Hard drives are storage devices that allow the user of a computer to store files on it for a period of time determined by the user. The existence of these devices allows computers to run complex operating systems such as Windows or Linux.
Years ago, solid state drives or SSDs, a new technology that aims to replace the “traditional” hard drive. However, there is still a lot of ignorance about the differences between each of the types of storage disks that can be accessed.
10 Types of hard drives
1 hard disk or HDD
1.1 Advantages and disadvantages of conventional hard drives or HDD:
1.2 HDD classification
1.2.1 ONE HUNDRED
1.2.3 IDE or PATA
2 Solid State Drive (SSD)
2.1 Advantages and disadvantages of SSD hard drives
2.2 SSD classification
2.2.1 ONE HUNDRED
2.2.2 M2 (SATA)
2.2.3 M2 (NVMe)
3 Which hard drive to choose?
Hard disk or HDD
A hard disk or HDD (from the English High Disk Drive ) is a device that allows a computer to store information within it. This information can be modified or deleted from the device, this through processes that take place inside the hard drive through the coupling of a mechanical and an electromagnetic system. That is why they are often called mechanical discs or magnetic discs.
The mechanical system is responsible for the rotation of certain disks within the device; these rotate between 5400 and 7200 times per second, which implies that the higher the speed, the higher the data transmission rate. In addition, the smaller the thickness of these, the greater the storage capacity .
The electromagnetic system does, however, take care of writing information on the disks. Next, another component of the system interprets the magnetic configuration of the discs, organizing the information into zeros and ones (binary system), since this is how a computer interprets the information.
Unlike RAM memory , hard drives do not lose information when the computer is turned off, so they are reliable as a file storage system. Lately they have become cheaper and there are some with a large memory capacity, which makes them an interesting tool for storing external information, such as file backup .
Advantages and disadvantages of conventional hard drives or HDD:
- Cheap: Being a technology that has been on the market for several years, its manufacturing process has been optimized and an efficient, affordable and high-capacity unit has been achieved.
- Weight and dimensions: Regardless of the storage capacity, these devices take up a lot of space, and their weight increases in relation to the storage limit.
- Delicate to wear:related to the previous point, they are quite sensitive to falls due to their weight and mechanical structure.
- Reading speed:this detail is almost imperceptible for users of basic tools such as office automation, however for users of large programs such as graphic design and audiovisual editing, loading times are quite long.
- Sensitive to magnetic fields: Itis important to prevent an HDD device from coming into contact with magnets, no matter how small. These can alter the electromagnetic configuration of the drive and damage it, causing irreparable damage.
Being a technology that has been on the market for several years, it is normal to have a wide variety of designs and versions; however, only those that are in force will be mentioned.
SATA ( Serial ATA ) interface drives succeeded IDE interface drives, which became widely used around the year 2000. SATA drives seemed to have a different connection and some improvements compared to previous HDDs, mainly the implementation of NCQ, Native Command Queue), a more efficient method of accessing data on the hard drive and a theoretical bandwidth of up to 600 MegaBytes per second.
Hard drives of type SAS ( Serial Attached SCSI ) are the ones that replaced drives of type SCSI (acronym for Small Computer System ). They are specially designed to be implemented on servers or architectures that require high bandwidth . In fact, these reach 1,500 MegaBytes per second, much larger than a SATA drive can offer.
IDEA A STAIN
Hard drives with PATA interface ( Parallel ATA ) are a version of ATA ( Attached AT ) drives, differing from the latter by the ability to work with data in parallel (perform multiple tasks simultaneously). These types of devices are primarily known as IDEs (an acronym for Integrated Drive Electronics ).
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They were quite popular and used during the early 2000s, but today they can only be found on obsolete computers, as the computer supply industry moved fast enough to offer a better product, even being the most popular at the time. popular.
Solid State Drive (SSD)
Solid state drives or SSDs (from the English Solid State Disk ) are the most modern storage devices . They present a certain similarity with RAM memories, in the sense that they can store information without the need for a mechanical/electromagnetic mechanism.
The characteristic that differentiates this type of hard drives from RAM memories is that they do not lose the information stored when the computer is turned off; hence they are called non-volatile memories . In addition to this, newer models have a more suitable data transfer protocol for this technology.
Advantages and disadvantages of SSD hard drives
- Boot speed:They have a much higher boot speed than a HDD because the mechanical system that interacts with the disks is eliminated. In general, it is chosen to have the operating system and the programs that require more resources on the SDD, since they are initialized more quickly
- Low latency:the time between a given order and its execution, by having a solid disk, is shorter.
- Lower power consumption:The power consumption of these devices is already quite optimized.
- Lightweight and durable:Being just electronic circuits and components, it is quite light, smaller in size and drop resistant.
- Expensive:it is a technology that is still recent and in development, so it is not very profitable when it comes to obtaining a disk with a large storage capacity.
- Duration:An SSD has a limited number of writes, which means that once that number is reached, the device will no longer allow the user to write and modify information on it.
The earliest versions of SSD drives were those with a SATA interface. This configuration does not allow you to fully exploit this technology, since it uses the same data transfer protocols as a SATA hard drive.
Unlike SATA SSDs, this one has a slightly different look and architecture. It looks a lot like RAM and connects to the motherboard via the M2 port, leaving the SATA cable behind. However, these still use the SATA protocol which limits their capabilities .
It is the most powerful version of the SSD. This is because it uses a different protocol, NVMe (for its acronym in English, Non-volatile Memory Express ) with which it exploits the PCI-express connection, with a more efficient transfer of information with the computer’s CPU.
Which hard drive to choose?
Choosing an SSD or HDD storage device is not a matter of preference but of functionality and convenience. SSD drives offer much shorter load times, making them a must-have option for those working with software that requires as little latency as possible.
For users limited to office tools, the use of an SSD will not be an advantage, except that the operating system will boot faster. In addition, it could be a disadvantage if a large storage space is needed, since the HDD has a large capacity in this regard and at a lower price.
However, many users (at InternetCtrl we recommend this option) resort to the combination of these options, leaving the SSD as storage space for the operating system and programs that require low latency and a HDD to store data. This option is quite responsible in the sense that it prolongs the life of the SSD, since it is in file handling that a large number of write operations are performed.