Information Station For Data Storage and Transfer Devices

9/15/2012 3:04:07 PM

At this point in the process, your PC is almost ready to put together, However, there are still a few things that need to be looked at. Some of the most important - and the last components you need for inside the case - are your drives. These come in two varieties, both of which we will mention this month: optical drives and hard drives.

Description: Data storage

Optical drives, as their name implies, use optical media like CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks to read data. These are still a very common way to transfer data (like programmes) on to your machine’s data storage unit. This storage unit is the hard drive.

There are many varieties of drives available, with numerous specifications that can make selecting the right one tricky. Essentially, though, a few key factors are more important in your considerations.

But let’s start with the easier decision: the optical drive. Once again, there are a wide variety of optical drives available, but your only real choice these days will come down to whether you want to make use of a DVD drive, or a Blu-ray drive. While Blu-ray disks carry more data, they are still largely used by the movie industry only. Certainly, the PlayStation 3 uses Blu-ray disks for video game information, but seeing as how you won’t be able to play PS3 games on your PC, you need to consider whether you actually need a Blu-ray drive or not. If you plan to use your PC as an entertainment device, then it is a good idea. If not, a DVD drive should do nicely. They’re not particularly expensive components, so any subsequent upgrades shouldn’t break the bank.

Choosing a hard drive may be a little trickier. This device stores the data for your PC system, and is extremely important. The first consideration is how much data storage you would realistically need. The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as too much data storage space. It gets chewed up really quickly, particularly by multimedia files and games. To this end, getting a lot of hard drive space is a good idea. But it might well become cost prohibitive. You will need to strike a balance between how much you need and how much you can afford. All modern motherboards allow for more than one drive to be connected, so adding more later is a simple option (you will simply need to insert it in your case and ensure that the system sees it.) Splitting data over more than one drive is good idea too, as this can enhance performance to a degree. However, each drive will take up space, generate heat, consume more power and potentially interrupt that all important air-flow.

Description: you need to consider whether you actually need a Blu-ray drive or not

Aspects like RPM and on-board memory can affect performance but, for the most part, there are very few hard drives out there that cannot keep up with programmes these days.

If you are after a more stable, quieter and more power-efficient option, you may want to investigate Solid State Drives. These cost quite a bit more and don’t offer the storage capacities of older hard drive technology, but they are very quick and never suffer damage caused by faulty working parts.

Once you have your hard drives and optical drives, it becomes time to actually put your machine together... that is something we’ll guide you through in the next issue.

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