One Large HDD or Two Small Ones? Which is Better?

Movies in 4K resolution, high-quality photos and modern PC games have dramatically increased the comfortable storage capacity of modern computers. Nowadays, many users are no longer satisfied with a 1, 2 or even 4 TB hard drive, and they increasingly prefer HDDs of 8 TB and above. But which is better – to buy one large HDD or two small drives of comparable size? We look at this in detail.

Benefits of one big HDD

  • One HDD takes up less space. This is especially evident when you’re using a compact PC case with extremely limited interior space. But the problem may also be in the motherboard, which simply does not have one more connector for connecting a SATA drive.
  • One HDD is quieter. The hard drive is one of the noisiest components in a modern computer. And when using two such drives, they will make noticeably more extraneous sounds that can annoy many users.

Benefits of two small drives

  • The fault tolerance of two drives is much higher than one. Trite because the probability of their simultaneous “death” is extremely small. And even if you don’t use a full backup, with two HDDs of the same capacity, you can always duplicate critical data, the loss of which can be especially painful.
  • Two small drives are faster than one large one. This is not always the case, but if you decide to combine two drives into a RAID0 array, they will perform noticeably faster than a single HDD with similar characteristics. This is due to the ability of RAID0 to evenly write data to all disks and the possibility of parallelizing reading – reading information from two or more drives occurs in several streams.
  • Two small drives are more expensive than one large one. Other things being equal, two smaller drives will cost less than one large drive of comparable capacity. For example, for such a 4 TB Toshiba X300 hard drive, you will have to pay a little more than 200 dollars, while for an 8 TB drive from the same series you will pay only 300 dollars. And, therefore, in the first case, 8 TB of disk space will cost $400, and in the second – $10 less.one hard drive or two

Is there an ideal configuration?

Accelerating the HDD with a RAID0 array is nice, but it doesn’t come close to achieving the same effect as using a combination of a hard drive and a low-capacity SSD. So, you can use a classic HDD for data storage, and an SSD as a system drive. Thus, you can achieve an almost instant launch of the operating system and programs, significantly speed up the entire PC and offload the HDD, ridding it of OS requests.

Of course, such a solution practically does not solve the problem of the lack of free space on the computer. But for all the economic benefits of such a solution, the option of using one large HDD can only work when building a PC from scratch. In reality, the situation is such that the disk space ends with a completely up-to-date assembly. And the most effective way to solve the problem is to buy another drive and combine it with the old HDD in RAID0.

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