How to choose a hard drive for a laptop


Many buyers do not think that a replacement hard drive may be required not only in case of failure, but also because of the need to increase performance. How to choose a hard drive for a laptop is an interesting and important question. Below is a description of the selection parameters and a small rating of current models.

Types of hard drives

The first thing to start talking about laptop memory is their types. Today, all drives are divided into three categories:


HDD is a device that consists of several magnetic disks and a magnetic head. It performs the task of writing and reading information. All this is placed in a sealed case. The advantages of HDD are considered to be volume and low price. Subject to the rules of operation, they can work for a long time.

Important! The downside is the low speed of information exchange, and in addition, due to the presence of moving parts of the HDD, the disks are sensitive to falls, shocks and shaking. Given the fact that many users constantly carry a laptop with them, this solution may not be the most reliable.

SSD is a solid state hard drive. Unlike HDD, it has no moving parts, which affects the speed of information exchange — it is higher. The second merit is resistance to mechanical stress, such drives are not afraid of shaking or constant wear. Minus — a tangible price.

As the name «SSHD» suggests, this type of drive is a hybrid drive. They are relatively new to the market. They are based on the fact that a small solid-state drive is installed in a regular magnetic disk, which acts as a kind of cache. Combining speed and large volume, SSHD are gaining more and more popularity from buyers. Most often, in such drives, the integrated SDD has a capacity of 8 GB. This allows you to increase the speed of the operating system, while the OS, software and other information is stored on a conventional magnetic media.


Obviously, the types of laptop hard drives offer different uses. If you need high performance, then you should buy an SSD, if you need a large-capacity drive, and at the same time the device is at home, then the HDD is the best option, but if the buyer needs volume and speed at the same time, then his choice is SSHD.

Work speed

In the question of how to choose a hard drive for a laptop, one cannot ignore its speed, because it affects the performance of the device. It is important to understand that the very speed of work consists of several more parameters.

Connection interface is a technology for connecting memory to the motherboard. Today there are SATA II and SATA III types. They are interchangeable, but if you put a hard drive with SATA 3 support on SATA 2, then the speed will be slower, namely 3 Gbps, despite the fact that the third version is capable of transmitting up to 6 Gbps. Thus, it will be correct to choose a drive that supports exactly the interface that is provided by the laptop. It makes no sense to take a more productive option, since it costs more money, and the speed from installing on the old connector will not become higher.

Connection interface

On a note! Most SSDs work through SATA 3, but they can come in a variety of form factors — mSATA, PCIe, and M.2. Such options operate at a speed of 6 Gbps and are installed in small laptops. Visually, these drives are more like RAM than a hard drive. They have a small volume.

CASH or buffer size It is a kind of hard drive memory. It temporarily stores data and affects the exchange rate, the larger the buffer, the faster the drive. Modern options offer models with a volume of 8 to 128 MB.

Rotational speed — Another parameter that affects performance. Measured in revolutions per minute. On the market you can find options with 5400 and 7200 rpm. It should be understood that there are some nuances here.

  1. 5400 rpm is better for a laptop on which long-term data storage is planned, and the gadget itself is not designed for high loads. A drive at this speed is quieter, requires less power, and lasts longer.
  2. 7200 rpm provide higher data exchange and are relevant for high-performance systems. The downside is that they are noisier, consume a lot of energy, and besides, they heat up a lot.

Advice! By default, options with 7200 rpm should not be rejected. Some manufacturers equip high-speed discs with IntelliPower, which independently adjusts the number of revolutions depending on the type of work.

To choose a hard drive for a laptop, you should understand the type of tasks for which it will be intended. If you need a gadget for games and resource-intensive applications, then it is better to take a drive with a large number of revolutions and support for IntelliPower technology.. At the right time, the revolutions will reach maximum values, and during normal operation they will fall, which will save energy consumption and extend the service life. For a gadget that is used in the simplest everyday tasks — movies, office or surfing, the option with a rotation speed of 5400 rpm is enough.

Disk size

Hard drive types may vary in size — 2.5” and 3.5”. As a rule, the latter are used in stationary PCs, and the first option is common in laptops, as well as external hard drives. You need to understand that buying any 2.5 ”in a store will not be true, since they can vary from 5 to 15.7 mm among themselves, it depends on the number of magnetic plates (1-3 pieces).

