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Hardware Changes - Part 2 - Hard Drives (Page 1):

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Hard Drives: Consider upgrading your hard drive, a newer faster drive will definitely make a big difference to your system, if your have the connections, then consider adding a sata drive, even without a sata connection on your board you can purchase an expansion card to add these ports and benefit from the cheaper prices of these faster and larger drives. Most computers now are supplied with SATA hard drives.

About: The hard drive is abbreviated to HDD, as in Hard Disk Drive. The HDD is used as storage by your computer, think of it as a large book shelf that you can put everything into. This allows access to this information, without the need to insert disks, CD's, or other items that you can store information in. Your programs, personal information and operating system will all be here. 

The name "Hard Disk" is often used mistakenly for the tower unit (or case).

There are 4 main different types of hard drives, SCSI, IDE and Serial ATA (SATA), and external. We will cover these briefly.

SCSI HDD (SAS Hard drive) - these drives are for high end users or servers, they are not necessarily faster than SATA drives but they tend to be more reliable, at the same time come with a high price bracket. You should put series thought and research into SCSI drives before buying.

Recommended for : Workstations, mid-level to high-end servers, storage area networks, network attached storage, RAID storage arrays, filing and printing, EMA/Groupware, databases, data mining, CAD, Data Streaming, and intensive graphic applications.

IDE HDD - The IDE drive is the old standard for home and business computers, it has now been largely if not completely replaced by SATA. IDE drives attach to the same connection as your CD and DVD drives, because of the competitiveness of this market you should expect to buy at a very low price. If you wish to change or add a new HDD then you should think IDE first. Remember always buy the largest and fastest you can afford. In present day, as long as your computer supports it, look for at least an 80GB drive that runs at 7200 rpm, and has a 2mb cache.

Recommended for : Old Computer


SERIAL ATA (SATA) - These drives are the Standard for today's computers. All new motherboards now come with connections for the drives. These drives have large capacity, big buffers and have fast transfer rates. 

Be careful what you are buying though, as some older SATA 1.0 (1.5GB) motherboards will not accept SATA 3.0 drives, although SATA 2.0 drives usually work on both, but only at the speed of the drive/port whichever is lowest.

Another type of SATA drive to look out for is SSD (Solid state Drives), these are faster again and tend to be very reliable, although quite expensive.

Recommended for : Home users, small businesses and most gamers


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