Laptop Hard Drive: Speed Also Matters  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Buying a laptop? Want to upgrade your old one with a new hard drive? Besides hard drive’s space size for storing your applications, documents, music, movies and other data, you should also pay attention to its speed performance. If you want fast access to stored data on your laptop’s hard disk, you should purchase hard disk with SATA interface, higher rotational speed and larger buffer cache size.

Buy Laptop with SATA Drive

Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives use less power, so they save your laptop’s battery. But, they also enchase your laptop’s speed performance. Most hard drives usually support ATA/66 (66 MB/sec), Ultra ATA/100 (100 MB/sec), or SATA (150 MB/sec) interfaces. The numbers refer to the maximum burst rate at which the drive can pass data to the system (66, 100, or 150 megabytes per second). SATA transmit data in a serially (in a single stream) as opposed to PATA or Parallel ATA which is commonly referred to as an IDE hard drive.
(Note: You must have SATA support on laptop’s motherboard to enjoy SATA speed)

Check the Hard Drive Rotational Speed

Don’t forget to check the hard drive rotational speed! The hard drive rotational speed tells you how fast the drive spins its disks in revolutions per minute (rpm). A higher rpm means higher drive performance. A 7,200 rpm hard drive is faster than a 5,400 rpm or 4,200 rpm and gives better performance.

Larger Buffer Cache Size - Better Performance

Buffer Cache Size is a temporary data storage area used to enhance drive performance. When the computer requests data from the hard disk if that data is in the cache, there is a performance boost directly related to the speed of the cache. Larger buffer cache size usually results in better hard drive performance. Buffer cache size on the most of laptop’s hard drives is usually 2 MB, 4 MB or 8 MB.


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