices. The first most important specification is the form factor. Internal hard drives come in three main forms – 3.5 inches, 2.5 inches, and 1.0 inches. The first one is the standard form of desktop PCs, the second of notebooks, and the latter can be found in small consumer electronic devices like digital cameras and PDAs.

The second most important specification is it’s capacity. Currently, you can choose between the 8GB of a 1.0-inch internal hard drive or the already standard 500 GB of an internal 3.5-inch internal hard drive. This capacity keeps climbing, so you should expect getting much more in a short time. The 8GB of a small internal hard drive might seem as not much, however, keep in mind that these hard drives are developed for use on the go. Normally, most users will save they data at their home computer and just upload the music or games that they need for a journey.

If you are searching for quality, there are still a couple of technical specifications that you should consider – RPM and cache. RPM (rotations per minute) is an index that measures the speed of internal hard drive engines. The speed or RPM is a close measure of its performance. Between 4MB and 16MB are standard for 3.5-inch internal hard drives. 2.5inch hard drives don’t fall behind. However, not only the RPM, but also the cache, is relevant for faster speed when accessing your data. Cache is a high-speed RAM (random access memory) component. More cache means more speed.

If you’re buying an internal hard disk drive for a desktop, laptop or any other device, you should also check the interface. There are currently four types of interface on the market – PATA (aka as IDE), SATA, SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) and CF (Compact Flash) Compatible. Portable consumer electronics use normally CF. Laptops and desktops can have any of the first three in the list but usually they are either PATA or SATA.

When it comes to choosing between PATA or SATA for the interface, they are quite similar in performance. However, the SATA is easier to connect, doesn’t require you to deal with jumpers and is somewhat faster than the PATA.

When you buy a new desktop or laptop computer, there is already an internal hard drive included. If you have a newer machine, chances are you have a considerable amount of storage already as most new desktops have at least 400 to 600 gigabyte hard drives these days. For the average computer user, this will be more than sufficient. If that is not enough storage, it’s easier to add an external hard drive for the extra storage capacity.

If you have an older machine with a small hard drive, though, you definitely should consider installing a new hard drive as today’s applications and programs are much larger than they used to be. This is something that you could easily do yourself if you are comfortable getting into the inside of your computer case. If you aren’t, you probably should have a professional swap the drives out for you, to be on the safe side. This is a relatively inexpensive job and generally does not take a professional very long at all.

This Internal Hard Drive Review is Written/Updated on Nov 3rd, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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