The good news concerning selecting a hard disk is that it’ straightforward to induce a decent one. The complete we tend to typically use and recommend, Seagate Technology (, is wide offered at on-line and big-box stores, and is competitively priced. Supported our own experience, reports from our readers, and discussions with data recovery firms, we believe that Seagate drives are additional reliable than alternative brands. Seagate drives are quiet, cool-running, and have longer warranties than most competitive models. Their speed, if not always best in category, is usually midrange or better.

All of that said, the variations between brands aren’t huge, whether or not in reliability, speed, background level, or another facet of hard drive performance. Hitachi (, Maxtor (, Samsung (, and Western Digital ( all observe hard drives for desktop systems. You might, for example, opt for a Western Digital raptor drive if speed is that the high priority and you’re willing to pay additional for a drive with lower capacity, higher noise and heat, and lower reliability. Conversely, if worth and noise level are top priorities, you would possibly choose a Samsung Spin Point model.

Makers typically supply two or more lines of drives that modify in many respects, all of that affect effect on} performance and price. At intervals a given grade of drive, however, drives from totally different makers are typically closely comparable in features, performance, and price, if not essentially in irresponsibleness or noise level. Neither is compatibility an issue, because it sometimes was within the early days of ATA. Any recent PATA or SATA hard disk coexists peacefully with the other recent ATA/ATAPI device, despite manufacturer.

Use the subsequent tips after you choose a hard disk:

Choose the correct interface.

Choose a PATA drive if you’re repairing or upgrading an older system that lacks SATA interfaces. Opt for an SATA drive if you are repairing or upgrading a system that has SATA interfaces. Several hard drives are on the market in your selection of PATA or SATA interface, typically with nearly identical model numbers. The drives could take issue in appearance, however often the sole obvious variations could also be the info and power connectors, shown in Figure 7-6. Additional vital differences between models may exist. For example, the SATA model may have a quicker look for time, a bigger buffer, and support for SATA-only features corresponding to NCQ

Buy the right capacity drive.

It’ tempting to shop for giantst|the most important the biggest} capacity drive available, however that’ not continually the simplest decision. Terribly large drives typically price additional per gigabyte than midsize drives, and also the largest drives may have slower mechanisms than midsize drives. In general, decide what performance level you would like and are willing to pay for, so buy a drive that meets those performance requirements, selecting the model supported its cost per gigabyte. Conversely, if you need a huge quantity of disk storage or are implementing RAID, it should be to shop for the most important drives on the market despite their high price per gigabyte and slower performance, merely to conserve drive bays and interface connections.

Get a model with large cache if it doesn’t cost much more.

Disk drives use cache (or buffer) memory to extend performance. All different things being equal, the larger the cache, the faster the performance. Cheap drives usually have a 2 MB cache, thought models Associate in nursing 8 MB cache, and superior models a 16 MB cache. Some makers sell constant model drive with differing amounts of cache, usually indicated by a distinct letter on the end of the model number. In our experience, larger caches have a comparatively little impact on overall drive performance, and don’t seem to be value paying abundant for. For example, given otherwise identical drives, one with 2 MB cache conjointly the} different with 8 MB or one with 8 MB cache and the other with 16 MB, we would pay $5 or $10 additional for the model with the larger cache.

Pay attention to power consumption and noise level.

Similar drives will take issue considerably in power consumption and noise level. A drive that consumes more power also produces more heat, that contributes indirectly to overall system noise level as a result of the system exhaust fans should work one rouser. For quiet system operation, it’ vital to use quiet, low-power hard drives. The facility consumption and noise level of a drive are listed within the technical specification sheets obtainable on its web site.

Here are some things that you simply will safely ignore once buying a drive:

Length of warranty

In late 2002, each major drive maker except Samsung reduced their customary warranties from three or five years to one year. All of the thought drive manufacturers have come back to giving three-year warranties on their desktop drives, and Seagate offers five-year warranties. In sensible terms, the distinction is nil. A drive that’s four or five years recent is due for replacement anyway


Mean Time between Failures (MTBF) could be a technical measure of the expected dependability of a device. All fashionable drives have extraordinarily massive MTBF ratings, usually 50 years or more. That doesn’t mean that the drive you purchase can last 50 years. It does mean that any drive you buy will most likely run years (although some drives fail the day they’re installed). The reality is that almost all hard drives these days are replaced not as a result of they fail, however because they are now not large enough. Ignore MTBF once you’re buying a drive.


Mean solar time To Repair (MTTR) is another measure that has very little application within the real world. MTTR specifies the typical time needed to repair a drive. Since no one except firms that salvage data from dead drives really repairs drives nowadays, you’ll ignore MTT

Shock rating

Drives are rated in gravities (G) for the extent of shock they’ll face up to in each in operation and non-operating modes. For drives employed in desktop systems, at least, you can ignore shock rating. All fashionable drives are remarkably proof against injury if dropped, however all of them break if you drop them hard enough.


Keerthana is the Managing Director at After many years of making it and breaking it in the freelance world, she now mentors new writers who want to take their careers to the next level.

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