Hard Drive

The hard disk or drive is the area in your computer where you install and store all of your programs and files. When you turn your computer off anything not stored on the hard disk will be lost. Learno more tips from IT Services St. Louis here.

Hard disk sizes are measured in gigabytes and when your hard drive is full no new software can be installed without uninstalling some old software first. This is why getting a hard drive that is a lot larger than you think you will need is important.

Things to Consider When Choosing A Hard Drive

You will need a big drive if you plan on using a large range of software.

Games especially take up a great deal of space. If you plan on installing a few of the latest games then get a hard disk of at least 80 gigabytes (most of them today are well over 100 gigabytes – some up to 500 gigabytes or more ).

The speed of your hard disk is also important. A slow hard drive takes a long time to load Windows on start up.

In fact the loading time of every program you use will be slow. You can generally get a good idea of a drives speed by simply looking at two specifications:

ra DMA 33/66/100/133
This is the transfer speed of your drive. Ultra DMA 33 drives are the slowest and oldest while Ultra DMA 133 drives are newer and faster.

It’s important that your motherboard will support the Ultra DMA level of your drive in order for you to get the speed boost. However, you can connect an Ultra DMA 133 drive to a Ultra DMA 66 only motherboard but you will only get Ultra DMA 66 speed.
Newer drives are faster even if they are run at the same transfer speed.

5400/7200/10,000/15,000 (platter rotation speed)

This is the speed at which the metal disks inside the hard drive rotate. Faster rotation speeds make for much faster drives. 5400 RPM is the most common speed at this writing but the numbers of 7200 RPM drives are slowly increasing.

Get a 7200 RPM (or faster) drive if you will be working with big files or if you don’t like waiting for things to load. The drive above would be great for heavy duty picture editing, music production or audio and video encoding.
Games will not get any speed boost from a faster drive.

10,000 and 15,000 RPM drives use a different (SCSI) interface and thus require a SCSI controller card to be installed in your computer. These drives are made for heavy duty server work and are expensive. However if you got one of them installed in your home computer it would be v e r y fast as well as costing more.

Hard drive brands:

We used to think that IBM, Seagate and Western Digital made the best hard disk drives. However IBM has had some embarrassing recalls on a couple of it’s 7200 RPM models.

It is really pure luck when you purchase a hard drive. Make sure you get one with a good warranty or one that is quite cheap.

Selecting a hard drive that is right for you is not all that hard our advice is to always purchase a hard drive that at least twice the size that you think you may need for the next few years.