Speed and storage capacity are constantly increasing, from the past few years. The older technologies have made a way, to speed up the newer technologies. Prices are falling, and capacity and speed are rising.
While looking for a hard drive, the first thing which comes to mind is its capacity. One will choose the drive, which meets his storage needs. When choosing the hard drive, ask yourself, about how much capacity you need. It is a good practice to purchase a drive, 1.5 times your current requirements. The second thing, which should be considered is, what the next upgrade you wish is. Remember, hard drives are increasing their capacity, so as the needs! For a home user, 250 GB will be a better option, but 500 GB and, 640 GB are at the price, a bit more than 250 GB price. There is a difference of about $4-$8. Therefore you can go for a larger disk space, if you are ready to spend a few more bucks.
Buffer memory of the hard drive, affects the performance when there are large data transfers. 16 MB is the ideal buffer memory size, you should opt for. As The spindle speed increases, the performance increases and so, the price. 7,200 rpm is enough for almost all tasks.
IDE is slowly fading away. Newer motherboards have a single IDE slot. So to go for SATA drive is recommended, as there is a very little difference in the price of about $3. Also SATA is faster than the IDE.
For a home user, 250 GB drive is enough. You can store a lot of movies, songs or games in the wide space. Most of the games comes on a dual-layer DVD, so for a gaming PC, a minimum of 500 GB drive is recommended. For professionals, where the data capacity needs are high, like the case of AV professionals, a drive having more capacity is required. When there is need of storing HD content, a minimum of 1 TB drive is required. If you have a sound budget, opt for 2, or 3 TB drive. You can also go for a 15,000 rpm Serial Attached SCSI drive. Some hard drives are specially designed, for AV professionals, but they cost twice the price of a normal drive.
An internal drive is a default choice, for most of the users. An external one is required, when data needs to be transferred between PCs or, backup of data is required.
High speed drives comes with cooling fills, as cooling is necessary for them to operate. Another one is the transparent cover, so you can look inside the drive, what’s physically going on. But this feature just seems to be a luxury, nothing else.
New innovations are taking place like the SSD, which is the solid state drive. This drive is extremely fast, and has very low power consumption. There is no physical movement in these drives. But till now, they are not much affordable, and the price needs to be lowered, to replace the normal hard drives.