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The 10 Best Internal Hard Drives  Nov 2018

results are based on 100 reviews scanned

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Best Internal Hard Drives - Seagate Barracuda - 2 TB internal hard drive Review Seagate
9 . 8
Best Internal Hard Drives - Seagate IronWolf 4 TB 3.5 inch Internal Hard Review Seagate
9 . 6
Best Internal Hard Drives - Toshiba P300 High Performance 3TB Internal Hard Drive Review Toshiba
9 . 1
Best Internal Hard Drives - WD 4 TB Desktop Hard Drive - Blue Review WD
8 . 9
Best Internal Hard Drives - Seagate BarraCuda 4 TB 3.5 inch Internal Hard Review Seagate
8 . 6
Best Internal Hard Drives - Seagate 4 TB Internal HDD BarraCuda SATA Hard Review Seagate
8 . 3
Best Internal Hard Drives - WD Blue 2TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive Review Western Digital
7 . 9
Best Internal Hard Drives - WD Blue 3TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive Review Western Digital
7 . 8
Best Internal Hard Drives - Seagate 3 TB BarraCuda 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM Review Seagate
7 . 3
Best Internal Hard Drives - Seagate 3.5-Inch 1 TB BarraCuda Internal Hard Drive Review Seagate
7 . 3

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Your Guide To Buying an Internal Hard Drive

By Yehudah Posnick

    When the 1 Terabyte hard drive came out, people (well, older people who were accustomed to older computers) wondered how would they be able to need so much space. But when they started saving pictures and movies, they would realize that the 1 Terabyte starts to fill up fast. Also, you would like to retrieve the data stored on the hard disk easily and quickly. If you are booting your computer from this drive, you want it to boot up fast. So you need a hard drive that works quickly. What are the specs to look at when trying to buy a new internal hard disk for your desktop or laptop? Here is a guide to some of the best internal hard drives on the market.  

    You can use an internal hard drive for installing an operating system and all your important programs. Or you can use an internal hard drive for extra storage space, when you see that your original hard drive is filling up.

    (Important: If your original hard drive is full to the brim, the computer won't even boot. Then you'll have to find some way of transferring data to a DVD, disk-on-key, or internal or external hard drive.)

    • Hard Disk Drive (=HDD): They have rotating metal platters upon which the data is stored magnetically. These can be distinguished by the type of connection that is required:

      • SATA (= Serial Advanced Technology Attachment): This type of connection was introduced in 2003, and is probably what your computer requires nowadays. It features a narrower connection cable, and faster and more efficient data transfer. You'll see them available in two sizes:

        • 3.5” wide: These are the typical size for a desktop computer, that will fit into the hard disk slot in the computer case.

        • 2.5” wide: These are the typical size for a laptop computer, but some use these in desktop computers as well, so as to save space.

      • IDE (= Integrated Drive Electronics) or PATA (= Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment): Older computers may not have a SATA connection, and will require the older, wider IDE connector cable. You'll see two rows of 20 pins on the hard disk. Your computer will have a gray IDE ribbon cable to which to attach the hard disk.

    • Solid State Drives: These use the same technology as the USB flash memories. They offer even larger sizes and faster speeds than the typical rotating-disk type hard disk drive. But they also cost more. They usually come in 2.5” sizes, so they'll need a special adapter to be installed in a desktop computer.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    • Packaging: If you are having the hard drive mailed to you, the hard drive should be packed properly. It should be packaged in an anti-static bag, shock-absorbent casing, and with some sort of sealed air padding (like bubble wrap).

    • Warranty: Since you use the hard drive to install your operating system, programs, and documents, you don't want the thing to fail you. The warranty that the company provides is an indication of how long they expect the product to last. A Western Digital hard drive typically has a warranty of five years. Other companies insure the product will still be functional for two or three years.

    • Beware of “component” drives: These are hard drives that are cannibalized from other hard drives. They will be significantly cheaper, but not be covered by any warranty. People complained about such drives suffering from being seriously inconsistent in their data transfer.

    • Size of the hard disk: This is the major concern in buying a hard disk—when this fills up, you'll either have to buy an external hard disk for backup, or get yet another hard disk! The sizes will be in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB). You'll see new new hard drives for desktops that are 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB or more.

    • Connecting your hard disk to the computer: If you are hooking up a hard drive into a desktop, you'll notice that there are two connections required:

    • Power: There will be a cable from the computer's power supply that connects to the hard drive.

      For the SATA hard disk, the power cable will be an L-shaped, 15-contact connector. For the IDE hard disk, it will be a 4-pin “Molex” connector.

    • Data: For the SATA hard disk, this will be a red SATA data cable that connects from the motherboard to the hard disk. For the IDE hard disk, this will be a wide, gray 40-pin ribbon cable.

    • Hard disk spindle speed: There are two speeds involved in the functioning of the hard disk:

      • Speed at which the disk spins: The speed at which the metal disk in the hard drive rotates is going to determine the speed of data retrieval and writing. Desktop hard disks can spin at 7,200 revolutions per minute—there are more advanced versions where the spin rate is 10,000 rpm.

      • Data Transfer Rate: There are several versions of SATA, distinguished by their data transfer rates: SATA I has a transfer rate of 1.5 Gigabit/second. SATA II has a data transfer rate of 3.0 Gigabit/second, and SATA III has a data transfer rate of 6.0 Gigabit/second.

    • The disk buffer of the hard disk is the embedded memory of the hard disk drive. It is used for temporary storage of information between the hard disk and the computer. For example, a 500 GB hard disk will have a 16 GB buffer. The size of the buffer can also influence the performance of the hard disk, but the most important barometer is the rotational rate.

    • Seek time: This is how long does it take the head assembly that reads the data to travel along the disk and locate the information. The faster this is, the faster you can retrieve and store information.

    • A Second Internal Hard Drive: You might want still more storage space on your computer. Nowadays, desktop computers have as many as 4 or even 6 SATA connection cables. If you have a power supply cable available on your power supply, you can attach it to your hard drive. You just have to get another data cable that connects between the motherboard and the hard disk.

    • Second hard drive in a laptop: Sometimes you'll want to install a second hard disk into your laptop, to have extra storage space. Check that your laptop has a place for a second hard disk. Even if it doesn't, you can removing the DVD drive from the laptop. There is a special casing (called a “caddy”) in which you place the 2.5” hard drive, and attach it in place of the DVD drive. 

    Western Digital-- is a computer data storage company. They were founded in 1970 by Alvin B. Phillips, in Irvine California. They make internal and external hard drives for desktop and laptop computers, as well as other portable storage devices.

    Seagate-- is a data storage company, founded in 1978 by Alan Shugart in Dublin, Ireland, with an operational headquarters in Cupertino, California. They make a number of products for storage and portability of computer data, for personal computers, gaming, network attached storage (NAS), and surveillance.

    Samsungis a company founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 in Suwon, South Korea. They entered the electronics field in 1969. They are manufacturers of batteries, hard drives, flash memories, and consumer electronics, such as mobile phones and televisions.

    Plantronics-- is an electronics company based in Santa Cruz, California. They were founded in 1962 by Courtney Graham and Keith Larkin, originally making compact headsets, which were eventually used in the US space program. They later expanded to headsets for PCs and gaming. They also make sound cards and hard drives.

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