SATA hard drive

Buying The Best Hard Drive

Finding the best hard drive can be a daunting task especially if you don't know what you're particularly looking for. This article will help try to break down some of the barriers that accompany the tedious task of purchasing a hard drive.


Hard drives come in many types and depending on what it is you want to do with your hard drive will determine the type you might consider buying. The two most common computer hard drive types are SATA and PATA. The main difference between the two is that the SATA is slightly thinner and uses less power output than your PATA types. In addition SATA has a different type of power connector.


In the world of hard drives speed is measured in rpm. The two most popular flavors of speed in the PC hard drive market are 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm. The obvious is that the higher the speed the faster the hard drive, however what people fail to realize is that higher speed also means a shorter hard drive life cycle and they run substantially hotter. So in essence if you're stuck between the picking a 5400 rpm hard drive and a 7200rpm hard drive the real question to ask is, will I really even notice the difference?

The answer is no. I've purchased 7200 rpm SATA drives for my PC's and added a back up hard drive with a 5400 rpm SATA drive and really have not noticed the difference at all. I did a little bit of research and found out the read difference is about 3 to 4 milliseconds hardly anything to pay attention to.

If you really need the speed you have the option to kick it up a notch with a SCSI drive which typically run anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 rpm! With speed comes price so depending on the application of your hard drive SCSI might be the solution for you if you are willing to sacrifice price for speed.

Internal vs External

Both have their pluses and minuses. Internal hard drives tend to be cheaper than your external drives. External hard drives are easy to set up and are extremely portable. At home I use a combination of both.

For my laptop I back up with an external hard drive using a USB cable and for my PC, I backup with an internal hard drive using an IDE serial cable. The external helps because it's my portable back up in case my laptop fries while on a business trip and I need to access the data on another PC. The internal hard drive back up allows me to quickly restart my computer and boot up on the secondary hard drive. Both methods allow me to recover data fast when time is of the essence. So depending on how you use your computer will greatly depend on whether you will be using a internal or external hard drive.

Which One Is The Best For You?

The answer is it depends. If price is your main concern then stick with the PATA (aka ATA) 5400 rpm hard drive. It does the job if you just need a secondary interal storage device. On the side note if you are willing to pay a little bit more for higher slightly higher read time and portability then go for the 7200 rpm external hard drive, regardless a seconadary drive is always a good thing to have if you value the data that you store on it.