Hard Drive Speed
When picking out your 1TB portable hard drive, speed becomes very important depending on your needs. It’s measured in milliseconds and effected by many hardware factors.
- Seek time is the time it takes for the mechanical head to reach the data on the disk itself. Image this being an old record player, only much faster.
- Data transfer rate is measured in RPM’s, usually about 7200 to 10,000 RPM by today’s standards. This is simply the rate at which your hard drive can read and write data. Typically speaking, the faster your data transfer rate is, the faster your mechanical drive will be. 7200 RPM is pretty standard for most 1TB portable hard drives on the market.
- Cache buffer size is data that is temporarily held in memory on your hard drive for faster access. The larger your cache is, the more data it will store for faster access. Enthusiasts really like to go big on HD cache, as it ends up allowing for faster access to more data. For example, a 16MB cache will hold 16MB of data that can be quickly transferred to the processer.
- USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 play a large role in how fast your drive transfers data. USB 2.0 transfers data at about 480 Megabits per second. While USB 3.0 transfers mush faster at rates of up to 5GB per second. While USB is a primary factor when talking about hard drive speeds; it’s not the only type of connection available. There is Firewire which is ultimately slower than USB 3.0, and eSATA which runs about 6GB per second.
- Something to keep in mind is that these speeds are measured in milliseconds; much faster then we could ever comprehend. You really won’t notice much of a difference on smaller file transfers such as text documents. However when it comes to video, picture, and media data, you’re going to want to reach for the 1TB portable hard drive with higher ratings in each of these categories.
There are some other factors which effect overall speeds of your hard drive, but don’t quite relate to the drives themselves. These are mainly fragmentation and software related factors. Also keep in mind that SATA hard drives perform faster than IDE drives.
1TB Portable Hard Drive: Amazon Deals
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