Hard drive for a laptop how to choose

A hard drive is a permanent storage device that has a rewrite function. This is where all notebook data is stored from the operating system to multimedia and files.

Drives can be internal and external. The first attached to the inside of the body. They are an integral part of the device, because the OS, programs and games are installed on them. The latter. connected to the device via USB-cable, have greater mobility and are more resistant to temperature and mechanical damage.

Hard disk is a permanent storage device that has a rewriting function. It stores all notebook data from the operating system to multimedia and files.

Drives can be internal and external. The former are mounted inside the case. They are an integral part of the device, because the OS, programs and games are installed on them. The latter are connected to the device with a USB cable, have greater mobility and are more resistant to temperature and mechanical damage.

Connectivity Intease

The current in the connector is standard 3.0 travels twice as fast. Use a special cable to solve the problem. One connector is used for information exchange and power supply, the second connector is used to receive power.

Now you know how to choose an external hard drive for PC. Consider the additional parameters that I recommend to consider when buying.

HDD, popularly referred to as a hard drive, is a hard drive for a computer. Consists of magnetized flat elements of pancakes and head. It reads information from the surface of the disk drives. HDD work can be compared to how a vinyl record plays.

SSD. SSD with no moving parts at all. These are multiple chips on a common motherboard. You write information as you would to a flash drive, but it is several times faster. These drives have a lot of capacity.

The former have more capacity than the latter. A hard drive can hold from 500GB to 10TB. While an SSD can hold a few terabytes at most, and in most cases 1-2TB. But despite this difference, SSDs are increasingly being purchased. And the reason is simple. speed. They’re a couple dozen times faster to boot up the OS and all programs, save power consumption and free up a few percent of computing power. And these factors are important if you want to work quickly on your computer and use the information which was written to the SSD constantly.

In a nutshell, HDD is purchased to store large amounts of data, and SSD. to put on a working laptop and have more memory while maintaining speed and loading.

When you have understood the differences and the principle of operation and decided that you need an SSD and not a hard drive, you can proceed to selecting the drive.

In the third and the last selection of our rating we will take a look at the so called hybrid HDDs that form factor allows for successful combining them into laptops. These devices combine the features of a mechanical HDD and an SSD in a single system. Our experts have chosen three interesting models. two American Western Digital and Seagate models and one Japanese model from Toshiba.

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Western Digital WD Blue SSHD 1 TB (WD10J31X)

Let’s start with the model produced by the world-known American company Western Digital. This is a 1TB mechanical drive with 8GB of SSD onboard.

The dimensions of the device 69.859.5100.2 mm, which corresponds to a compact form factor of 2.5. Net Weight 120g. In operation it consumes up to 1.65 W of power. Declared noise indexes are 24 and 25 dB at idle and in operation respectively. Shock resistance up to 400G in operation, up to 1000G in storage.

The operating speed of 100MB/s for both writes and reads makes this model suitable for gaming computers or consoles such as Sony Playstation. Supports large 4K sectors and uses advanced MLC flash memory. Buffer size 64 MB.

The drive connects via a high-speed SATA 6Gbit/s interface. Spindle runs at 5400 rpm. This would otherwise be a drawback, but the device is sufficiently optimized for data transfer and has a large enough buffer to make up for it.

Three-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.

Seagate ST95005620AS

Second “American” in a selection of hybrid hard drives from the well-established Momentus XT line. The capacity is half that of the above model. 500 GB of mechanical part and 4 GB of flash memory.

The device is also made in form factor 2.5 with exact physical dimensions 69.85×9.5×100.35mm. Net Weight 110g. Uses up to 1.10W power capacity. Claimed noise level is almost the same as previous solution in the list, 23 and 25dB. Shock resistance of 350 G in operation and 1000 G in storage.

As for the working speeds here are noticeably better than in the previous solution starting from the speed of the spindle circulation at 7200 rpm. The buffer is half as big as 32MB, but it has support for NCQ. Estimated read access time 11 ms, write 13 ms, average latency 4.17ms.

Connects like any other drive through SATA 3Gbit/s. External bandwidth of 300MB/s. Independent tests show maximum heating in operation up to 55 degrees with adequate cooling.

Manufacturer’s warranty service life is 24 months.

Toshiba MQ01ABD100H

And the selection of hybrid drives rating and the whole review ends with a good “Japanese” from Toshiba. This drive features 1TB mechanical capacity (on two platters) and an additional 8GB of flash memory. Suitable for gaming systems like the two previous models.

The form factor here is the same compact, “laptop” 2.5, the exact linear dimensions.69.859.5100 mm, net weight 117 g. Noise levels are claimed to be 23 and 24 dB at idle and in operation, respectively. Shock resistance of 400 G in operation and up to 900 G in storage.

The spindle speed is low. 5400 rpm, but the other characteristics compensate for that effectively. For example, this hard drive supports large sectors of 4 KB and connects via a SATA 6Gbit/s high-speed interface. Average read access time 12 msec. Buffer size 32 MB.

Manufacturer’s warranty service life is 24 months.

The good news

  • high operating speed;
  • Low noise and total absence of vibration;
  • Minimal heat;
  • Suitable for gaming systems, including Sony consoles


Warning ! This rating is subjective, not an advertisement and is not a guide to purchase. Consultation with an expert is necessary before purchasing.

