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haideeerpsoftware

What are the basic traits of a good hard drive?

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I'm complete computer noob (as I've stated before in another thread I made). The only quality I like to emphasize in a hard drive is having a ton of space but looking through these forums, I feel like there might be more to it. Can anyone help me so I'll know how to choose them better? :unsure:

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My 2cents...

It depends from the purpose, very much like as when choosing cars!

If you are racing with it, you need it light and fast, like Formula1 cars.

If you are crossing the desert with it, you need it reliable and AWD, like a Land Rover.

:)

Edited by Relax_nl

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To put you in the right direction, what use would this drive be put in? Right now most hard drives are purpose built for different scenarios to get the most out of that setting. Besides just physical size, you are also working with spindle rotational speed, interface, and type of usage model (performance, bulk storage, media streaming, etc).

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Okay, so I need to define a purpose for it.

Well I'm a gamer who likes stockpiling videos of his favorite anime, has a tendency to like games that use up gigabyte chunks of space, and at the same time, I'm a little paranoid about viruses so I feel tempted to have a computer with this little function that keeps it 'frozen' (meaning it doesn't save changes unless I 'unfreeze' it).

Does that help or do I have to elaborate further? >_<;;;

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In your case, I think two drives would be better than one large.

One 1TB 7200 for games and OS, and one 2TB 5400 for videos and data.

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Yeah, Games and videos can take up a lot of room(depending on how much of an addiction you have ;) ), so yeah you will want to get a very large capacity drive.

Is this for the new notebook/laptop you are considering or your old desktop?

If it is for a new laptop, you are limited a bit. For example, to get 2TB, you will need to sacrifice a optical drive or get a notebook with 2 hard drive bays.

If it is for a modern desktop, you have a lot more options.

Also, you can consider getting an external hard drive. Works with both notebooks and desktops and it can be a good way of storing videos without needing to upgrade.

As for viruses, make sure you keep the computer as well as a legit Anti-virus updated and pay attention to what you download. Common sense goes along way. Make a new thread in the Software forum, if you want advice on how to stay protected.

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In your case, I think two drives would be better than one large.

One 1TB 7200 for games and OS, and one 2TB 5400 for videos and data.

Thanks for the names. I'll write these down later and see if any of the local shops have them. :)

Yeah, Games and videos can take up a lot of room(depending on how much of an addiction you have ;) ), so yeah you will want to get a very large capacity drive.

Given that I'm a big-time anime geek... yeah my addictions tend to be a bit high (along with the amount space I end up using on any storage device that falls into my hands TwT).

Is this for the new notebook/laptop you are considering or your old desktop?

If it is for a new laptop, you are limited a bit. For example, to get 2TB, you will need to sacrifice a optical drive or get a notebook with 2 hard drive bays.

If it is for a modern desktop, you have a lot more options.

It's for my desktop mostly. I've actually been thinking of getting an external hard drive (as you have suggested) once I get my hands on a laptop. My friend (and fellow otaku) actually carries everything in one instead of his laptop.

Can you give me any suggestions on how to pick a good one? In the case of external ones, I'll probably use up most of the space for videos (along with some music, images, and maybe a few installers). I can't see the point in carrying games in it. :unsure:

As for viruses, make sure you keep the computer as well as a legit Anti-virus updated and pay attention to what you download. Common sense goes along way. Make a new thread in the Software forum, if you want advice on how to stay protected.

Ooh! Thanks! I'll do that soon. I've been traumatized by virus attacks on more than one occasion. >_<;;;

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Thanks for making a new thread about antivirus suggestions.

As for a basic external hard drives, you will want to ask yourself how much storage you want and do you want it to be portable(not needing to connect an external power plug to a wall outlet)?

If you want a lot of storage(like 1-4TBs), then you will be stuck with a larger unit that will stay on your desk.

If you want something more portable that you can transport in a laptop bag/backpack, then you will likely be stuck with less than 1TB(most likely 320GB/500GB/750GB). These portable units are powered by a USB cable instead of a separate AC power adapter.

After deciding how much storage, you will want to look at what interface ports(USB/eSATA/firewire) the external hard drive has. For fastest transfer of a lot of files, you will want something that has USB 3.0 or eSata port but you will need to make sure your PC has those ports(you can add them to computer with add-on cards).

If your computer does not have a USB 3.0/eSATA port, you will be stuck with using the regular USB 2.0 port(slower but almost every modern computer and external hard drive has at least one regular USB port).

After that, you can pretty much choose the one that is the cheapest or looks stylish to you. Popular choices are from Western Digital and Seagate. Storagereview.com usually has a couple reviews on them(latest review is here: http://www.storagereview.com/seagate_goflex_desk_4tb_review_stac4000100).

