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Buying a hard drive for a desktop or laptop computer is not just about choosing your storage capacity.
To get started, you need to decide what type of drive you want, whether it’s an HDD or an SSD.
To date, hard disk drives, or HDDs, are still widely accepted as they offer a number of important benefits.
So until SSD technology overcomes its limitations, HDDs will in most cases remain the first choice when it comes to installing a hard disk drive in your computer.
So to help you choose the right drive for your needs, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide.
- 1 The most important
- 2 The best HDDs on the market: our recommendations
- 3 Shopping Guide: What you need to know about HDD
- 3.1 What exactly are HDDs?
- 3.2 What are the parts of an HDD?
- 3.3 How does an HDD work?
- 3.4 What are the differences between an HDD and an SSD?
- 3.5 What are the advantages and disadvantages of HDDs?
- 3.6 Is it worth buying an HDD?
- 3.7 Who should buy an HDD?
- 3.8 What sizes of HDD are there?
- 3.9 What is the origin of HDDs?
- 4 Purchase criteria
- 5 Summary
The most important
- The first hard disk drive was developed by IBM in the 1950s and weighed no less than a ton.
- HDDs allow you to enjoy large storage capacities at really affordable prices.
- It’s becoming increasingly common to combine an SSD with an HDD. The former is often used to install the operating system, while the latter is traditionally used to store large files.
The best HDDs on the market: our recommendations
We know that choosing a product is not always the easiest thing due to the wide varieties on the market.
For this reason, we have come to your rescue, and we present you with the best hard drives on the market.
Make yourself comfortable and enjoy this section created for you.
Are you ready, friend?
If so, here we go!
- The best HDD for 24/7 environments
- The best HDD with security software
- The best HDD for creators, enthusiasts and gamers
- The best HDD for Windows or Mac
The best HDD for 24/7 environments
No products found.
The best HDD for 24/7 environments is the WD Red drive, which has an MTBF of up to 1 million hours and NASware 3.0 technology.
Its Active Balance Plus HD technology protects your personal data against excessive vibration and noise in a NAS or RAID environment.
Stream, back up, share and organize your digital content, whether at home or in your own workspace.
The best HDD with security software
Enjoy the Toshiba Canvio Advance drive, a disk that has memory capacities from 500 GB to 4 TB.
Its Toshiba storage security program helps prevent unauthorized access to your data with a password lock function.
Its different stylish designs will suit everyone’s tastes.
It features USB 3.0 technology for faster file transfer.
Where to buy
The best HDD for creators, enthusiasts and gamers
The Western Digital brand comes to meet the needs of creators, enthusiasts and gamers.
WD Black drives offer great performance for storing large amounts of photos, videos, multimedia applications and game libraries.
The device reaches speeds of 128 MB cache on the 5 TB and 6 TB models for better readability and data transfer.
In addition, it has its own protector for drops and vibrations.
Where to buy
The best HDD for Windows or Mac
Many times, the compatibility of an item with Windows and MAC is complicated.
However, the WD Red disk works very well on both operators.
It stores and easily accesses 1 TB of content while on the go.
Activating the backup is so simple it’s child’s play.
Just connect the hard drive to your computer without having to install any software to make it work.
Where to buy
Shopping Guide: What you need to know about HDD
When buying an HDD, it is very important that you take into account a number of basic criteria.
Don’t forget that there are different models of HDDs and that each one offers different functions.
For this reason, in this section we have set out to answer the most common questions from buyers.
What exactly are HDDs?
HDDs, which are called Hard Drive Disks, are memory devices with large capacity.
Basically, they are information storage units that consist of a set of mechanical parts inside and a series of magnetic disks.
The disks rotate at high speed on the same axis, allowing the read/write heads to read or write the data by magnetizing the surface.
Their main advantage over other types of storage devices is that they offer a high capacity to store information at a very low price.
What are the parts of an HDD?
A hard disk is composed of one or more plates or dishes, which are aluminum or glass disks.
These discs rotate at the same time on the same axis.
Each disc has two sides.
The head is the reading and writing device and is only a set of arms that are vertically aligned.
At the end of the arms are the read and write heads.
In total, one head is required for each face.
In addition, HDD discs also have an electromagnetic system and a board with a printed circuit board that controls the disc.
Finally, this whole assembly is covered by a protective frame.
How does an HDD work?
On hard drives, the plates are constantly spinning.
These reduces transfer times.
Thus, when a file is requested to be read from the operating system, the hard disk determines which disk and track it is on and moves the reader head in that part.
The recording of the data is carried out through the emission of electric current pulses by means of a device located in the magnetic head.
This data is recorded on the magnetic surface with lines in the form of circles.
When one is completed, the head moves to write a new concentric circle.
What are the differences between an HDD and an SSD?
For some years now, SSD (Solid State Drive) or solid state drives have been available.
These store information on flash memories that are connected to each other.
Since they have no mechanical parts, they can achieve much higher read and write speeds than HDDs.
Other interesting advantages they offer are lower power consumption and quieter operation.
However, since this is a relatively new technology, it still has some disadvantages, such as a higher cost per gigabyte, compared to traditional hard disks.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of HDDs?
Hard drives have a number of advantages that make them still very popular.
For starters, they offer large storage capacity at a much more affordable price.
In addition, they allow an unlimited number of rewrites.
On the other hand, their reading and writing speed is much lower.