Why can’t my PC see my new hard drive??Problems most often occur only with new drives. Usually the cause is one of the following nuances:

  • Wrong letter was set;
  • Damage to the loop;
  • Wrong bios settings;
  • Not enough cooling system power;
  • Motherboard failure;
  • Bad sectors.
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Disk is not detected in Bios what to do?Most often the problem is caused by damaged hard drive jumpers. The problem can be diagnosed by examining. If the jumpers are bent, the drive has to be replaced. If oxide has formed on them, it is necessary to treat them with a special anti-corrosion solution.

If the drive looks fine, the problem may be the SATA connector. Sometimes it does not fit snugly enough.

You may also be interested in: Rating of external hard drives

Connectivity Connectors

In order to choose a good HDD or SSD for your portable laptop, pay special attention to their interface connector. The same is the interface. This is the name of the connectors needed to connect a particular drive to the motherboard via a special loop (cord, cable).

Modern HDD’s use a SATA3 connector. And it is fully backward-compatible with older versions of SATA1 and SATA2. So if the motherboard has the old connector, you can connect the new HDD anyway.

If the user decides to choose the SSD type hard drive for his laptop to speed up the internal drive and the whole system, you should be careful. In this situation, it is desirable to have a SATA3 connector on your motherboard. If there is a SATA2 interface, then the SSD will only be able to deliver half of its speed. Yes, it is still more than a normal HDD, but you do not want to lose such a resource.

Differences between HDD and SSD

No matter how much free space you have on your drive, it will eventually become insufficient. So it makes sense to think about installing two drives at once. SSD and HDD. The first one, for example, is for the system and the second one can be used to store documents.


In a classic HDD, the information is stored on magnetic plates. And the magnetic head, moving along them, reads the necessary data. It is the operation of the head that can create additional sounds.

SSD drive is basically a big flash drive. It is quiet, warm, unaffected by shock and jolts. But at the same time costs an order of magnitude more expensive than a hard drive and has a limited resource of use by the number of records.


Recently, you can find a hybrid SSHD that combines a hard magnetic drive and an SSD. Data is stored on the hard drive, and frequently accessed information is loaded into the cache memory. All this is done automatically, so that the user does not need to do any switching.

The speed of such devices is lower than SSDs, but higher than HDDs. And the cache size is 8-32GB, which is often insufficient.

Don’t Buy The Wrong Drive.HDD Buyers Guide 2018

hard, drive, laptop, choose

M.2, PCIe, mSATA and SATA

In really old laptops the interface for SSDs can be anything, as long as it is SATA. Almost every model (except the most compact) is a classic full-size SATA. It is also used to connect the drive to a desktop computer, and it is through SATA connected the most affordable SSD. Depending on how old your laptop is, it could be a SATA 1, 2 or 3 version. The most ancient laptops use SATA 1 and the SSD upgrade will be pretty useless in that case. that interface barely gives the speed you need for a regular drive and many models of SSDs do not support the SATA 1 protocol at all. However, the vast majority of modern notebooks use the version 3 controller.

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Up to 6Gb/s transfer rate via SATA 3. That means you can use a fairly modern SSD with it. SSD’s have evolved like start-ups in recent years and have leaped over the top many times to meet the bandwidth limit of the SATA 3 interface.

Some laptops also have an mSATA interface. It allows you to install a solid state drive without an enclosure, a flat card with the chips soldered onto it. It’s pretty much the same SATA 3, just with a new banana flavor in a different form factor, so it’s also suitable for installing an SSD in a laptop. Some laptops already have an mSATA socket, but it is either unused or you install an older SSD. Often the system can also be equipped with a mini-PCI interface which is designed for installation of expansion cards (such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth modules, 3G modems, etc.). It looks a lot like mSATA but you shouldn’t confuse them. In any case, installing a new drive will qualitatively increase the speed of the system, and which port to use for this you can find out from the laptop manufacturer or using the configurator on our website.

The most promising option is the M connector.2. If you are using a modern laptop, it is the M.2 will allow the system to run at maximum speed. M.2 is the bright future we have come to expect from mSATA. The new standard spread to laptops before mSATA gained popularity, and due to lowered drive prices, mSATA became almost immediately promoted and mSATA became an unpopular “legacy-storage” for which manufacturers are now releasing one or two drive models. just in case. In practice M.2 is the PCI Express bus output option 3.0 with support for 4 lines at once. Thus, the M.2 allows you to achieve transfer speeds of up to 4GB/s, which is much faster than any of the SATA versions.

But do not get too excited beforehand, even if you have the drive in an M.2, it can still use the SATA interface, which means it can run at the same speeds as the older connectors. Nevertheless, there will still be an advantage as the drive will be able to reach its full speed potential.

The main features of hard magnetic disks are rotational speeds of

For SSDs this parameter is not relevant because there are no rotating elements. HDDs have a spindle speed (revolutions per minute):

  • 5400. They are slow devices. Used for data storage. They have low power consumption;
  • 7200. Recommended speed;
  • 10000. Expensive and noisy.

HDD where OS is installed must have speed no less than 7200, so the performance will not decrease.

The faster is the speed, the faster is the data reading. The device makes more noise and heats up more.