Two hard drives

Standard drive thickness is 9.5mm, in thin models of laptops, 5 and 7 mm drives are not uncommon, so it would be correct to first find out about compatibility. Obviously, if the disk is thicker, it simply won’t fit; if it’s smaller, the drive won’t be able to be fixed, and it will quickly fail, ruining the attachment to the motherboard.

Data volume

Modern HDDs may have volume from 320 GB to 4 terabytes. Up to 750 GB is the best option for an office laptop where data is stored in the cloud, or the device is designed only for work. 1-3 terabytes is an option for those who install a lot of games, store movies and a home archive with photos and videos. 4 TB is a real archive, where it is planned to store a lot of data and for a long time. As a rule, oversized 4Tb drives are not found in laptops, and the maximum thickness of such drives is 15.7 mm. Obviously, these hard drives have a high price tag.

Modern disk space

Unlike HDDs, solid state drives have a smaller amount of memory — from 32 to 2000 gigabytes. Interestingly, as the amount of memory increases, the speed of the SSD decreases, the difference can be very high, so if you need the fastest option, it is better to buy a drive with a capacity of no more than 128 GB for a laptop. As a rule, in this case, a small solid-state disk is installed in the device, which is the installation site for Windows and the main programs, and an additional HDD with a capacity of 500-1000 GB, where the user stores data.

More voluminous options are bought by gamers, since modern games may simply not fit on a 128 GB SSD, and there must still be room for an operating system. The price tags of high-capacity SSDs are quite high, so it’s worth considering whether such memory is really necessary.

hard drive rating

As a conclusion, here are the top 5 best laptop hard drives that are relevant in 2019.

Western Digital WD Black 500 GB (WD5000LPLX)

Internal HDD 500 GB, size 2.5”. The model has a good amount of cache memory — 32 MB and a high rotation speed of 7200 rpm. Connection type — SATA III. The volume of work is 25 dB under load, in idle mode — 23 dB. The model is available in several memory configurations. Great option for the ratio of speed and cost. Price — 2700 rubles.

Western Digital WD Black 500 GB (WD5000LPLX)

Western Digital WD Black 500 GB (WD5000LPLX) on Yandex Market

Toshiba HDWL120UZSVA

HDD with high capacity and buffer — 2000 GB and 128 MB. Rotation speed — 5400. Connector — Sata 3. Model supports NCQ technology, that is, puts tasks in the queue in such a way as to achieve maximum efficiency in their execution. Form Factor – 2.5”. The volume during operation — 24 dB, while idle — 23 dB. The disk is included in the rating of the best due to the large volume and high speed of operation, while it is quite quiet. Price — 5300 rubles.

Toshiba HDWL120UZSVA

Toshiba HDWL120UZSVA on Yandex Market

Western Digital WD Blue SSHD 1TB (WD10J31X)

1TB hybrid SSHD drive. SSD — 8 GB. The model has a SATA 3 connector. Type — 2.5”. Cache memory — 64 MB. Noise level — 24 and 25 dB in idle mode and under load, respectively. The rotation of the disks is 5400. The advantage is energy efficiency and large volume. At a low rotation speed, the model shows decent performance. Price — 14,000 rubles.

Western Digital WD Blue SSHD 1TB (WD10J31X)

Western Digital WD Blue SSHD 1TB (WD10J31X) on Yandex Market

Intel SSDMCEAW080A401

80 GB solid state drive with SATA 3 connection type. Reading and writing data speed — 490/540 Mb / s. Form factor — mSATA, there is support for NCQ.

Important! The model is characterized by an increased service life — 1.2 million hours, has a minimum energy consumption and increased resistance to mechanical stress.

Intel SSDMCEAW080A401

There are modifications with a large amount of memory. The cost is from 12,000 rubles.

Intel SSDMCEAW080A401 on Yandex Market

Samsung MZ-76P1T0BW

1000 GB large solid state drive with 530/560 MB/s write/read speed. Connection type — Sata III. Form Factor – 2.5”. The model is characterized by high consumption, but positioned as a game. The advantage can be considered high resistance to mechanical stress, that is, the laptop in which this drive is installed is not afraid of shaking and constant movement. Service life — 2 million hours. Price — 18,000 rubles.

Samsung MZ-76P1T0BW

Samsung MZ-76P1T0BW on Yandex Market


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