How to choose the right type of hard drive

Written By: Ontrack

Date Published: 1 September 2022 10:15:02 AM

How to choose the right type of hard drive

For most people, hard drives go beyond being a simple object. They are the keeper of our memories, work files, favourite music tracks, and personal videos. In essence, they are the digital archive of our lives! But buying a hard drive can be a difficult choice. This blog aims to help you make a more informed choice.

As they hold such importance for many people, we thought it was a good idea to look into some of the main considerations you should take before purchasing one.

Should I buy an HDD or an SSD?

This is one of the most common decisions people face when looking to buy a storage device. Both types of drive come with their pros and cons, but what you choose will depend on what you will use the drive for.

For example, if you plan on buying a drive to use for long-term data backup storage then a traditional HDD is your best bet. HDDs are much cheaper per gigabyte than SSDs, so you will be paying much less for more storage availability.

On the other hand, if you plan to access the drive on a regular occasion and will be running an operating system, then an SSD will probably suit you better. SSDs read and write data faster and are more suitable for storing data that is going to be frequently accessed.

What size should I get?

So you’ve chosen to go with an HDD over an SSD. That’s the first part completed! But what size do you choose?

That’s going to entirely depend on what you are storing. If you just want to transfer and store a limited number of files between your computer and a hard drive, then you could buy a portable hard drive. These types of hard drive offer ease and accessibility on the go and are generally available between 1TB and 4TB.

On the other hand, if you are looking to back up your entire computer or a number of computers then a larger drive will be needed. Most desktop drives are available from 4TB to 16TB, and as a 10TB hard drive could store roughly around 1.8millions photo files most people would find that size suitable.

What speed should I get?

Basically, the higher the advertising revolutions per minute (RPMs) the faster the transfer of data to and from the drive will be. For example, a 7200RPM drive will always be faster than a 5400RPM drive.

Research the failure rate

As HDDs have mechanical moving parts, you have to acknowledge that wear and tear will occur over time. Some models of HDDs wear at a different rate to others, so it is important that you research the models you are considering. According to Storage Review, a hard drive has a failure rate of 1.5 million hours, while an SSD has a failure rate of 2 million hours. However, as explained above, if you wait a drive for long-term storage that could be left disconnected for years, HDDs are far more durable than SSDs.

How much should I pay for a hard drive?

Cheaper is definitely not better! Especially as once again fake storage devices are being sold on online marketplaces such as eBay. While shopping around, you’ll find the price ranges vary greatly dependent on brand and storage capacity. It will be up to you to determine what of the factors described are most important to you and find a brand that you trust and has good reviews!

Should I buy a hard drive for my Xbox or PlayStation?

While we are a great advocate of the HDD for data storage, gaming is another matter! The choice of the drive you choose can seriously impact the performance of the games you play, therefore always choose an SSD. With a much faster loading speed, the SSD completely outruns the HDD and will make your gaming experience much more enjoyable.

We hope the above information has helped you make a decision on which hard drive to purchase. Just remember to always back up your important files by following the 3-2-1 rule that way you hopefully won’t be needing a data recovery company like Ontrack!


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