December 18, 2008

Buying a PC #2 Hard Drive

If you haven't already read the Buying a PC #1 Processor, we are in the middle of my checklist for buying a new PC.

I put the Hard Drive at number 2 but in reality this is a tie with memory or RAM.

Durring my 486 build, hard drives were still fairly expensive although not nearly as expensive as this 10mb hard drive pictured in this early 1980's advertisement. I ended up with a 6mb hard drive that took a 5 1/4 inch bay to mount. For those of you that don't know what a mb is, it stands for megabyte. Today we measure hard drives in Gigabytes which 1 gigabyte is 1000 megabytes (roughly). We are even getting into the Terrabytes (1000 gigabytes roughly). But back in the day my tiny 6mb drive was enough to get started with. Later on when I had maxed out my hard drive I used a Microsoft DOS program called doublespace. For the morbidly curious you can google doublespace to get an idea of all the grief I went through to use this program and what it took to remove it.

Now for the modern hard drive shopper, you need to know only a few items to understand hard drives.

First is what size is it. Most new hard drives are anywhere between 120 gigabytes and 600 gigabytes, but with newer technology it's not unknown to acquire hard drives up to 1.5 terabytes. My rule is the bigger the better if you can afford it. If you need to save money, I would get at least a 250 gigabyte hard drive.

The second factor is what is the access speed. This is rated in RPM's (revolutions per minute). Most commercial hard drives are either 5200 or 7200. 7200 is definately better, but at a higher price tag.

The third factor is the data transfer rate. This will probably be anywhere between 45 MB to 3 GB. Bigger is better here also.

Remember speed is great, but think about how you want to use your computer. If all you do is surf the internet, read e-mail and play solitaire then you don't need the biggest or fastest hard drive. On the other hand if you want to be the next crisis champion and will be blazing away at opponents in the next great first person shooter, don't let a slow hard drive be you whiny excuse for getting toasted.

No comments:

Hex Converter

Hex To ASCII Converter



Integer to Byte converter

This is a tool to practice converting between decimal and binary representations. After you have practiced for a while and feel that you know how to do the conversions, take the quiz.
Decimal number to convert:
Binary representation:

Binary number to convert:
Decimal representation: