Storage Types

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Buying a computer can be confusing process for individuals who are not tech-savvy.   This often leads to consumers shopping by price and physical attributes. It is true that computer’s have come a far way and many basic programs such as Microsoft Office do not require a lot of resources to run smoothly. While you can run apps just fine on a new budget computer there are often components that are over looked that can lead to an unfavorable experience down the road.


Hard Disk Drives:

One example of how a company may cut costs on a new machine is by using a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) also referred to as a rotational hard drive due to the spinning disc that holds the information. These hard drives are measured in rotations per minute (rpm) and typically range from 5400-7200rpm which roughly translates ranges from 100-120MB/s.  Hard Disk Drives connect through a SATA cable or connector and are known to have slow data transfer speeds which can lead to longer wait times to start up your computer and applications (can vary dependent upon startup applications as well).  It is important to note however that Hard Disk Drives are more affordable and often have larger storage base capacities making them prevalent in budget PC builds. While Hard Disk Drives are known to have failures when dropped, they are also known for information to be recovered due to them being stored on a physical disc.  


SATA Solid State Drive

 It is becoming common practice for desktop computers to have Solid State Drives (SSD).  There are many different kinds of Solid State Drives that vary on connectivity and transfer speeds. Examples of different Solid State Drives we will focus on are SATA and M.2 NVMe.  The SATA Solid State Drive is what most people are use to seeing in todays age (July 2022) and usually comes in a 2.5″ form factor.  These hard drives typically have a data transfer speed of 500-600MB/s which is a noticeable improvement when compared to the slow speeds of a rotational hard disk drive.  These are a great option for most refurbished computers as they are less costly than an M.2 Solid State Drive while providing a fast enough data transfer speed for the typical user.  SATA Solid State Drives are known to be more durable than Hard Disk Drives but in the instance of a drive failure it is more difficult and costly to recover information.


M.2 NVMe Solid State Drive

The M.2 NVMe Solid State Drive connects through a PCIe port which gives it direct access to the CPU.   Often M.2 NVMe’s are characterized by their fast data transfer speeds ranging from 550MB/s up to 4GB/s.  Having an M.2 NVMe Solid State drive will lead to the fastest startup time of your program and applications and can be considered a must have for people running intense applications.  It is important to note that M.2 NVMe Solid state drives are the most expensive storage type due to the highest data transfer speeds.


eMMC Flash Storage

 Lower end budget laptops are often contain embedded MultiMediaCard storage (eMMC) that comes soldered to the board and can not be upgraded at a later time. This can cause problems for people who want to save a lot of files locally without the need for an external hard drive or using the cloud. Having limited storage can be a problem as solid state drives and forms of flash memory (ie. eMMC) are known to have a deteriorated performance after they reach 75-80% capacity which is a large reason why chrome books which are known to contain eMMC storage often push people to save their files to the cloud to keep storage space available for your hard drive to function properly. This is one of the many reasons we recommend knowing what programs you plan to install ahead of time so you can accurately gouge how much storage will be needed in your device.  


We are here to help:

Today we have covered the most common storage types found when purchasing a new or refurbished computer.  The storage type that is best for you will depend on many different factors including but not limited to what programs and applications you plan to use, desired price range, and desired period of use.  These factors will translate to what machine will best fit your needs.  This process is often confusing for many individuals but that’s where we come in to help.  Our experienced sales associates at Waukegan Computer can gladly go over different options available and make recommendations based upon your personal needs.  We are more than happy to go over the value that lies within a refurbished machine.  Not only are you saving money, but you are also helping a small business and helping the environment by reducing electronic waste.  




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