No matter whether it is a data store or a backup solution for your personal data: We show what is important for hard drives.
If you want to extend your PC or notebook, for example, you need an internal SATA hard drive. An internal SSD contrast brings especially notebooks a pace advantage. If you simply want to transfer data and, if necessary, transport it, an external drive is the right choice.
Internal SATA hard disks are usually inexpensive to purchase, quickly installed and working reliably. In addition, some manufacturers offer particularly economical models as far as power consumption is concerned. The maximum capacity is currently 8 TB.
On notebooks, on the other hand, the faster and more compact SSDs have outpaced the SATA drives. Since SSDs have no moving parts, they work completely silently and are more robust than hard drives. But even in desktop computers, SSDs are finding their application area more and more frequently. The reason: A current SSD makes a PC usually faster than a stronger processor or twice as much memory. And with capacities up to 1TB, SSDs also provide ample space. However, in order to make sure that the Tempovorteil is correct, you should ensure that the SSD is at least 30 percent unused. Therefore, you should also install a “normal” hard disk on which you store your data.
In addition, it is positive that the prices for the flash memory fall steadily and models with larger capacities do not tear a huge hole in the purse. However, many users are concerned about the lifetime of SSDs, which was a lot less when the new hard disks were introduced than with the established but rather slow HDDs. But technical progress has now significantly reduced this weakness. Samsung since the 850s series sets example on horizontally arranged memory cells on the chip surface, the so-called 3D V-NAND. This not only ensures more endurance, but also reduces power consumption.
For external hard drives – here is usually a SATA drive in a USB 3.0 housing – you still distinguish between drives in 2.5 and 3.5 inch disks. The advantage of the smaller versions is that they are particularly mobile, working quietly and usually energy-conscious. Their capacity is currently limited to “only” 4 TB. External 3.5-inch plates, on the other hand, are ideally suited for stationary use and offer higher capacities – currently up to 6TB, sometimes 8TB. However, they need their own power supply and are therefore more energy-hungry and louder in operation than their external 2.5-inch counterparts.
Value for money: SSD Samsung SSD 850 Pro 256 GB
Price: 120 EUR
Facilities: 256 GB Capacity /
SATA-600 interface /
512MB Cache / MTBF million 2
Hours / AES 256 bit full disk
encryption / lush software
delivery / 10 year warranty
Other key selling criteria for a hard drive are its functionality and scope of delivery: Various tools for backing up and managing your data as well as a five-year warranty help in the event of damage. External hard disks, which are intended as backup media, should be able to perform automated backups, locally and in the cloud. They should bring the appropriate program with them.
For installation in a PC, you also need mounting material and cables. If you want to transfer the data from an old hard disk to a new one, you need a cloning program and for notebooks additionally a USB to SATA adapter.
This is what the technology fan needs
If you are particularly demanding on a hard drive, you want to have the maximum speed. For SATA disks, therefore, should be preferred to the SATA-3 standard (SATA 600).
We recommend installing an SSD with at least 120 GB size, typically with a PCI Express port and internal RAID controller. In addition to the operating system, the favorite programs can also be installed on it. If you want to do without HDDs within the PC, you can, for example, access an external hard drive. Another advantage is the mobility of the data. Also important is the scope of delivery of the flash memory: If you have a somewhat older housing, you benefit from a 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch mounting frame to fit into the regular hard drive bays. A software package is also recommended which, for example, allows the cloning of storage media. This is especially useful if you want to move from an HDD to an SSD or from a smaller to a larger flash memory. Also ideal are tools that the SSD can automatically wait, monitor, tune and update the firmware.
For the longest possible lifetime of the SSD, you should take a look at the warranty, the manufacturer’s total written power (Terabytes Written = TBW) and the average operating time between failures (MTBF). Ten-year warranty, a TBW of well over 50 as well as an MTBF of more than one million hours are a good SSD. Many manufacturers now link the warranty with the TBW – it expires when the TBW has been exceeded.
Make sure when an external hard drive to the USB 3.0 port, more USB 3.1. The new USB-C port theoretically transmits up to 10 GBit / s, which is about twice as fast as 3.0 and about 20 times as fast as 2.0. But: Hardly a controller meets this standard. In most cases, these are only USB-C sockets or connectors on the devices. Only if a device is explicitly indicated with “Superspeed” and “10”, it also supports the high data rates.
recommendation: Hard drive Freecom mHDD Slim 2 TB
Price: 160 Euro (MSRP)
features: 2.5 inch / USB 3.0
Type C / works fast / efficient
in consumption / extremely compact /
Backup software included
Current SSD recommendations
For 67 euros, there is already a 240 GB SSD, namely Crucial BX200 – a great price-performance ratio! And because of the size even fit some games or programs on the Crucial model. The plate also comes with a good software package. However, if you want to transfer as little data as possible to a slower HDD, then of course you need more space. Here the features Samsung 850 Pro with 512 GB capacity for about 215 euros. The manufacturing guarantee is ten years and the data rates are high and the access times are low.
Memory Features SSHD and M.2
With so-called SSHDs, Seagate combines the storage techniques of an SSD and a conventional HDD. Each SSHD has a small upstream flash memory (from eight gigabytes), the remaining memory is provided via the classic magnetic disks and can amount to one to two terabytes. This hybrid is supposed to provide enough memory space, but in terms of speed but a lot faster. The storage of the most frequently used data takes place in the small flash memory and thus allows fast access. At the data rates and access times of an SSD the SSHD does not approach, but it can be regarded as a good compromise of space and speed. A TB model cost about 58 euros.
Another special feature, which is becoming more and more popular, is the M.2 format for SSD memory. Pure from the form factor, the are a lot smaller, since it is only about small, elongated boards with attached memory chips, which are plugged directly into the mainboard. The motherboard must of course have the M.2 slot as well. However, apart from space-saving form factors, they are even faster than traditional SSDs because they communicate with the system via PCI Express. In theory, a fivefold speed increase is possible. However, there are also M.2 models, which are nevertheless only connected via SATA. It also depends on how many PCI Express lanes the memory uses – four would be the maximum. If you choose one, you should pay attention to the length of the module and check the compatibility of your motherboard. 162 euro are currently the OCZ RD400 due with 256 GB of memory.