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How to Shop for an Internal Hard Drive

Internal hard drive are used to get your computer back up and running again when your hard drive fails. Should it not be a hard drive repair issue, internal hard drives also work well for partitioning drives and even can be used as an external storage device. As you're looking for a new IDE drive, there are a few things to think about before you make your final decision. 

What Is the Difference Between an Internal and External Hard Drive?

Unless you're a knowledgeable techie who's about to use your SATA drive as an external hard drive for storage, generally speaking, internal and external hard drives have much different uses. An external hard drive:

  • Is not part of the computer itself and serves as a storage device to transfer and store files, especially large ones
  • Is often an SSD type (solid state drive) as opposed to a SATA (serial advanced technology attachment) or IDE device
  • Does not work directly with your existing internal unit

An internal one:

  • Is an integral part of your computer's operations. Every computer requires at least one internal SATA or IDE drive to run.
  • Can be a backup or partition option but this also resides inside of your computer
  • Is much faster as an external unit, as it is a necessary component

What Features Should I Look for in a Hard Drive?

As you're looking for a SATA or IDE unit, there are a few things to keep in mind as you choose your HDD (hard disk drive) for your desktop. 

  • Adequate storage. You want to make sure you have enough GB to store everything you need on the computer itself, otherwise you will need an external unit. A good size is 80 GB or more, and Seagate makes many models with a wealth of GB. Some may read as MB; just remember to divide MB by 1,000 to get the number of GB).
  • Form factor. Take this important knowledge about your motherboard into account while purchasing an HDD.
  • RPM. The speed at which the IDE hard drive runs is very important. An 80 GB 7200 RPM is a solid choice for an internal option. (You also want to pay attention to transfer of files, Gbps).
  • Cache. Ensure your HDD has adequate cache (this is a type of memory that acts as a buffer).

What Are Some Popular Seagate Models?

The Seagate Barracuda is definitely the most popular of the Seagate internal HDD models. However, some choices may be denoted by a number, such as the Seagate ST380815AS Barracuda. The company offers several different types of drives:

  • Barracuda. A top choice for internal storage
  • Firecuda. Also for internal use but built for gaming.
  • Inronwolf. This is an external option.
  • Skyhawk. This HDD is built for surveillance.