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Seagate - Build-a-Rig Contest @ PAX East 2015

Seagate highlights their hybrid drive at PAX East 2015. Now, with a Seagate Desktop Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD), you can experience the performance of a solid state drive for a fraction of the cost. Desktop SSHD fuses solid state storage with a traditional hard drive to deliver the best of both worlds: blazing-fast performance and high capacities at prices that work.

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Hard Drives

Hard drives are the central storage device for data on your computer. On it rests the documents you create, the music you listen to, the games you play and the video you view. You'll want to choose a drive which is optimized for your primary purpose.
There are a few main things to consider when selecting a hard drive: internal or external hard drive, connection type, speed and capacity. Whether you call it a Hard Drive, a Hard Disk, or an HDD, budget permitting, always go for the fastest drive you can. Speed of data access is measured using RPMs (revolutions per minute). Typical drives range from 5400 to 7200 RPM, with more and more 9600 RPM drive appearing on the scene. A faster rotational speed means greater performance, especially in games, but may cause greater heat and noise.
The capacity, measured in GB (gigabytes), should depend on your own storage requirements. A higher capacity drive will invariably cost more than a smaller drive, so a balance must usually be struck between capacity and cost.
The hard drive interface, whether it's IDE, SATA, or SCSI determine a drive's application: IDE and SATA for personal storage and SCSI for enterprise and mission critical storage. Please see our Internal Hard Drive Buying Guide for more information.


Whether you call it "Advanced Technology Attachment" or "Integrated Drive Electronics", the name given to it by Western Digital, this connection method has the drive controller integrated into the drive, rather than connected to the motherboard. They can communicate at up to 133 MB/s.

SATA 1.5 Gbit/s

First-generation SATA interfaces, also known as SATA/150 or unofficially as SATA 1, communicate at a rate of 150MB/s or 1.5 Gbit/s.

SATA 3.0 Gbit/s

Soon after SATA 1.5 Gbit/s introduction a number of shortcomings were observed. This feature, Native Command Queuing (NCQ), was adopted as an optional supported feature for SATA 1.5 Gbit/s and SATA 3.0 Gbit/s devices.
SATA 3.0 Gbit/s is designed to fall back to SATA 1.5 Gbit/s when in communication with these older devices. In practice, some older SATA controllers do not properly implement SATA speed negotiation. SATA cables are less expensive and more compact than for ATA.
With the introduction of SATA, convention ATA is sometimes called Parallel ATA (PATA), which refers to the method in which the data travels over the wires.

SATA 6.0 Gbit/s

Over the years the industry has increased bus bandwidth from PATA through SATA 1.5 Gb/s and SATA 3 Gb/s to keep up with the demand for higher transfer rates. The next evolution of bus bandwidth has now been achieved with the introduction of SATA 6 Gb/s, (SATA 3.0). This transition to a SATA 6 Gb/s interface aligns with the introduction of SATA 6 Gb/s-supporting chip sets and motherboards coming to the market.

SAS - Serial attached SCSI

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is a computer bus used to move data to and from computer storage devices such as hard drives and tape drives. SAS depends on a point-to-point serial protocol that replaces the parallel SCSI bus technology that first appeared in the mid 1980s in data centers and workstations, and it uses the standard SCSI command set. SAS offers backwards-compatibility with second-generation SATA drives. SATA 3 Gbit/s drives may be connected to SAS backplanes, but SAS drives may not be connected to SATA backplanes.

Cables and Connectors for SATA Devices

Connectors and Cables are the same for either generation. They are used on 3.5-in SATA hard disks for desktop and server computers and 2.5-in disks for laptop or small computers.

SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)

Actually a variety of interfaces ranging from Narrow SCSI at 40Mb/s to Ultra-640 SCSI at 5120Mb/s may be substantially more expensive than other connections, but it offers a wider range of connection and device possibilities. Frequently SCSI connections may be found in higher-speed disks, up to 15000 RPM.
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