Per­haps it is from this para­me­ter that you should build on. 500 GB and 1 TB dri­ves are suit­able main­ly for office com­put­ers. If you are an active user who reg­u­lar­ly down­loads movies and installs games, we would rec­om­mend pay­ing atten­tion to mod­els with a capac­i­ty of 2 TB or more. Why not 1? It’s sim­ple: some mod­ern AAA games take up 200–250 GB. 4 games and the hard dri­ve is full.

In the cur­rent real­i­ties, the trend of increas­ing hard dri­ve space will not dis­ap­pear and will only accel­er­ate in the com­ing years. Graph­ics are get­ting bet­ter, res­o­lu­tions are get­ting high­er, game worlds are get­ting big­ger. Hence it turns out that a ter­abyte is eat­en up by just a cou­ple of projects.

When it comes to data stor­age (for exam­ple, back­ups or archives of pro­fes­sion­al pho­tos and videos), take a HDD of at least 4 TB. Options from 6 TB are still expen­sive (in terms of 1 TB of mem­o­ry).


At the moment, an inter­est­ing sit­u­a­tion has devel­oped in the hard dri­ve mar­ket. HDD dri­ves, which have been accus­tomed for many years, are being replaced by pro­gres­sive SSD hard dri­ves. There are both tech­ni­cal and struc­tur­al dif­fer­ences between them. So which hard dri­ve is bet­ter for a gam­ing pc, SSD or HDD? First, SSDs are much small­er than HDDs. This sol­id state dri­ve is much eas­i­er to install even in a minia­ture sys­tem unit. Sec­ond­ly, thanks to tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tions, the SSD has many times the speed of writ­ing and read­ing data. And this direct­ly affects the per­for­mance not only in con­ven­tion­al pro­grams, but also in games. Lev­els and loca­tions will load faster, and over­all per­for­mance will also increase. But reli­a­bil­i­ty is still high­er for HDD hard dri­ves. For exam­ple, if an SSD fails, then it is impos­si­ble to repair it, as well as restore infor­ma­tion. But oth­er­wise, the HDD notice­ably los­es to its young and devel­op­ing com­peti­tor.

difference between SSD or HDD

Spindle speed

This is the main para­me­ter that affects the speed per­for­mance of the hard dri­ve to the max­i­mum extent. Today, there are two main types of HDD: with a spin­dle speed of 5400 and 7200 rpm. There are mod­els with up to 15,000 rpm, but they are very expen­sive and rare. So these hard dri­ves are beyond the scope of home use.

We rec­om­mend 7200 rpm dri­ves because they are on aver­age 1.5 times faster than 5400 rpm. How­ev­er, 5400 rpm is bet­ter for a lap­top because it gen­er­ates less heat and less vibra­tion. And low-speed HDDs are con­sid­ered more reli­able due to less wear and tear on com­po­nents.

How to choose a hard drive

Sim­ply put, the form fac­tor is the size, in this case the size of the stor­age medi­um in the PC. Also, the form fac­tor describes the appear­ance of the device.

The stan­dard HDD form fac­tor is 3.5″. It is for this size in mod­ern com­put­er cas­es that slots for hard dri­ves are designed, but there are excep­tions. For exam­ple, in some cas­es with­out a spe­cial stand-tray for a hard dri­ve, it sim­ply can­not be fixed to the side walls with screws.

Now there is a ten­den­cy to reduce the form fac­tor of dri­ves. There is a smooth tran­si­tion to 2.5 inch­es, because huge devices are no longer required to store large amounts of infor­ma­tion, as before. In addi­tion, some man­u­fac­tur­ers are already announc­ing that they will stop pro­duc­ing 3.5‑inch dri­ves. If you fun­da­men­tal­ly do not want to use the new for­mat, then take a clos­er look at 2.5‑inch dri­ves installed in a 3.5 case.

Also, the 2.5″ for­mat is used in stor­age dri­ves for lap­tops and as a form fac­tor for exter­nal media con­nect­ed via USB. When such a dri­ve is con­nect­ed to USB 2.0, the data trans­fer rate can reach 480 Mbps, and when con­nect­ed to USB 3.0, the through­put increas­es to 5 Gbps.

Most mod­ern SSD dri­ves are pro­duced in 2.5 ” for­mat.

There are also M.2 form fac­tor SSDs, mSA­TA, and oth­ers. In appear­ance, they are more rem­i­nis­cent of ordi­nary boards with micro­cir­cuits, and some are eas­i­ly con­fused, for exam­ple, with RAM. In fact, this is a new stage in the evo­lu­tion of dri­ves. Moth­er­boards have PCI-Express slots, which have much more band­width than SATA. For exam­ple, PCI-Express 2.0 has a band­width of 8 Gb/s (about 1 Gb per sec­ond), while PCI-Express 3.0x4 is capa­ble of trans­fer­ring data at 32 Gb/s. For home use, such disks are prac­ti­cal­ly use­less and it is not worth over­pay­ing for them, but for work com­put­ers that work with large amounts of infor­ma­tion, they are a real must-have.

mSA­TA (micro SATA) is an SSD form fac­tor that is avail­able for instal­la­tion in lap­tops, tablets, net­books, and oth­er devices. Although some­times they can be installed in reg­u­lar moth­er­boards, but for this they must have a spe­cial slot that sup­ports the required volt­age.

