8 August 2013 by Pragya Sinha
SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is an interface standard which defines how a hard drive is connected to a computer or another device and what is the speed for data transfer between them. Storage devices which follow this standard are known as SATA hard drives. The best SATA drives have three revisions viz. SATA 1, SATA 2, SATA 3 with data speeds 1.5Gbps, 3Gbps, 6Gbps respectively.
The important aspects to consider when buying the right SATA hard drive are its capacity, performance and durability. These factors in turn are affected by the specifications of a SATA hard drive. Here we discuss the essentials of your SATA hard drive which is internal in most of the cases. Also, few manufacturers produce eSATA (external SATA) hard drives to serve the market of external storage.
The topmost SATA hard drives generally have 3.5 inch form factor which are desktop oriented. Despite not having good portability, these internal hard drives can provide larger storage capacity for your enormous number of photos and music. At least 1TB of capacity would be required in these 3.5 inch SATA hard drives.
Also, there are a few 2.5 inch SATA hard drives made for laptops. The capacities of these 2.5 inch hard drives should be at least 512GB.
Spindle speed and data speed are the important attributes affecting the performance of the SATA hard drive. Higher the spindle speed of the hard drive, faster the data reading from the disk. Spindle speed of at least 7200 RPM could provide you with better transfer performance.
Of the three generations of SATA hard drives, SATA 3 should be preferred because compared to the earlier ones this has the fastest data speed. With data speed of 6Gbps, the demand for faster movement of large amount of data is met. SATA 3 is backward compatible with SATA 2 which means that hard drives with SATA 2 will work on computers featuring SATA 3 ports. You can transfer your photos, videos, music easily in lesser time by opting for the third generation of high performance SATA hard drives.
In addition, cache buffer of at least 16MB should be there in SATA hard drives for data to be accessible readily.
The main purpose of a storage device is to keep the data safe for a longer period and accessible at any time. It is quite essential that your SATA hard drive should be able to withstand shock and resist any kind of environmental change. This capability would ensure that your data stays protected.
Moreover, there should be maintenance of some backup to prepare yourself from any sudden hard drive failure. Windows operating systems provide automatic backup by means of software whereas Apple Mac has a feature called Time Machine for creating a backup.
Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, IBM and Toshiba are some of the leading brands for SATA hard drives. For your ready reference we present here our listing of the best SATA hard drives.