Internal hard drive sizes have increased dramatically. During the early 1990s, 40 MB hard disks were common. Today, it is not uncommon to find 250 GB hard disks. There are even 500 GB and 2 terabyte hard disks available.
Size and Capacity
The capacity refers to how much data the disk can store. Hard disk capacities today are determined in gigabytes. The higher the number, the more data can be stored. Sizes include 30 GB, 50 GB, 100 GB, 250 GB and so on. 1 gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes.
The hard disk size refers to the physical dimensions of the disk itself. Two types are used. The 2.5 inch is employed in laptops and some desktops too. The 3.5 inch is utilized in desktop towers.
Hard Disk Speed
The internal hard drive size is not the only factor to consider. There is also the speed. This is measured in RPM or the rotational speed. Two speeds are commonly available: 7200 RPM and 5400 RPM. Some high end drives have a 10,000 RPM speed. The 7200 RPM and 5400 RPM are sold with the 3.5 and 2.5 inch drives.
The speed, size and capacity have a profound effect on the PC. The higher the capacity, the smoother the computer is going to run. If there is not enough space, the operating system will tend to move slowly. Operating systems and some programs need extra space to function properly. Of course, the extra room can be used to save all your vital files.
Aside from the different disk sizes and capacities, these units differ in the extra features. Newer disks have power saving features. This is not featured in older hard drives.
The speed or RPM also has an effect on the overall performance, albeit only slightly. A disk with a high RPM is able to seek data and write more quickly. For instance, clocking to open an app is faster with a high RPM disk.
Solid State Disks
These units do not employ a moving disk to gather data. Instead they rely on flash storage via a RAM-like interface. These are much faster than the standard hard disk. These are quickly becoming popular.
As these facts bear out, the internal hard drive size is increasingly constantly. Aside from the increase in capacity, the speed is also improving. In the end, this will only benefit the computer user.