HDD specialization - how important is the purpose of a hard drive

Hard drives are used in absolutely different conditions, so each model has its own specific purpose

What HDD's are used for

In its general purpose hard disk is used for storing files and programs. The most common variant is HDD drive.

Regarding terminology, HDD sounds like "hard disk drive", which means "hard drive" in English. The principle of operation of this device is based on magnetic recording. Inside the casing are discs made of a special mixture of metal or metal and glass with a special coating. The information is recorded on the top layer by analogy of film cassettes - droplets. Note that this technology is non-volatile, because the data remains on the medium and without being connected to the power grid.

A distinctive feature of HDD is its fragility. Therefore it has to be treated with maximum care - the slightest external impact during the work and the head moves out of place, the sputtering gets damaged and the information on it gets lost. HDD is operated inside a notebook or system unit, and in some cases it is placed in a special protective case. Of course, it is possible to recover data (or part of it), but it is better to avoid various damages to the device.

The advantages of magnetic disks are two main parameters:
  • long service life;
  • long write/read cycle.

HDD is an ideal solution for storing photos, video and audio files.

Types of HDD

In today's market there are quite a few models of HDD drives. As a rule, the main manufacturers of this type of drives are: Toshiba, Seagate, Western Digital. According to their size drives are divided into the following types:

  • 3.5-inch - this size drives are used in personal computers and server systems;
  • 2.5-inch - This type of HDD is mainly found in laptops, but sometimes it is installed on a normal stationary PC, and for servers, such drives have an increased spindle speed;
  • External - these drives work through USB, so you can connect them to any digital device (computer, tablet, TV, etc.).

The specialization of HDDs provides for their primary use. In accordance with this, the drive is selected to perform the tasks required in a particular application.

The characteristics that should be used as a basis for selecting a magnetic disk are as follows:

  • Memory capacity. When using the drive on a home PC, it is advisable to purchase models from 2 TB. Movies, games and other media files take up quite a lot of space.
  • Form factor. In this case, a 2.5-inch drive will be an excellent option for a laptop, and a 3.5-inch drive for a desktop PC. In turn, an external HDD is best suited for the TV.
  • Working speed. With regard to this parameter to choose the drive that is best suited for specific tasks. In quiet models, spindle speed can be from 4700 to 5400 rpm. The most widely used models with a speed of 7200. In the server segment, if this figure is lower, then the work of equipment will be very slow and for critical tasks use models with speeds of 10000 and 15000 rpm.
  • Connection interface. To date, the motherboards to connect the HDD interface works SATA, instead of the previously used IDE or-is PATA. External drives are connected via a standard USB-slot. The server ones with spindle speeds over 10,000 RPM are equipped with SAS interface - SCSI heir. SAS NL - SAS drives rated up to 7200 RPM.
  • Random access time. This is the amount of time a hard drive is guaranteed to read or write. Generally it occurs in the interval from 3 to 15 milliseconds in server models and up to 150 ms in home models.

In addition, HDDs differ in their functionality in terms of noise emission, life cycles, protection against external physical effects.

Determining the purpose

The features discussed above are the main criteria for determining its specialization. Some applications require a powerful hard drive with a 15000rpm spindle speed or over 200MB cache. But sometimes a budget alternative is good enough. The main thing is to pay attention to the required performance level of the device.

As part of a marketing move, many manufacturers in the characteristics of the HDD indicate the maximum speed. But to determine the real speed is possible only by using special programs. One of them is CrystalDiskMark utility. It identifies and shows the actual speed of data processing in a sequence and randomness. All this is analyzed at different queue depths and number of data streams of different sizes. The HD Tune application, in addition to the above parameters, also shows information access time, which is quite important for magnetic disks.

Real tests of the speed of the drive model you choose can be found in numerous reviews. Sometimes sellers show screenshots of the real tests. Such information can be useful, but it does not claim to be 100% accurate, the figures may vary depending on the drive firmware, and in the case of WD even on the year of manufacture, as under the same model can be produced several very different variants on the filling, including motors, heads and even the number of platters.

Determine which connection interfaces are required, depending on the hardware you are using. That is, the number and type of available slots and connectors on the device.

Pre-specification of the necessary functionality of the HDD disk will help you to decide more easily on the purpose of its further use. Accordingly, it will allow the full exploitation of the drive, satisfying all the necessary requirements.


HDDs such as HDDs have proven themselves in practice as a reliable and durable storage device. They are used both for file storage and as backup storage.

When choosing a magnetic disk to solve your tasks, be sure to determine its specialization and purpose. This is a key consideration when purchasing a device.