What Are the Different Types of Hard Drives That Exist Today?

by Alexander Griffin
What Are the Different Types of Hard Drives That Exist Today

Thinking of buying a new hard drive for your PC or laptop?

Before you do, make sure you know which one to get. There are different types of hard drives and each has its set of pros and cons. From reading speed to costs, you’ll need to know which one suits your needs and budget.

Don’t fret, we’re here to help you figure it out. Check out our guide below to learn more about hard drives:

Internal Hard Drives

When most people think of a computer’s hard drive, they picture an internal one. This is the storage device connected directly to a computer’s motherboard. There are two types of internal hard drives, both of which we’ll discuss more in-depth below.

Without an internal hard drive, your PC won’t work. These are for more than storage purposes. You need an internal hard drive to run your computer’s operating system.

How many internal hard drives can your PC hold? That depends on your motherboard. Older motherboards can only hold one or two but nowadays you can find a few that hold up to four. 

Of course, the kind of hard drive you get depends on your motherboard. We’ll tackle this more in-depth when diving into the pros and cons of HDDs vs SSDs.

External Hard Drives

External hard drives are the ones you can take around with you. These are portable storage devices and carry tons more storage space compared to a USB flash drive. You’ll find most of these in the market are now SSDs instead of older HDDs. 

Some of the older external hard drives require an additional power source. Newer ones, however, don’t require any. All you have to do is plug them into your PC and you can begin transferring files or accessing applications.

Both old and new types will connect to your PC or laptop via a USB port. For faster transferring, look for an external hard drive that connects through USB 3.

Hard Disk Drives

HDDs are the older of the two types of hard drives. These utilize a mechanical spinning disk. When writing data, a tiny mechanical arm embeds the data onto that platter. 

As time passed by, HDDs got smaller and a lot faster. Manufacturers also managed to squeeze more data into these devices too. However, you won’t find a lot of HDDs brand new anymore as the SSD is now the default choice for many.

Why pick an HDD over the newer, faster SSD? Consider the pros and cons of hard disk drives below:

Pros of Using HDD

One of the biggest benefits of using an HDD is the low cost. These are older devices so you won’t pay much for one. At the same time, you’ll get a lot of storage for the price you pay.

HDDs also store a lot of data. You’ll find HDDs nowadays that can hold up to 16 TB of storage. This is the optimal choice if you want to store tons of project files, movies, or video games with large install sizes. 

If you only need a hard drive for storing files or for office and schoolwork, this is the type of device to rely on. Keep in mind that older ones might need an external power supply.

If hard drive fails can you recover data? With an HDD, you can. This is one aspect that puts it above modern SSDs.

Cons of Using HDD

HDDs rely on a lot of tiny moving mechanical pieces. This means even a little bit of jostling could break the device. You need to practice caution when carrying an HDD around.

Because these devices use mechanical parts, the read and write speed isn’t as fast as an SSD. It’ll take quite a while to transfer large files, specifically movies or video games. You can boost the speed a little bit by getting an HDD that uses USB 3 technology.

Laptops with HDDs often only come with one piece. These are big devices, after all, so you might not have space for an additional HDD. You’ll have to rely on an external storage device instead.

Solid-State Drives

An SSD doesn’t rely on mechanical components. Instead, it uses a chip and flash memory. This not only makes it sturdier and smaller but also makes SSDs faster. 

Are you buying a new laptop or desktop PC? There’s a higher chance you’ll get one with an SSD installed. Discover why this benefits you below:

Pros of an SSD

The biggest benefit of an SSD is its superior reading and writing speed. SSD devices don’t rely on mechanical parts, after all. With an SSD, it takes little to no time to transfer files.

Faster reading time also means less lag and loading time when playing high-end video games. 

SSDs are also small and compact. Modern laptops allow you to install more than one SSD, giving you more storage options. This is a great advantage for people who buy tons of video games or need space for big projects, such as architects or video editors.

Cons of an SSD

One of the biggest hurdles with SSDs is their current storage limitations. The largest ones available commercially are only up to 3 TB. Some go beyond 32 GB but those are the exceptions, not the rule.

SSDs are also expensive. These aren’t the best choice for students on a tight budget.

Unlike HDDs, an SSD drive doesn’t offer a lot of options when it comes to recovering lost data. Once you delete something or the drive breaks, it’s gone forever.

Buy the Right Types of Hard Drives

Now you know the different types of hard drives and which ones suit your needs and budget. From HDDs to SSDs, don’t hesitate to revisit this guide when you need assistance making an informed shopping decision.

Of course, getting the right hard drive is only one step in improving your PC setup. If you want more technology guides or if you want posts covering business and general topics, we’ve got your back. Dive into more of our posts today to learn all the tips you need.

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