Most gamers spend about 6.5 hours a week playing their favorite online games. In order to have a great gaming experience, you have to keep your PC in good working order. While this may sound like a relatively easy task, it is anything but.
A gaming computer has a variety of different components and each of them will require maintenance and repairs over time. Among the most important parts of any gaming PC is its hard drive. It is normal for hard drives to wear out after a few years of service.
Most gamers fail to realize that a hard drive can make a big difference when it comes to the performance and storage capabilities a gaming PC has.
When faced with hard drive issues, you will have to find a quality replacement to use. With all of the different hard drives on the market, choosing the right one will require a great deal of research.
If you are in the market for a new hard drive for your gaming computer, here are some of the considerations you need to make.
Do You Need a Hard Disk Drive or a Solid State Drive?
The main thing you have to figure out before choosing a new hard drive is whether or not you want a solid state drive. A solid state drive performs like a traditional hard drive with just a few key differences. This type of drive uses flash memory to store data rather than the traditional spinning discs that are in other hard drives.
In essence, a solid state drive is similar to a large USB flash drive. If you are looking to read and write date in a faster time frame, then a solid state drive may be a good idea. It also uses less power than traditional hard drives, which will help to conserve energy and reduce the strain on your gaming PC.
The biggest drawbacks to getting a solid state drive is that they are more expensive and have much smaller data capacities. With a bit of research, you should have no problem figuring out what type of hard drive is the best fit for your needs.
The Hard Drive Size and Interface
After you have made a decision between a traditional hard drive or a solid state hard drive, you will need to pick a form factor. There are only two choices when it comes to hard drive form factors. Your computer will either take a 3.5 inch or a 2.5 inch drive. Most desktop hard drives are 3.5 inches and have a maximum capacity of around 12 TB. If you are going with a solid state drive, you will have to do some modifications to your computer because they only come in 2.5 inch sizes.
Regardless of if you go with a traditional hard drive or a solid state drive, you should have no problem connecting them. Most computers use SATA connectors, which means you should be able to unplug your damaged hard drive and put the other one in its place with ease.
Specifications and Performance
If you will be saving a lot of files or game data, you will need to find a hard drive with a great deal of storage capacity. The biggest traditional hard drive you will be able to get your hands on is a 16 TB. Solid state drives max out at around 1 TB.
You will also need to look at the transfer speeds being offered by a particular hard drive before choosing to buy it. The higher the list revolutions per minute (RPM) are, the easier you will find it to transfer large packets of data in a relatively short amount of time. Some people make the mistake of putting too much emphasis on the SATA speed listed on a hard drive. If you are looking for speedy transfers, check out the RPMs on the drive first.
Cache space is also another important factor to consider when buying a hard drive. When a hard drive has to move data from one section to another, it will use an embedded memory space called the cache. Getting a hard drive with a larger cache will help you transfer data in a hurry. Most hard drives will have cache space ranging from 8 MB to 256 MB. While you may pay more for a larger cache, it is worth it considering how much data you will be acquiring and moving while gaming.
External or Internal Hard Drive?
Another vital factor to consider before choosing a new hard drive is whether or not you want an internal or external one. If you are looking to store or backup your gaming data, an external hard drive may not be a bad idea. These types of hard drives will connect to your computer via a USB cable.
These drives are portable and they can be shared with multiple computers. However, getting an internal hard drive is probably the best bet if you are going to be gaming only on one computer. The last thing you want is to have to pull out the external hard drive every time you want to save something. An internal hard drive is both more convenient and generally easier to manage.
Getting a Good Deal on a New Hard Drive
Before you begin the process of looking for a new hard drive, you need to do your homework. Getting an idea of how much you will have to spend for a hard drive can help you set a budget. Rather than settling on the first hard drive you come to, you need to do some research. Generally, online suppliers will be able to offer you a better deal than a brick and mortar store. Rushing through this buying process will only result in big mistakes being made.
If you are unsure about how to choose the right hard drive, consulting with an IT professional is a great option. They will ask you a few questions to help them select the best hard drive to fit your needs.