It is also worth men­tion­ing the sizes of M.2 dri­ves. Usu­al­ly it is indi­cat­ed in the form of num­bers, for exam­ple, 2280. In this case, the first two dig­its are the width of the board in mm, and the last two are the length. It is impor­tant to take this para­me­ter into account when select­ing a dri­ve for a small sys­tem unit, and even more so for a lap­top, where every mil­lime­ter counts.


If the very prin­ci­ple of read­ing / writ­ing infor­ma­tion on a mag­net­ic medi­um remains unchanged for many decades, then the method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the hard dri­ve and the moth­er­board has repeat­ed­ly under­gone mod­i­fi­ca­tions, some­times rev­o­lu­tion­ary ones. For exam­ple, the IDE inter­face, which was equipped with the first PCs, is hope­less­ly out­dat­ed, although it is still found, per­haps in mod­i­fied ver­sions (EIDE, ATA).

SSD drive

An alter­na­tive HDD dri­ve is an SSD dri­ve.

Cur­rent­ly, SATA is con­sid­ered the most com­mon con­nec­tor for a com­put­er HDD, but exter­nal dri­ves are con­nect­ed via a USB port. The men­tioned SCSI inter­face is prac­ti­cal­ly nev­er found in ordi­nary PCs — it is intend­ed for orga­niz­ing disk arrays with an asso­ci­at­ed infra­struc­ture.


And so, a few results.

When buy­ing a hard dri­ve, first of all, you need to focus on the spin­dle speed and cache size. Fur­ther, pay atten­tion to the ran­dom access time, and also do not chase large disks, because they are char­ac­ter­ized by reduced per­for­mance, heat dis­si­pa­tion and reli­a­bil­i­ty.

As always, I will be glad to your ques­tions, addi­tions, thanks and every­thing else. Write in the com­ments ;)

PS: Have you bought a disk, but its size is small­er by sev­er­al giga­bytes? Read the arti­cle “Prob­lems of recal­cu­la­tion” or “Con­fu­sion with dimen­sions”. Part 2″ :)

PS2: Let me remind you that you can mea­sure the speed of your disk using the pro­gram that I wrote about here: “How to find out the speed of a hard disk”

Checklist for choosing a hard drive

  1. Decide on the type of dri­ve: inter­nal or exter­nal.
  2. Esti­mate the required vol­ume. Keep in mind that the real will be less than the nom­i­nal.
  3. Check the con­nec­tion inter­face. Make sure your PC has the cor­rect ports.
  4. Choose a form fac­tor depend­ing on the instal­la­tion loca­tion.
  5. Find out the rota­tion speed. Keep in mind that fast dri­ves are more expen­sive and nois­i­er.
  6. Spec­i­fy the size of the buffer. For basic tasks, a stan­dard cache is enough; for pro­fes­sion­al work, the larg­er it is, the bet­ter.


Many users trust some com­pa­nies and com­plete­ly ignore oth­ers.

I can rec­om­mend WD, Toshi­ba, Sea­gate and Tran­scend as trust­ed sup­pli­ers that pro­duce good hard dri­ves. And here are some good HDD mod­els for you, which I would buy myself if nec­es­sary:
  • West­ern Dig­i­tal Black 500GB 7200rpm 32MB WD5000LPLX 2.5 SATA III;
  • Toshi­ba P300 1TB 7200rpm 64MB HDWD110UZSVA 3.5 SATA III;
  • Sea­gate Bar­raCu­da HDD 2TB 7200rpm 64MB ST2000DM006 3.5 SATA III.

You can find out how and where it is bet­ter to buy com­po­nents for the sys­tem unit from this arti­cle. Thank you for your atten­tion and see you on the pages of my blog! Do not for­get to share pub­li­ca­tions in social net­works and sub­scribe to the newslet­ter.

Sin­cere­ly, blog­ger Andrey Andreev

Popular Choice — Seagate FireCuda (1TB)

The 1TB Sea­gate Fire­cu­da has all the same bells and whis­tles as the 2TB mod­el, but it’s much more afford­able. 1TB for us is the sweet spot between size and price. When you com­bine this with hybrid tech­nol­o­gy, the Fire­cu­da is a fan­tas­tic all-rounder.

Seagate ST1000LX015 Hybrid Drive

As with the 2TB Fire­Cu­da, you get both speed and capac­i­ty here. You have 1TB of stor­age space for games: Enough space to store all your major AAA games. In addi­tion to that, Fire­cu­da has flashy down­load speeds and load times that rival SSDs, mak­ing it far more effi­cient than your reg­u­lar HDD stor­age options.


