Types Of Harddisks

Learn about Types of Hard disks. Hard disks are devices that are used for storage or retrieval of data from a storage medium. As technology itself is a very dynamic phenomenon, new technological advancements keep replacing the original structures and the innovations are newer, faster, more user friendly and efficient. Disk drive technologies are no exception: there are many types of hard disks available in the market currently. What differentiates them is mostly the capacity, rpm and the format. Here are some:


Parallel AT Attachment are the standards that define the attachment interface of the disk drives to the computer motherboard. These are also referred to as IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) or EIDE (Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics). For a good performance, these types of hard disks require 80 wire cables and a 40 pin connector. Furthermore, these disks usually perform as internal devices because of some structural constraints. Also, these types of disk drives only allow one device to read/write solitarily and the speed of these disks is seen to depreciate by time; however, their low cost and huge capacity compensate for the shortcomings.


Serial ATA is advancement onto PATA and uses adapters to connect the storage devices to the computer bus for an efficient flow of data. PATA uses upgraded form of adapters and high speed serial cables for a more effective form of communication and flow of signals. Because of the different adapters and connectors these types of disk drives use, they are much faster and consume much less cable space. All these elements, combined with a thinner disk width and many other factors, make SATA faster, more efficient and cheaper than PATA. Although PATA and SATA had an approximately similar rpm (7200), the upgraded version of SATA has a spin rate of 10,000 rpm thus rendering it truly faster than PATA.


SCSI or Small Computer System Interface are a set of ANSI standards that define the commands and flow of data from the computer to the peripherals (mostly storage devices). SCSI communicates via a 16 bit cable that can transfer an excessive amount of data. As compared to PATA, SCSI allows multiple numbers of devices (as many as 15) to be connected to it and a structure that accommodates them efficiently, thus SCSI is originally used for minis and more heavy-duty computer systems. However, additional software i.e. a controller is needed to operate the interface that accommodates all the devices. These types of hard disks are much like the IDE drives although their rpm (upto 15,000) is much more than SATA or PATA.


Solid State Drive is the data storage device that has linked semiconductor circuits that act as memory. These types of hard disks amazingly do not contain any disk, nor do they have a revolving component as opposed to the revolving magnetic disk and read/write head principle of the other disks. Rather than magnetic disks, semiconductors are used and data is stored on flash memory chips. Additionally, these types of hard disks are usually used internally. This setting allots many advantages to these types of hard disks over the other disk drives mainly because the absence of moving component results in no requirement for a moving motor. This leads to lower power consumption as no additional power is required for the spinning motor, more reliability as the spinning which causes much harm to the drive internally is absent, and faster access of data.