Choosing a Hard Drive
Choosing a hard drive can be a difficult and tedious job if you don’t know what to look for. You may have questions like, ‘How many Gigabytes of space do I need and how much should I spend on a hard drive.’ If so then this page is the right one for you.
What’s your budget?
The first step in choosing a hard drive is to work out what your budget is. A computer hard drive is a valuable component to a computer and the amount of money spent on it should be considered carefully. I would say that the hard drive should cost about 5%-10% of your entire budget. So if you have set aside $1000 for your computer then you should be looking at hard drives priced around $50-$100.
What’s your motherboard?
The second step in choosing a hard drive is to work out whether your motherboard has connections for your hard drive. If your motherboard has SATA connections and IDE connections then you can have either (although I would buy SATA if possible as they are faster and their cables are smaller). If your motherboard only has IDE or only SATA then you must buy a hard drive to that specification. Your motherboard should have all those details in your manual or you may have to have a look yourself and identify the ports.
What’s your needs?
The third step in choosing a hard drive is to work out what your needs are. All information is stored on the hard drive so if you store heaps of videos and photos then you will need a larger hard drive then if you just sent emails. Hopefully the table below will help you to identify what hard drive you need.
|Computer User||Hard Drive Size||Cost|
|The Basic Computer User: |
Uses his/her computer for surfing the internet, sending emails and writing up basic documents.
|Middle Range User: |
Uses his/her computer for surfing the internet, sending emails, writing up documents, other applications and for basic games.
|Common Computer User:|
Uses his/her computer like themiddle range user except that this user plays better games (not the latest) uses more advanced programs (such as photoshop etc.) and uses his/her computer for entertainment purposes such as music, tv and watching movies.
|Hard Core Gamer or Video Editor: |
Uses his/her computer for playing hard-core games or for intensive applications and programs, or for high-end video editing.
How long do you want your computer to last
The last step in choosing a hard drive is to work out how long you want it to be before you hard drive fills up. If you buy a computer hard drive with only 40Gb then you would be forced to upgrade in a few weeks, months or years depending on your situation. Then you would need to swap all your information from your 40Gb onto a new hard drive and it all becomes a big hassle. However, if you buy a decent hard drive say 250Gb then you will not have to upgrade for ages if at all. As programs and applications become more advanced and as photos and videos take up more space, you will need increasingly bigger hard drives, so why not buy a big hard drive in the first place.
What about the Hard Drive Manufacturer?
There are so many hard drive manufacturers, that it can sometimes be hard to know what to choose. Personally I think that Western Digital and Seagate are the best hard drive manufacturers and most of the time, I will buy from them. However, I do suggest that you take your time and have a look at each of them, before making your decision.
My recommendation in choosing a hard drive would be to get a decent size hard drive instead of upgrading constantly. I don’t know if you noticed in the table above but there is very little price difference between say a 80Gb hard drive and a 250Gb so why not get the bigger one for another $20. I would highly recommend getting a hard drive that at least does 7200rpms and a Western Digital or Seagate Hard Drive.
There are some good suggestions below.
- How to choose a CPU
- How to choose a Motherboard
- How to choose Computer Memory
- How to choose a Sound Card
- How to choose a Video Card
- How to choose a Computer Case
- How to choose a Monitor
- How to format a hard drive using Windows Vista
- How to format a hard drive using Windows XP
- External Hard Drives
- Hard Drive Manufacturers