When a computer has been in use for a while, there comes a time when, no matter how big the hard drive, a second drive is needed. For most general computing uses, a 500 gigabyte hard drive is more than sufficient, and will last for years to come. Thus, it is a good choice for an inexpensive second hard drive addition.
Older hard drives used to run at 5400 RPM, but more recent drives run at 7200 RPM. A faster RPM means that data can be accessed and transferred more rapidly than before. In other words, files can be transferred from one folder to another more quickly and it takes less time to access information that is stored on the hard drive. Thus, a 500 GB drive running at 7200 RPM is standard.
Prior to 2003, most hard drives were connected to the motherboard through the use of integrated drive electronics (IDE), developed by Western Digital in 1986. Although they were standard for nearly twenty years, they required bulky cables and needed between 40 and 80 pins to transfer data, and were limited to 133 Mb/s. Serial ATA (SATA) was a major advancement from IDE, as the cables were longer, smaller, and capable of transferring data at a much faster rate. At present, SATA cables can transfer at a rate of up to 1969 Mb/s, a nearly 15-fold increase.
Thus, a 500 GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA HDD represents the latest in computer hard drive technology. Although there are several companies that make hard drives, Seagate or Western Digital are the best established and most reliable companies to choose from. Although many modern hard drives range from 1 to 4 TB, the average casual computer user will not need that much space, and would be better off saving their money.
If your computer is starting to run slowly and you notice your HDD is getting crowded, it’s time to supplement your storage capacity. A second HDD is inexpensive, and will last you for years to come.