Storage

Function and Importance  [Source]

Computer storage is the part responsible for recording the digital data created, to allow access to it at any time after. This differs from memory, because when the machine is powered down, the data remains; it also means data can be transferred between computers via USB, DVDs etc… The two main storage types available are HDD, Hard Drive Disk, and SSD, Solid-State Drive.

HDD or SSD?

HDD‘s [Source] are the most commonly used storage device, they are cheap, fairly reliable and available with very large storage sizes (6TB, or more for externals). For information on how exactly these work, see this link [Source].

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SSD’s [Source] are the upcoming technology, rather than a disk powered by a motor they use integrated circuits to store data. They are quieter, smaller, faster – both in access time, start-up time, and, data transfer rate. They are also more resistant to damage since there are fewer moving parts. So with all these advantages, why aren’t they used everywhere? You guessed it, Cost. You can easily google “cost per GB” to see the comparisons, but basically SSDs are much more expensive – almost 8 times more approximately.

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My recommendation is to always put an SSD into your computer, whatever its intended use is – installing your OS onto it will improve boot times, general loading and data transfer times. You’ll need at least 64GB which is usually the smallest size SSD sold in stores, the OS can take up to 40GB with updates and essential programs so it should allow a little headroom for regularly used files etc… If you have a higher budget then increasing the size of the SSD will allow you to install one or two of your favourite games which would benefit from the higher loading speed. Additionally, I would add a HDD to this – it’s up to you what size you want, but 1TB is the most common and is very cheap at around £35.

My Experience

I put the 250GB Crucial BX100 SSD into my build, its fast, reliable and fairly priced at £60. It’s not the fastest SSD out there, a Samsung 850 Evo would be better but the cost-performance ratio is certainly better, and is still a massive improvement upon a HDD [Source]. I coupled this with a 1TB Western Digital Blue HDD, which gives me enough storage for games, multimedia etc… It’s still quite fast for a HDD and is one of the most reliable based on reviews. I recommend both of these items to anyone, they’re serving me well thus far. [Source]

For my brother’s build, I used just the same 1TB Western Digital Blue HDD – his budget wasn’t substantial enough to allow for an SSD but of course, you can always upgrade later on and reinstall windows following a backup – which will provide a significant boost after using the desktop for so long.