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Factors to Consider When Buying a Hard Drive

Magnetic storage is used to store and retrieve information from an electro-mechanical data storage which is known as a hard drive. One or more rigid rapidly rotating disks that are coated with magnetic material is used by a hard disk. A hard drive is also known as a hard disk, hard disk drive and fixed disk. Platters or rotating disks are paired with magnetic heads that are usually arranged on a moving actuator arm that reads and writes data to the platter surfaces. An actuator is a component machine that results to moving and controlling a mechanism or system. So that the actuator can work it requires a control signal and a source of energy.

A hard drive is a type of non-volatile storage that retains stored data even when shut down. A non-volatile storage is a type of computer memory that retrieves stored information even when the power is no more. There are examples of non-volatile memory that include; flash memory, hard disk drive, optical discs, floppy disks, read only memory and ferroelectric memory. In addition the non-volatile memory can be classified as either traditional non-volatile disk storage or storage in non-volatile memory chips. However there are performance characteristics of a hard drive which are seek time, rotational latency, bit rate and defragmentation. Based on the number of blocks transferred, bit rate or data transfer rate is resulted from the creation of delay.

Moving of related items to physically proximate areas on the disk by minimizing delay of the retrieval data is defragmentation. Automatic occurring of defragmentation is based on the type of computer. The performance of computer is temporarily reduced by automatic occurrence of defragmentation which also reduces the access of delays.

In terms of rotational latency the desired disk sector is not directly under the head when the data is transferred. A disk sector is a sub division of a track on a magnetic disk or optical disc. The minimum storage unit of a hard drive is the disk sector. The measure of how long it takes the head assembly to travel to the track of the disc that contains data is the seek time which is another performance characteristic of hard drive.

Price, power consumption, operating and non-operating shock resistance and audible noise are other considerations aside from performance characteristics. Some factors needs to be considered when choosing a hard drive. The first aspect is choosing the correct interface which are the PATA and SATA interfaces. PATA interfaces are good for repairs or upgrading of systems that lack SATA interfaces while SATA interface is good for repairs or upgrading of systems that has SATA interfaces. Choosing a hard drive model that has a large cache is important as they use the cache to increase performance.

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