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What Are the Different Types of Hard Drives That Exist Today?

Did you know that computer hard disk drives have been around since 1956? Back then, the disk drive itself would have been the size of a refrigerator and would have weighed at least a ton. But ever since the early days of IT, there’s been a need for computer file storage.

Whatever you use your computer for, whether it’s writing and sending emails, checking Facebook, professional gaming, or even carrying out complex tasks, you’ll need a hard disk.

All hard disks are non-volatile. That means they store data, even when there’s no power running to them. But what are the types of hard drives you can choose from?

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Let’s discuss the various hard disk options and talk about the benefits of each.

Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA)

Although rarely used these days, PATA drives were some of the earliest to be developed. Often referred to as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) drives, they use magnetism to store data.

With limited transfer speeds, the drive is connected by 40 or 80 wire ribbons. These drives are quite large and have moving parts making them restricted in their capabilities.

Serial ATA (SATA)

SATA drives first appeared on the market 20 years ago. They improve on the limitations of PATA drives by reducing the connectors from 40 or 80 to just seven. Power consumption on SATA drivers is lower than that of PATAs, and data transfer is quicker.

Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)

SCSI is a set of standards for connecting devices and transferring data. SCSI drives are faster and more reliable than IDE drives and can be both internal and external.

Solid State Drives (SSD)

Older disk drivers rely on moving parts and magnetism to store and transfer data. This can lead to the problem of data loss when a drive fails.

Solid-state drives have no moving parts and don’t use magnets. Instead, data is stored on flash memory to improve computer performance.

Originally developed in the 1980s, SSDs were often too small to be of any practical use. However, with advancements in drive capacity and a shift towards cloud storage, SSDs have become commonplace in modern computing.

In addition to their durability, SSDs allow faster access to data and use less power.

NVM Express

Non-Volatile Memory Express is a storage access and transport protocol that’s been around for about a decade. The connection between the drive and the motherboard is direct, meaning it doesn’t pass through a SATA controller.

NVMe protocols pair with SSDs to create some of the fastest hard drives available. Check out this Samsung drive you can purchase now.

What Are the Different Types of Hard Drives That Exist Today?

There are several types of hard drives on the market, and they’re continually evolving. With solid-state drives using NVMe interfaces, it’s possible to achieve speeds and efficiency we’d never have dreamed of 20 years ago.

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