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Internal Hard Drives

See system-specific recommendations within the Desktop Computers section

Internal Solid State hard drives (i.e. SSD) for Operating System, Applications and Data Storage

In general, select an SSD drive for your Operating System and applications (the "boot" drive) and a conventional (i.e. "spinning platter")hard disk for data storage (particularly long-term storage).

Ultra-tiny drives for M.2 form factor PCIe/NVME connections

These drives will only work with motherboards with an M.2 form factor PCIe/NVMe connector. ALL motherboards recommended by MOST.Guru after January 2017 have such a connector. These drives are generally approximately 6 times faster than SATA III SSD drives listed further below. Using such a drive will allow the smallest possible case (such as an Intel NUC) or maximize space for data drives in a server enclosure.

Samsung 970 EVO
Samsung 970 EVO

The Samsung 970 EVO is the fastest (theoretically and in practice, so far) consumer-level NVMe drive available. It costs about the same as slower competitors!

2.5 Inch drives for SATA III connections

These drives will work (at their full speed) with pretty much any motherboard manufactured since the advent of SATA III (mid-2009). They may work at the slower SATA II speed with older motherboards. In general, if your motherboard supports NVMe, you are much better off (from the standpoint of speed) choosing an NVMe drive (see above).

Internal Conventional hard drives (i.e. spinning platter), generally for Data Storage only.

These drives are optimal for storing data such as business documents, images and video. We generally specify NAS-rated drives as they are less sensitive to high temperatures and are rated for 24/7 use.

3.5 inch drives

These are well-suited to regular size cases. 4TB capacity selection should be more than enough storage for all but the most intensive media generator/consumer. In a server, you may, of course, wish to run multiple 4, 6 or even 8TB drives. It is not uncommon for a media-server to have 40 or more TB worth of storage for video, image and audio data-files.

Page Last Edited: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Page First Published: July 23, 2015

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