- Large storage capacity.
- It’s easier to recover data after a loss.
- The disk can be rewritten an unlimited number of times.
- Its data reading and writing speed is lower.
- They are susceptible to mechanical damage from shocks and falls.
Is it worth buying an HDD?
To this day, the answer is yes, without a doubt.
Even if you choose to install an SSD, it never hurts to have a secondary HDD for more storage capacity.
And because they’re so inexpensive, they don’t require a large investment.
Who should buy an HDD?
If you have a computer, whether it’s a laptop or a desktop, you need a hard drive.
And in that case, unless you require a reduced storage capacity or have an unlimited budget, you will have to opt for a mechanical hard drive, either as a primary or secondary unit.
In general, for the average user who doesn’t need a very high performance computer, a hard disk drive is the best choice.
We don’t say this in vain, as it is excellent value for money.
Something similar happens if you need a large storage capacity, as can be the case with video surveillance systems
What sizes of HDD are there?
The hard disk cases are mainly in two sizes: 2.5″ and 3.5″.
The first one is used by laptops or consoles.
By contrast, desktop computers usually require 3.5″ disks.
Keep in mind that size not only influences the space occupied by the drive, it also determines its functions.
What is the origin of HDDs?
Its origin dates back to the 1950s when the American company IBM created the first hard disk.
At that time, the first device of this type had a storage capacity of 5 MB.
Its development made it possible to replace the slower magnetic tape drives.
Since then, the technology of these devices has evolved, so that we now have equipment with larger capacities that do not take up much space.
Thus, in 1992, capacities of 250 MB were obtained; in 2002, 40 GB were achieved; and now, dozens of TBs have been overcome.
When buying an HDD, it is important that you consider a number of criteria.
To help you in the selection process, we have selected the ones we consider most important.
We hope that they will guide you in your purchase in order to adjust the price/quality ratio as much as possible.
- Use you are going to give
- Storage capacity
- Reading and writing speed
- Rotation speed
- Cache memory
- Connection channel
What will you use it for?
When buying a mechanical hard drive, the first thing you have to think about is how you are going to use it.
And along with that, what equipment you’re going to install it on.
You’re not going to need the same kind of HDD on a laptop as you do on a desktop computer.
So, you will probably be interested in a 2.5″ disk instead of the traditional 3.5″ disk for a laptop.
Similarly, you need to think about whether you use the computer for basic tasks, for more professional use, or for playing video games.
In each case, you will be interested in one type of hard disk or another.
You might even want to combine an SSD with an HDD to get the most out of each.
Storage capacity is an important issue when buying a hard drive.
However, as we have already said, do not let yourself be guided by it alone.
Today’s hard drives offer more than enough capacity to meet users’ needs.
For an average user, a 1 TB disk is more than enough. If you are going to use the computer to play video games.
You could use a combination of 250 GB on an SSD and 2 TB or more on an HDD.
Read and write speed
The speed of writing and reading a hard disk is a fundamental aspect of its performance.
However, it is often not given the importance it deserves.
A faster read speed will allow your computer to boot much faster if the operating system is installed on that hard disk.
Similarly, it can also influence the performance of installed programs and applications.
However, in this respect, your influence will be much less noticeable.
Thus, when playing a video game, it will not be decisive for the game’s performance, but it will reduce loading times.
In the case of HDD devices, the reading and writing speed will depend largely on the rotation speed of the disks, which is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
Nowadays, the most common is to find devices with speeds of 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm, although there are also 10,000 rpm.
For a desktop computer, if you want to enjoy good performance, you should choose a disk that reaches at least 7,200 rpm.
However, for laptops, the most common speed is 5400 rpm due to the limitations of the smaller size of the 2.5″ disk.
The cache allows the hard drive to access information more quickly.
Hard drives have two areas of memory.
In one of them, data is stored even if there is no power supply.
This is the main area and where files are stored.
The other is the cache memory and is where information is temporarily stored when the disk receives electrical power.
This is because every time the disk reads a piece of information it leaves part of it stored in the cache.
The most common are 64 MB.
Logically, the larger it is, the more data the disk will find in a much faster time span.
Today, hard drives can use different interfaces to connect to the motherboard: the main ones are SATA, IDE, SAS or SCSI.
Without a doubt, the most extensive is the traditional SATA.
It is the one used by practically all desktop computers and all the latest generation laptops.
Current HDDs are connected using the SATA-III standard.
This reaches a link speed of 6 Gb/s, resulting in 750 MB/s of maximum theoretical transfer rate.
However, on a practical level this is reduced to 600 MB/s.
There are many manufacturers of HDD storage units. Not all offer the same levels of quality.
In that sense, some brands that guarantee you higher levels of quality are Toshiba, HGST, Trekstor, Seagate or Western Digital.
Among the Chinese brands, ExelStor is one of the best known.
The hard disk is an indispensable element in both desktop and laptop computers.
Lately many users have started installing SSDs in their computers; however, thanks to their low cost and large storage capacity, HDDs remain the best option in most cases.
Choosing the right mechanical hard disk drive means knowing some technical aspects of these devices, which often exceed the knowledge of the average user.
Therefore, it is important to have as much information as possible.
With that in mind, we have prepared this comprehensive shopping guide.
If you find it useful in your selection process, comment on it or share it in your social networks – together let’s bring the knowledge to more people!
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