Note external hard drives come in many "flavors". Some can be connected to your home's router/modem and some are even wireless (like Seagate GoFlex Satellite).

Another option is to by a regular internal hard drive and put it into an enclosure to make it an external hard drive. These are suitable for people who already have an extra hard drive laying around or may need to connect multiple hard drives to their computer(stuff like this from ICY DOCK are suitable for that.

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As for a basic external hard drives, you will want to ask yourself how much storage you want and do you want it to be portable(not needing to connect an external power plug to a wall outlet)?
If you want something more portable that you can transport in a laptop bag/backpack, then you will likely be stuck with less than 1TB(most likely 320GB/500GB/750GB). These portable units are powered by a USB cable instead of a separate AC power adapter.

Portable most likely. That's what my friend uses. Anything with those sizes though sound good enough for me. Although, I wouldn't mind an estimate of how long it would take before I might fill it up. :blush: I have this nasty habit of underestimating the rate of how much stuff I put in. I mean, got a 16 GB flash disk last Christmas and yet barely six months later, it's down to less than 5GB and I'm transferring/burning most of the contents on DVDs. >_<;;;

I got a question though, do you know any particular brands of portable hard drives where I might actually be able to install some games? Just curious. :unsure:

After deciding how much storage, you will want to look at what interface ports(USB/eSATA/firewire) the external hard drive has. For fastest transfer of a lot of files, you will want something that has USB 3.0 or eSata port but you will need to make sure your PC has those ports(you can add them to computer with add-on cards).

If your computer does not have a USB 3.0/eSATA port, you will be stuck with using the regular USB 2.0 port(slower but almost every modern computer and external hard drive has at least one regular USB port).

It looks like I might have to stick with regular USB types. It's not really my PC but it's the fact the 2.0 variety is still the most common in my area. I'm not sure I'd be able to exchange files with my friends if I used something more advanced. -_-

After that, you can pretty much choose the one that is the cheapest or looks stylish to you. Popular choices are from Western Digital and Seagate. Storagereview.com usually has a couple reviews on them(latest review is here: http://www.storagereview.com/seagate_goflex_desk_4tb_review_stac4000100).

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll take a look at the reviews too. :)

Another option is to by a regular internal hard drive and put it into an enclosure to make it an external hard drive. These are suitable for people who already have an extra hard drive laying around or may need to connect multiple hard drives to their computer(stuff like this from ICY DOCK are suitable for that.

I think I might have one of those lying around actually (and it has my old games still in it no less). I've been wondering about the enclosure bit though as my dad is the only person I've seen use one. Got anything I need to know before I try it myself? I've already some experience with putting hardware into the bays of a CPU (I did it with a DVD drive a few times).

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As for filling up, it depends on your habits. If you are constantly filling up, then you will want to go as big as possible or be prepared to get some other hard drives, use online storage, or even network storage.

If you get the external hard drive to your computer, you can install games to it. But you will take a performance hit since USB is slower than connecting natively to your computer. Your loading times will also be longer. It is generally not advised to play games off external media but it depends on the interface(usb 3.0/eSata should be fine) and the game.

External Drives are almost guaranteed to have USB 2.0. Most will have more than one port(so USB 2.0 and maybe eSATA or USB 3.0), so go for those if possible, so that you can share files with old computer and have faster transfer speeds by using the eSATA/USB 3.0 if you get them on your computer/upgrade to them.

As for enclosures, remember to look at the fine detail. Some only support up to a limited capacity, a limited physical size(some are only designed for smaller laptop hard drives) and certain interfaces(IDE/SATA).

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As for filling up, it depends on your habits. If you are constantly filling up, then you will want to go as big as possible or be prepared to get some other hard drives, use online storage, or even network storage.

Hmm... is an average of filling 300 MB a week very fast? :blush:

If you get the external hard drive to your computer, you can install games to it. But you will take a performance hit since USB is slower than connecting natively to your computer. Your loading times will also be longer. It is generally not advised to play games off external media but it depends on the interface(usb 3.0/eSata should be fine) and the game.

I see. Perhaps putting high-end games in it is out of the question. What about small games like this though?

Pentium 1GHz, 1.02GB on HDD, Direct3D, DirectX 9.0c (April 2007 update), 128MB VRAM, DirectSound, 1GB RAM
External Drives are almost guaranteed to have USB 2.0. Most will have more than one port(so USB 2.0 and maybe eSATA or USB 3.0), so go for those if possible, so that you can share files with old computer and have faster transfer speeds by using the eSATA/USB 3.0 if you get them on your computer/upgrade to them.

As for enclosures, remember to look at the fine detail. Some only support up to a limited capacity, a limited physical size(some are only designed for smaller laptop hard drives) and certain interfaces(IDE/SATA).

Okay, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks. :)

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