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How to Shop for SATA II Drives

One of the most important components when it comes to your computer, a hard drive is an integral piece needed for the computer to even operate. There are numerous reasons you may need a new internal hard drive. Perhaps you've had a hard drive failure or you want to install an HDD for extra storage. Maybe you're partitioning or even using an internal hard drive as external storage. 

What Is the Difference Between SATA I and II?

SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, and in layman's terms, it's arguably the most innovative type of hard drive you can buy. However, there are SATA I, II and III hard drives - so what does that mean exactly?

  • The SATA type refers completely to the speed of the device. For example:
    • SATA I drives have a speed of 1.5 Gb per second
    • SATA II drives have 3 Gb per second
    • SATA III drives have 6 Gb per second
  • Each SATA drive doubles in MB cache and GB for each new version
  • This does not always mean that a newer version is faster because of its RPM, etc. - still choose the hard drive that works for your needs

What Are Differences Between SATA and IDE?

IDE was the gold standard for internal hard drives before SATA came along; IDE for a disk is durable and reliable and it's widely used. However, you must decide if an IDE or SATA works for your needs. Some differences between these desktop HDDs include:

  • The drive connectors are different 
  • SATA offers more storage space but IDE offers more compatibility
  • With SATA, you can use hot plugging (you cannot with IDE)
  • IDE has an extremely slow transfer rate compared to SATA, with a slow MB cache and MB buffer
  • It is harder to connect multiple IDE drives to a computer while newer drives plug directly into the motherboard.

Overall, SATA is a good choice for you when needing fast transfers and MB cache and you plan to install multiple drives. 

What Are Hard Drive Features to Look For?

AS you're deciding what type of drive to buy, there are few commonly important attributes to look for:

  • RPM. This is slightly different than GB, cache or buffer but it is still important for your disk. For example, a 320 GB 5400RPM SATA is a solid choice. Look for an RPM that is 5000-plus.
  • GB. You want an internal unit with not only a good transfer rate of GB but plenty of room as well. 320 GB SATA is a worthwhile start. Some drives offer over a TB.
  • Type. When it comes to your desktop hard disk, overall the Seagate SATA2 or more is a good choice.