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Hard Drives Explained

Hard Disk Drives

With hard disk drives, both speed and size is important.Hard Drive

In terms of which brand to use it really depends on what you are going to use it for.

If you are going to use the drive to hold important data then it is probably best to use a leading brand name. Some offer lengthy warranties incase of failure.

There are basically five different types of hard drive

  • IDE or EIDE
  • SCSI
  • Firewire
  • Serial ATA (SATA)
  • USB.

For SCSI, Firewire, and Serial ATA drives, you may need a separate interface card although most modern PCs have USB & Firewire ports now. However the hard drives are more expensive, but faster than IDE drives. Often they are external hard drives as well which means they are great for backups as they can be stored elsewhere.

There are 3 different types of IDE Hard Disk

  • regular IDE
  • Ultra DMA
  • Ultra ATA

The main differences between them are that Ultra DMA and Ultra ATA are faster for disk access and data transfer. The reason for this is that the hard disk runs faster

  • DMA 5400 RPM
  • ATA 7200 RPM and higher

In addition, thanks to the special interface the data transfer rate is higher (66 MB/sec, 100 MB/sec, or 133 MB/sec).

Serial ATA (SATA) drives are the newest type of hard drive and promise transfer rates of 150 MB/sec or more when used with a native serial bus controller.

The access speed to data on the disk (seek time) is very important for the overall performance of the computer. Data transfer rate is important if you are using big files like big databases or video files. Hard disk drives are now relatively cheap and easy to install

Installing a Hard Disk



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