What Are the Main Types of Hard Disk Drives?

Computers depend on hard disk drives (HDDs) to permanently store critical data. They serve as storage devices that save digital information that can be retrieved for future reference. HDDs are considered non-volatile since they retain data even when they are not connected to a power source, keeping stored information safe and intact.

Data is stored or retrieved in a random-access manner, rather than in a sequential access. This means that blocks of data can be accessed at any point without going through other data blocks. HDDs can be grouped into five types, those of which include parallel advanced technology attachments (PATAs), serial ATA (SATA) storage drives, small computer system interface (SCSI) drives, solid state drives (SSDs), and NVMe drives.
Parallel Advanced Technology Attachments
Serving as the first types of hard disk drives, they made use of the Parallel ATA interface standard to connect to computers. Often referred to as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) and Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE) drives, they were first introduced by Western Digital and Compaq in 1986. At the time, they provided a common drive interface technology for connecting hard drives and other related devices to computers.
Their data transfer rate is up to 133MB/s, and a maximum of 2 devices can be connected to a single drive channel. As most motherboards are equipped with two channels, four EIDE devices can be connected internally. They utilize 40 or 80 wire ribbon cables to transfer numerous bits of data simultaneously in parallel. Furthermore, these drives have the ability to store data via magnetism.
Serial ATA Storage Drives
These storage devices quickly replaced PATA drives in desktop and laptop computers, with the main difference between the two being the interface. In 2000, SATA surfaced as an alternative to the earlier PATA interface. Not only do they have a reduced cable size and cost, they offer native hot swapping, faster data transfer via higher signaling rates, and more efficient transfer through an I/O queuing protocol. Nonetheless, their method of connecting to a computer is the same.
Small Computer System Interface Drives
Similar to IDE hard drives with the exception that they utilize a Small Computer System Interface to connect to a computer, SCSI is a set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and peripheral devices. These standards outline commands & protocols for electrical, optical, and logical interfaces. In addition, SCSI drives can be connected internally or externally. Keep in mind that devices connected in a SCSI must be terminated at the end. Some of the advantages of SCSI drives include their high transfer speed, reliability, as well as their wide range of salability and flexibility.
Solid State Drives
This type of hard disk drive is the latest in drive technology as it does not consist of any moving parts like its counterparts. They also do not store data using magnetism; rather, they use flash memory technology. That being said, they utilize integrated circuits or semiconductor devices to store information permanently. SSDs offer many advantages, some of which include faster data access, increased durability, and less power usage.
NVMe Drives
Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is a storage interface that ensures data is not lost even when a computer reboots or loses power. The term “Express” refers to the fact that that data travels over the PCI Express (PCIe) interface located on a computer’s motherboard, providing a more direct connection as a result. More than that, they utilize 4 PCIe lanes, offering a max speed of 3.9 Gbps (3,940 Mbps).
ASAP IT Technology is a premier distributor of hard disk drives, external hard drives, and storage components, all of which can be found in our easy to navigate database. Our inventory consists of high quality HDDs from top manufacturers like Axiom Memory Solutions, Citrix Systems, HP, Nutanix, Cisco Memory, and other leading entities. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote and see how ASAP IT Technology can fulfill your operational requirements.


December 2, 2022
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