Help Me Choose: Storage

The hard drive is the primary storage unit of the computer. The operating system, applications, files and data are stored on the hard drive. Replacing a hard drive can be challenging. The best way to avoid this inconvenience is to choose a hard drive that meets your needs well into the future by considering these factors:

1. Capacity requirements: More gigabytes (GB) mean more capacity. Ensure that you buy a drive with enough capacity to meet your current and future storage needs.

2. Performance:
Hard drive performance is influenced by the speed of the drive measured in revolutions per minute (rpm) and the use of flash memory to accelerate data access. For magnetic media, higher rpm means higher performance. Flash memory can also enhance drive performance by allowing data access without waiting for the drive to spin up. This can provide advantages in boot time as well as application launches. Innovations such as solid-state hybrid drives (SSHD) and solid-state drives (SSD) rely on flash memory to enhance performance.

3. Durability:
Traditional hard drives have moving parts, making them vulnerable to certain impacts, vibrations and other movement that can lead to a crashed hard drive. Innovations such as SSDs help protect against impacts and can reduce the risk of failure. If you are usually on the go, work in the field or often run through airports, you should consider an SSD for added durability.

4. Data security:
Self-encrypting drives (SED) help keep your data safe by using powerful, hardware-based encryption without a negative impact on performance. The encryption engine is built directly into the drive controller; thus all encryption is done at full speed of the hard drive. On SED drives, even the password is encrypted, so your data has an additional layer of protection whether the drive is in the system or on its own if stolen. SED drives are easy to use and deploy with a quick and secure erase for hard disk drive (HDD) disposal or reuse. Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)-certified SED offers all of the features of the standard SED, plus FIPS tamper-resistant seal and unique encryption algorithm. The FIPS-encrypted drive is designed to appeal to federal government employers, healthcare and financial markets where data security is of utmost importance.

Dell’s SEDs are TCG Opal 2.0 compliant and those with FIPS are FIPS 140-2 certified. Our SEDs are validated with Dell’s platforms and the software that we ship. If other security software is used to manage your drives, please check with your software vendor for compatibility. Also check with your security software provider to see if the version of their software that you are using is Opal 2.0 compatible.

Solid-State Hybrid Drive

What is solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD)?

Dell introduces the solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), an exciting new hard drive technology that uses flash memory to improve your storage performance. Dell SSHD fuses the speed of a solid-state drive (SSD) with the high capacity of a hard drive to deliver the latest in client storage technology.

  • Boots like a SSD
  • Up to 200 percent better performance than a 7,200 revolutions per minute (rpm) drive
  • Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/s with native command queuing (NCQ) for interface speed
  • All-in-one design for simplicity and easy installation

How does it work?

Intelligent firmware with adaptive algorithms monitors data usage and places the most frequently used data into the SSD portion of the drive, leading to dramatically improved performance.
If you want ... Choose ... 
Maximum performanceSolid-state drive 
Performance and storage capacity Solid-state hybrid drive
Maximum durability Solid-state drive 
Data security Self-encrypting drive (SED)