With external drives, you are given the potential to have unlimited storage. For a mere price of less than $100, you can already add a terabyte of data to your device. This could already hold more than 230 movies and 750,00 pictures and MP3s. Doesn’t that sound neat or what?
The good news is every computer, whether desktop or laptop of any brand, can be connected to at least a single hard drive. If you’re lucky enough to have a number of multiple ports, you can certainly add more drives.
So comes the question, how do you choose the right external hard drive for your computer? Well, we’re here to give you a guide on how you can evaluate your current system and estimate computing requirements in the future. Here are the factors to take into consideration:
1. Evaluation of Computer System
When it comes to choosing the right external drive for your computer system, you need to determine the size or capacity of the hard drives that are currently connected to it. This could cover a single or a couple of external and one internal hard drive.
2. Capacity of Hard Drive
Examine how much space your current hard drive uses, how much is left and how much the average size is for all data. Special attention should be given to how much space is used and how much remains on the startup drive. Usually labeled as the “C” drive, this where the operating system (OS) is found.
For computers with a Windows OS, it must have a minimum of 20-30 GB of remaining drive space. For Macs with Apple X OS, a minimum of 15%. With either OS though, bear in mind that the minimum space requirements for each hard drive should be followed, preferably with even more space.
As for the startup disk drive, the minimum space required depends largely on the kind of software programs employed. For instance, applications which require high-res graphics would also need more disk drive space in order to start up.
3. Random Access Memory (RAM)
The amount of available RAM also needs to be determined. Data coming from the hard drive is often copied to and from here and stored for the time being. Hard drives and software applications often have a specified minimum required amount of RAM in order to operate well. Typically, this is at 3 to 6 GB.
4. Rate of Data Transfer and Speed of Spindle
Transfer speed is the speed of data travel from the hard drive to your computer while the spindle speed refers to the rpms of the hard drive disk. Most disks come at 5,400 to 7,200 rpm while some go as fast or over 10,000 rpm. The general rule is the faster the rpm, the higher the rate of data transfer.
5. Cables and Ports
The latest models of external hard drives are equipped with cables; however, in order to have proper connection, these cables match your computer’s ports. The most known ports are FireWire and USB 2.0.
6. Desk Space
This may not occur to some but the available physical space of your desk, whether at home or office, also needs to be taken into consideration. That’s because some external hard drives can be seated horizontally while others have to be positioned vertically. Maximum size of hard disks come at six to eight inches long, four to five inches wide and one to one and half inches thick.
7. Future Considerations
Try to foresee what kinds of activities you will be doing when doing your selection. Remember that its capacity needs to match that of the internal one. If you have more than one external hard drive, it likewise has to match the total storage capacity of all your internal drives.
If you will be having activities like graphic designing, editing videos, playing games or watching movies, you’ll require a large amount of disk space and would most likely need transfer rates at high speed as well. But if what see yourself doing in the future is merely internet surfing, word processing, answering emails and a little bit of digital imaging, then an external hard drive with lower capacity and a slower transfer rate of data would be okay.
For queries and help, we, at Compushooter LLC, provide well-trained certified I.T. Technicians who are always ready and happy to be of assistance. Aside from I.T. services, we also offer Inbound Call Center for Business, VoIP Solutions and Installation of Office Security Cameras.
As we value quality over quantity, we have focused our unified I.T. services to Small and Medium businesses only to Arizona specifically in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa Metro areas.
Our technicians are available the very instant you call us; thereby, ensuring no interruption of your usual business operations. In case you can’t access our contact page, our phone support is always available to cater to your calls. Just give us a ring at 480-464-0202.