Things to consider when shopping for a hard drive:
•The Interface of a drive is how the hard drive comunicates with the rest of the computer. The
following hard driver interfaces are avalible:
•IDE cables can be distinguished by their wide 40-pin connector, coloured first-pin wire, and
usually white "ribbon" style cables. This technology is rapidly deteriorating, as it cannot keep
up with the increasing speed of current hard drives. IDE based hard drives do not exceed 7,200
•SATA SATA drives reach up to 10,000 RPM. If you want Serial ATA, you will either need to
purchase a motherboard that supports it, or purchase a PCI card that will allow you to connect
your hard drive.
•SCSI Although SCSI is more expensive and less user friendly it is usualy worthwile on high
performance workstations and servers. Few consumer desktop motherboards built today
support SCSI, and for building a new computer, the work needed to implement it may be
outweighed by the relative simplicity and performance of IDE and SATA.
•USB or IEEE1394 can be used for connecting external drives. An external drive encolsure can
convert an internal drive to an external drive.
•3.5 inches is usally used in desktops
•2.5 inches is usually used in laptops
•Capacity - As a rule-of-thumb minimum, you will need a hard drive capable of holding at least
20GB, although the largest drives available on the market can contain 500GB. Few people will
need disks this large - for most people, somewhere in the range of 80-200GB will be sufficient.
The amount of space you will need can depend on many factors, such as how many high-end
games and programs you want to install, how many media files you wish to store, or how many
high-quality videos you want to render. It is usually better to get a hard drive with a capacity
slightly larger than you anticipate using, in case you need more in the future. However, should
you run out of space, you may add an additional hard drive if you have any free IDE or Serial
ATA connectors, or through an external interface, such as USB or FireWire.
•Rotational Speed is the speed that the hard drives platters spin at. However drives above 7,200
RPM usually have limited capacity, and a much higher price than 7,200RPM drives of the same
capacity, making drives above 7,200RPM not ideal for the desktop.
•One additional consideration when purchasing a hard drive should be the drive warranty. Many
manufactures offer warranties ranging from 30 days (typically OEM) up to five years. It is well
worth spending an extra few dollars to extend the drive warranty as long as possible.