The high­er the rota­tion speed of the mag­net­ic plates on which the infor­ma­tion is record­ed, the more pro­duc­tive the HDD will be. Accord­ing­ly, this para­me­ter also sig­nif­i­cant­ly affects the speed — this requires a high-qual­i­ty reli­able elec­tric dri­ve motor, which will rewind the resource laid down by the design­ers.

The most com­mon mod­els have the fol­low­ing spin­dle speed:

  • 5400;
  • 5900;
  • 7200;
  • 10,000.

For a home PC, the first two options are enough. They are heat­ed a lit­tle, almost do not make noise and are quite eco­nom­i­cal in terms of ener­gy con­sump­tion. The data trans­fer rate for such mod­i­fi­ca­tions can reach 150 MB / s.

The rota­tion speed affects the life of the device: the low­er it is, the longer the hard dri­ve will last. For this rea­son, the same devices are used in servers.

For top-end hard­ware, the third and fourth options are more suit­able. The read speed from such a disk reach­es 180 MB / s.

Decide on the type of storage

Every­thing is extreme­ly sim­ple here: hard dri­ves are inter­nal and exter­nal.

Inter­nal are installed in the PC sys­tem unit or lap­top case. They are con­nect­ed to the moth­er­board with spe­cial wires and fixed with screws in the slots pro­vid­ed for this. Inter­nal HDDs can­not be quick­ly removed and con­nect­ed to anoth­er com­put­er.

Exter­nal ones have their own case and are con­nect­ed to one of the PC ports using a cable (usu­al­ly USB, but there are oth­er options). In most cas­es, such dri­ves are pow­ered through the same cable that trans­mits data, but some­times a sep­a­rate wire with a net­work adapter is used for this. Exter­nal hard dri­ves can be car­ried around and eas­i­ly con­nect­ed to any oth­er com­put­ers and lap­tops with the appro­pri­ate port.

Best Blank HDD — Seagate Barracuda (3TB)

If you want the best all-around gam­ing hard dri­ve that’s fast and big, then look no fur­ther than the Sea­gate Bar­racu­da (3TB). It’s big enough to store all your games, leav­ing enough room for media files, even 4K!

Seagate ST3000DM007 hard drive

The Sea­gate Bar­racu­da has 3TB of free stor­age space. This space is enough to house all your Steam games, media files and impor­tant files, mak­ing it the per­fect choice for $60k-$70k builds. In many sit­u­a­tions, it still leaves you with a ton of room to play.

Keep in mind that mod­ern games require less than 20 GB. That being said, you can eas­i­ly store around 120 games per 25GB with­out any issues. This is with­out a doubt the best inter­nal hard dri­ve for gam­ing.

Buffer volume

A buffer is a kind of “inter­me­di­ate” mem­o­ry, which serves to smooth out the dif­fer­ence between the speed of infor­ma­tion trans­fer and its read­ing or writ­ing. The buffer also allows you to read data from close­ly spaced areas on a mag­net­ic disk, col­lect­ing them into a sin­gle file.

Accord­ing­ly, the larg­er the buffer, the bet­ter in terms of per­for­mance. How­ev­er, this is not always nec­es­sary: ​​for exam­ple, a com­put­er that is used only to access the Inter­net or run office appli­ca­tions does not need a hard dri­ve with a large buffer at all.

A 32 MB buffer is enough for a lap­top. For a home PC, this val­ue can be dou­bled. A gam­ing PC and a buffer of 128 MB will not be super­flu­ous.

Calculate the required volume

On sale there are dri­ves from 500 GB to 20 TB. Obvi­ous­ly, the more space, the bet­ter. How­ev­er, there are sev­er­al impor­tant points here. First­ly, with the increase in vol­ume, the price increas­es sig­nif­i­cant­ly. Sec­ond­ly, all HDDs last an aver­age of 5–7 years, and if you choose a dri­ve that is too large to grow, it may break before it is com­plete­ly full.

For a stan­dard office com­put­er, 500 GB is enough. For a home PC that is used for games, it is advis­able to take a 1–2 TB disk. If you intend to store a large num­ber of media files, then you need to pro­ceed from their vol­ume.

Also, do not for­get that the actu­al capac­i­ty of the disk will be less than the declared one. We are used to the dec­i­mal num­ber sys­tem, and man­u­fac­tur­ers, try­ing to adhere to it, and also based on their mar­ket­ing goals, indi­cate the vol­ume of dri­ves on the basis that 1 ter­abyte is equal to 1,000 giga­bytes. But com­put­ers use the bina­ry num­ber sys­tem, and in 1 TB it is not a thou­sand, but 1,024 GB. This dif­fer­ence must be tak­en into account when choos­ing.

Here is how much free space will be avail­able on disks of var­i­ous sizes after for­mat­ting:

  • 500 GB → 465.66 GB;
  • 750 GB → 698.49 GB;
  • 1 TB → 931.32 GB;
  • 2 TB → 1,861.64 GB;
  • 3 TB → 2,793.96 GB;
  • 4 TB → 3,725.29 GB;
  • 8 TB → 7450.58 GB.