Hard Drive Sizes – Why They Are Important

The hard drive inside your computer is the most important storage device of the computer.  It retains all your information e.g. photographs, music files and documents in a permanent format when the computer is turned off.  The size of hard drives are measured in Gigabytes (GB) and Terabytes (TB) and, when comparing like with like, the larger the number, the more storage space the computer has. You should be aware that 1TB is approximately 1,000GB so 1TB can hold far more information than 750GB.

When you are thinking about buying a new home computer or laptop, it is important to consider how the hard drive works with your computer and how much storage space you may need.  When you save information on your computer, the data is recorded on a magnetic disk or platter inside the hard drive.  Inside most hard drives are several platters that spin very fast, sometimes up to 15,000 times per minute.  The amount of hard drive space the computer has will affect how much data that can be saved.  The data on a hard drive is permenant until deleted or erased and, unlike the working memory (RAM) does not need a constant power supply to keep storing the information.  Not long ago the storage size of hard drives were small and could be measured in megabytes (MB), now most new computers and laptops have no less than 250 GB.  

Today, computers are used to store a massive amount of information such as videos and photos so increasing storage size is important so that the computer will not get bogged down.  Choosing a hard drive can be confusing if you don't know what to look for and performance in a hard drive can vary dramatically.  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to save information and learning your hard is full.  So, before you buy a computer, think about the sort of use you will make of it.  If it's just for general use such as email and surfing the Internet then the hard drive does not have to be bigger than about 160GB.  However, if you plan to store lots of photos, music or videos then your computer will need to be equipped with a larger amount of hard drive space.  You can purchase 500GB and bigger of hard drive space on most computers.  The general rule of thumb for buying hard drive space is to buy the largest amount of space you think you will need and that you can afford.  Of course, price is another factor when choosing the right hard drive size.  The most common size of hard drive for the money is probably 500 gigabytes.  These hard drive sizes are readily available on most operating systems.   There are plenty to choose from on HardDriveBuyer.  They are a good economical choice for computer users needing the computer for everyday storage and use. If you find that the hard drive inside your computer is getting full you can always add to it by using an external hard drive.  A 1TB external hard drive doesn't cost much these days and can store an enormous amount of data.

Besides the size of the hard drive and purchase price consider access times and transfer rates when looking at hard drives.  The transfer rate is how much data can be transferred per second.  This can vary though, depending on the condition of the computer.  A computer that is nearly full may have a much slower transfer rate.  Transfer rates come in either internal or external.  The internal transfer rate is how fast the hard drive can read the date.  The external transfer rate is how fast the drive can speed data to whatever it is connected to.  Usually, the transfer rate will be a little slower than listed, so it is best to get a faster transfer rate.  The external rate is link to the type of hard drive that the computer is using. 

Be aware that hard drive speed is affect by the computer’s capabilities.  If your computer is slow, a bigger and faster hard drive will do you little good.  Also, if your computer is operating slowly, a bogged down hard drive may be the problem.  If your computer system is running slow, deleting unnecessary files from the hard drive.  Defrag is another option used to optimize slow hard drive systems.  Fragmentation of the hard drive occurs when the operating system breaks a saved file into separate pieces and stores them in other places.  This usually happens when there is not enough room to store all the date.  Defrag takes those stored file fragments and pieces them back together again.  The process can be time consuming, but is a good way to optimize hard drive space and the speed of the computer.