Key Considerations for Computer Hardware Shopping

MSP MarketingWhen it comes to computer hardware, there are subtle differences that make a major impact. Too many office managers, entrepreneurs, and everyday individuals shop for new hardware without doing their homework. It is imperative that you invest a little bit of time to identify the differences between hardware options and gain a full understanding as to why those differences are meaningful. Let’s take a look at exactly what should be considered when searching for a new hardware.

Consider the Style of Hard Drive You Need and Desire

It is not always necessary to purchase an entirely new computer. In some instances, it is prudent to purchase an external hard drive that exists independently from the computer. If you are on the prowl for a hard drive to back up your existing data or purely for storage reasons, an external hard drive is ideal. Keep in mind that an external hard drive that is not compatible with USB 3.0 will not have enough speed to power your computer’s operating system.

If you are looking for a full replacement of an outdated or malfunctioning hard drive, a traditional computer with an internal hard drive will suit your purposes. One of the few drawbacks to this traditional hard drive is that it isn’t as easy to transport as the external variety.

Drive Matters

If you aren’t sure about the type of storage to use, don’t rush right out to purchase new computer hardware. Take some time to figure out whether you will use Solid State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD). In general, HDD is just as capable as SSD. However, each has its own idiosyncrasy. SSD is a style of drive that relies on flash memory to house information. The conventional HDD drive makes use of metal disks.

The main advantage of SSD is that it can write and read information at an incredibly fast speed. SSDs also use comparably less energy, stand the test of time and produce minimal (if any) noise. These advantages are precisely why SSDs are fairly expensive. If your company doesn’t have much money budgeted in for hardware, opt for HDDs. If money is not a major consideration, opt for SSDs.

Sweat the Small Stuff

When the average shopper takes a look at the specifications of hardware, he is a bit confused by what it all means. Though these words are highly technical and confusing, they matter a great deal. As an example, extensive cache space allows for data to be rapidly transmitted. The cache is a form of memory that acts as a sort of superhighway for the information to move from one part of the hard disk to another. The cache sizes of contemporary HDDs can be anywhere from 8 to 12 megabytes.

Transfer speed is also of considerable importance. Measured in revolutions per minute (RPM), transfer speed sends information between drives. A high RPM will allow for speedy data transmission and consequently, a better-performing HDD.

Don’t shy away when you see abbreviations like GB and TB. Today’s HDDs are available in an array of sizes yet none has more than 4 TB of storage capacity. Certain SSDs meant for consumer use top out around the 500 GB mark. If your organization requires a hard drive for extensive storage, opt for an HDD with several TB. Another important factor is the failure rate. Take a look at the reviews of the models you have in mind before pulling the trigger on a purchase. If models tend to last half a year or so, the failure rate is too high for an investment.

Lastly, read and write speed is another detail to consider. Make sure the SSD read and write speed is in the range of the top speed of the SATA connector. The last thing you want is for a lengthy delay when the reader attempts to write or read to/from the drive.

All Hardware is not Created Equal

Though it is tempting to assume each type of hard drive is fairly similar, the truth is there are substantial differences between models and brands. Do your homework, ask the right questions and you will end up with suitable computer hardware for your organization’s particular purposes.

Kevin Welch
CTG Tech, LLC
Arlington, TX

About the Author

IT support ArlingtonKevin Welch graduated from Texas Tech University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and has been working in the IT channel for 11 years. He is currently the Director of Marketing & Sales for CTG which is a managed IT services company that provides IT services in Dallas, Ft Worth, Arlington, and Amarillo. Kevin was instrumental into transitioning CTG’s business model from break-fix into an all-inclusive managed services offering. CTG pride themselves on hiring customer service oriented techs so they can deliver amazing IT services to their business clients. When Kevin is not working diligently for his clients he loves to spend time with his family and is an avid golfer. He also considers himself an outdoors-man who loves camping, fishing, and hunting.