by Mike Jones
Gamers love power and storage. Several machines are available in the market that promise and deliver quality gaming experiences in terms of processor speeds and graphics. You may have to buy another hard drive to make up for the limited storage or as backup storage. So, if you're at that point where you need to get an external hard drive for your gaming computer, what do you buy?
The critical question is, how do you select the hard drive that will meet your storage needs? Let us walk you through some of the considerations and give you some of our editor's favorites when it comes to good portable external hard drives for your gaming computer.
In this guide are ten factors that you should consider when buying a hard drive for your gaming rig.
Hard disk drives, HDD have run the data industry since for over 60 years. They can store up to 10TBs of data. However, it seems that it is slowly giving way to Solid State Drives, SSDs. SSDs offer faster data transfer speeds and has no movable parts. Consequently, they are not noisy and consumes less power. However, SSDs currently have smaller capacities and are more expensive than HDDs
Therefore, we recommend that you stick to the HDD in the meantime as you wait for the price of the SSD to fall to reasonable levels.
The first place to start is by understanding the different types of HDD in the market. They are only two types, depending on where you wish to use the drive.
In general, external hard drives are the best as they allow easy sharing of data and portability. Plus, if anything ever happens to your main gaming computer, or you upgrade to a new one, you can still easily take along your external drive.
The size of a hard disk drive can be looked at from two different fronts: physical and storage. Physically, HDDs are either 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch. This information is only important of you are looking for an internal HDD. The small-sized options are for laptops and the other for desktops.
What matters is the storage size. Your choice depends on your needs and of course, the budget. The smallest size you can opt for in this time and age is 500GB HDD. However, the price is only about 20% less than most 1TB HDDs. The average gamer goes to the 1TB. In case of the budget is not your concern, then you can chuck out more bucks for more storage space.
Another storage-related feature you need to consider is the cache memory. It is a temporary memory that stores instructions for currently running program. It makes the read/write cycles faster as the machine does not have to access the root storage each time an action is to be taken. A hard disk with 32MB or 64MB cache memory is sufficient for fast operation, but you can opt for higher options though they are pricey.
Revolutions per Minute, RPM is the measure of how fast the hard drive spins. The faster the spin, the higher the RPM value and the higher the rate of reading and writing information. Simply put, a hard disk with a higher RPM offers faster data access and transfer than one with a lower value.
HDD today are either 5400rom or 7200rpm, and the speed difference is about 33%. Using a 5400rpm hard disk will cause annoying delays during gaming due to its slow load time. Consequently, you do not need anything lower than 7200rpm for a gaming hard disk drive.
Most external hard disks use USB cables to connect to the gaming computer or laptop. What you need to consider is the type of USB. The maximum transfer speeds for USBs are 60MBps, 635MBps, and 1250MBps for USB 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 respectively. Unless you will transferring an enormous amount of data, you do not need the 3.1 or higher speed connections.
It is the hardware that manages the transfer of data between the computer and the storage device. The common one is SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment). Laptops and desktops today are more likely to be compatible with SATA connections than the old IDE. However, be sure you get these right before you spend your cash.
It is the measure of how soon a disk is likely to fail. You do not find this written on the specification details of most hard drives from untrusted brands. Some have a lifespan of more than five years while some fail within 12 months.
Therefore, you have to conduct some research on the failure rates of the HDD you are considering. Having a manufacturer's warranty y will provide a peace of mind in case your asset fails within the warranty period.
Take time to understand the devices to which you will connect the hard disk. This is important because different devices have different settings and compatibility requirements. Below are some of the differences.
Several hard disk manufacturers are available today. Consequently, fake or inferior quality option is inevitable. It is essential that you conduct market research to find out the one that has better quality. The easiest way to this is by asking friends and family members who have some knowledge on the mater. You can as well read online reviews.
The best bet is sticking to established and known companies. It is not saying that smaller players are not good at all. However, it is never a wise to invest your savings in an item from an untrusted brand when. You need to know where to go when your new gaming hard drive is not performing as promised in the specifications.
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & - Walmart Link
Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD - USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, PS4, & Xbox - Walmart Link
Maxone 500GB Ultra Slim Portable External Hard Drive HDD USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, Laptop, - Walmart Link
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTB410XK3AA - Walmart Link
WD 5TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 Compatible, Black - - Walmart Link
Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTB420XK3AA - Walmart Link
WD 12TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox - - Walmart Link
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & - eBay Link
Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD - USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, PS4, & Xbox - eBay Link
Maxone 500GB Ultra Slim Portable External Hard Drive HDD USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, Laptop, - eBay Link
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTB410XK3AA - eBay Link
WD 5TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 Compatible, Black - - eBay Link
Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTB420XK3AA - eBay Link
WD 12TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox - - eBay Link
Buying a new hard drive is a significant step towards securing your data and enhancing your gaming experience. However, you should have clear objectives on what and why you need the hard drive. This will make it easy for you to filter out several options available in electronics stores.
We recommend that you opt for an HDD instead of an SSD if you are on a budget. An external HDD is an excellent choice because it makes it easy for you to share, carry and secure your data. Again, do not forget to check the comparability requirements of the PC, Mac, Xbox, or PS consoles you will be using. Above all, buy only from trusted brands and vendors.
About Mike Jones
As a child of the 80's, my fondest gaming memories are playing Pitfall, Frogger, Kaboom! and Chopper Command on our old Atari 8600. These days I've been rocking the Nintendo Classic and learning some new card and board games with the family."