What is a hard drive?
A hard drive is the central storing point for all of your computer's data / files. How much data can be stored is indicated by the amount of Gigabytes - a unit of measurement for computer data. Whether you choose to upgrade for speed, capacity, or longevity, or redundancy via RAID, we are sure to stock a drive to suite your needs. Choose from popular brands such as Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital and more.
What hard drive should I buy?
Hard Disk Drives (HDD) have been the main staple for computer storage over the last few decades. But now we have Solid State Drives (SSD) which use Flash memory for storing data (similar to a USB drive) instead of spinning discs, which is what HDDs use.
SSDs have proven to be faster, and more stable, but the dollar price is often much closer to the total number of gigabytes than an HDD. So should you get less, higher quality storage for more money, or more lower quality storage for much less money?
The argument can be made for both. If you're going to get a desktop and want more than a terabyte of storage, the answer is pretty clear: get an HDD. But if you're going to get a laptop and want to have a smooth system that you can use in an instant, get a good external hard drive (which is likely to be an HDD) and install an SSD in your laptop. We carry several brands of SSD including Crucial, Mushkin, OCZ, Samsung, Kingston, and more.
There are other options as well. There are Seagate and Western Digital hybrid drives, which use both technologies in one drive for faster performance, larger storage, and lower cost. For a desktop, you can also install a small SSD, maybe 32-64GB, as the main system boot disk for fast performance and install an HDD as a storage drive to boost.
What do the different form factors (sizes) mean?
Regarding form factor, be sure that you're getting a 2.5 inch HDD for your laptop or notebook PC, and of those, make sure your system takes a 9mm 2.5" HDD, or 7mm 2.5" HDD. This could make a difference especially if you have ultrabook. SSDs mostly come in 2.5inch form factor, making them fairly easy to install in many desktop and laptops. For desktops and standard NAS/RAID enclosures you will want to go with a 3.5" drive as they tend to be cheaper per GB, faster, and more efficient.
What is a RAID array?
RAID is an interface in which you may connect multiple hard drives of the same capacity in a series. The management of these drives is handled by a chipset called the RAID controller. There are seven different raid modes however the most commonly used are RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5. Each mode provides it's benefits and setbacks. RAID 0 favors speed, RAID 1 favors security, and RAID 5 favors a combination of the previous two.