Cheap Hard Drives

Data interface

The interface is how the drive sends and receives information from the motherboard.

The kinds supported nowadays range from the ATA-33, which is the slowest to ATA-133, which uses the same fat IDE cable for information transfer.

There is however a newer kind called serial-ATA (SATA). SATA takes a departure from the IDE cables that were used before. SATA starts with a transfer of 150MB/s compared to IDE-133’s 133MB/s. A newer revision of SATA allows transfer of up to 300MB/s, which is a huge increase over previous interfaces.

Another major advantage of SATA is that it is very common for them to support RAID configurations, with this technology being built into the motherboard.

Native Command Queuing

Native Command Queuing (NCQ) is a new technology to speed up hard drives, not physically, but by making better use of it’s time. What this does is to maximise performance of the drive by dynamically deciding which things need to be read in which order.

As drives are just large discs rotating, if the read/write head has to wait for the drive to spin the whole way round, it takes longer to perform the operation. What NCQ does is it allows other operations to be placed ahead of that one so they can be performed as their part of the disc spins under the head first.

For example: If A asks for something before B, usually A will take it’s turn, B will wait, and then go. NCQ would allow B to go first if what it’s looking for came under the read-write head first, letting A wait a tiny bit longer, while getting B’s done faster as it does not have to wait for it’s part to pass by again.

How do I format my hard drive?

Reformatting your hard drive is a relatively simple, but quite drawn out process. You can see how to do it here.

If you need to reformat hard drive, format hard drive, clean hard disk, erase hard drive or clean hard disk, go here.

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