What has been a remarkable feature of the development in computer technology is the rapidly expanding storage capacity. In the marketplace we find many different types of storage from Bluray discs, USB flash drives, Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drive to the old faithful DVD and CD optical media.
Which one do we buy? That all depends on what we need from our storage. Do we need fast read and write speeds or just a backup to store bits of our digital lives? Do we need convenient and lightweight storage media or do we need ones with more physical weight but with larger capacity? These are the questions that one needs to answer before deciding on which media to use for storage.
At the higher end of the market, people use SSDs (Solid State Drives) for storage which is a great improvement over the old mechanical hard drives. They don’t have the overhead of having to physically move read heads over spinning discs, but they can also fail in a relatively short time if the Operating System does not have built in support for it or for other reasons such as excessive heat, etc.
SSDs are great for improving the speed of a computer and they are very power efficient and more resistant to bumps and vibrations during operation. They have relatively high read and write speeds compared to mechanical drives, but they also cost a bit more. SSDs average around $A0.7 $A1 per gigabyte.
With SSDs, looking at current market prices, the cheaper per gigabyte prices can be had with drives in capacities around 500-512GB. It seems that with the smaller 120-256GB drives, the price per gigabyte is around $1 or more.
If you’re after slow storage, such as for archives, backup or general storage where speed is not critical, mechanical drives still offer unparalleled price per gigabyte capacity. External drives can be had for as little as around $A0.053 per gigabyte and capacities go from 250GB all the way to 4TB. For a little extra convenience, you can get portable ones (the ones that are powered by the USB bus) and they cost around $A0.079 per gigabyte (some more and some less).
For flash drives (USB sticks), the prices vary from around $A0.6 per GB for larger drives (32GB) to $A1 per GB for smaller ones (16GB). Flash drives are great because they are convenient to carry and very light.
So for recommendation:
- SSD get 512GB or more as the price seems to get cheaper with larger capacity
- Desktop HDD get at least 3TB where the price per GB is cheaper
- Flash Drives go for 32GB drives as they are quite economical.