Hard Disk DrivesThe main hard disk drive brands are Western Digital, Seagate and Hitachi. Many people believe that Western Digital and Hitachi make the most reliable hard disk drives. Besides regular hard disk drives, there are also solid state drives which are a new and faster technology that are becoming more popular as their price decreases.
Western Digital Hard Disk DrivesIf you're looking to buy a Western Digital internal hard drive some of the main types are Blue, Green, Black, Red and Purple. Western Digital drives are also sometimes labelled as Caviar, for example a Western Digital Caviar Blue is the same as a Western Digital Blue.
Western Digital BlueWestern Digital Blue is the standard Western Digital hard drive for everyday computing. They offer good reliability and speed and come with a two year warranty. They are inexpensive compared to other drives and don't use a lot of power. For regular users, a Western Digital Blue will work fine as the computer's main hard drive with the operating system and programs installed on. Therefore if you want a hard drive for normal type of use then Western Digital Blue is a good choice.
Western Digital GreenWestern Digital Greens use less power than other Western Digital hard drives. However they're designed to be used as a hard drive that won't be accessed as often, for example as a storage drive or a drive to backup your data. If Western Digital Greens are used as the main hard drive and are frequently being read from and written to then they will wear out quicker than other hard drives.
Western Digital BlackWestern Digital Black is one of the most reliable and fast hard drive models. They are designed and tested to be faster and more reliable than Western Digital Blues. However they also use more power, make more noise and are more expensive. The Western Digital Black comes with a five year warranty which is the longest.
If you're a power user who runs programs which access the hard drive a lot (such as video editing and games) and so you need a fast hard drive that can stand up to frequent accessing then the Western Digital Black is a good choice. Also if you need a very reliable drive to store important data on then Western Digital Blacks are well suited.
Western Digital RedWestern Digital Red hard drives are drives designed for NAS (network attached storage).
Western Digital PurpleWestern Digital Purple hard drives are designed for surveillance. Most hard drives are not designed to be used 24 hours per day, seven days per week. But if you have surveillance cameras continually recording video to your hard drive then the hard drive will need to be in use continually. Western Digital Purple drives are made for this and so if you're buying a hard drive for surveillance then these are a good choice, otherwise it's better to buy a different hard drive for other uses.
Solid State Drives (SSDs)Solid State Drives (SSDs) are a new technology which don't store data magnetically like traditional hard drives. Instead of a magnetic spinning disc or platter inside them, SSDs utilize integrated circuits as memory to store data.
Advantages of SSDsThe main advantage of SSDs compared to regular hard disk drives is that they are much faster, especially their random access times since they dont have to physically move a head to new locations on the disc like regular hard drives. SSDs also do not have to be defragmented, or at least much more rarely. SSDs are more reliable since they have no moving parts which could fail mechanically from wear and tear, although SSDs can fail when there's a sudden power outage. SSDs also usually make no noise and they use less power.
Disadvantages of SSDsThe biggest disadvantage of SSDs is their cost per gigabyte of storage space. SSDs currently cost several times what a regular hard drive of the same size costs. However SSD prices have been quickly decreasing over the years.
Using SSDs and Regular Hard Disk Drives TogetherBecause of their large cost, the most common use of SSDs currently is for a computer to have both a relatively small SSD and a larger regular hard drive installed. The SSD will contain the operating system and other programs that need fast access times, such as games and programs which are used often. The slower regular hard drive will then be used as a storage drive for things like backups, programs which are used less often and large files such as movies. This way the computer can have both the benefits of SSD speed and of a large hard disk drive storage capacity without things becoming too expensive.
Some hard drive manufacturers sell hybrids of SSD and regular hard disk drive which work on a similar principle.
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