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computer caseComing into this blog post, number four in my series about building your own computer, I finally have had some of the components delivered. I have included some pictures and information to keep you up to date, but we're not nearly ready to begin assembling parts. I'm hoping that my editors aren't getting too annoyed that I haven't started actually screwing parts together yet. Perhaps I should have told them that I didn't have $900 dollars to plunk down to buy all the parts at one time. Oh well, my intention was to walk you through this slowly any way. You can see my first three lead -in posts via this link!

This week I went through the process of choosing my hard drives. Yes, I mean drive(S), as in more than one. After getting various opinions on the subject I have decided that my new computer shall be set up with two hard drives. One will serve for daily use and the second one will be a fully updated backup kept on hand as an instant replacement just in case the first one fails. It was suggested that I could run the two hard drives in tandem, using one for the operating system and one for image storage which is a fine idea also but I have determined that I do not need that volume of data storage capacity yet and that option would still leave me needing a back up solution. I can always throw another drive in there. That's one of the advantages of building a computer from scratch.

Build-compu-04(click thumbnails to view gallery)

The caseRear PanelClear view panelMother boardMother board box

I have learned that when it comes to choosing a hard drive there are several important things that we must consider. Of course storage capacity is probably the first consideration for most people but there are such wide varieties in storage capacities available now that a person can really tune their purchase to more closely fit their needs and gain more value for their dollars. Hard drive speed is the second most important consideration you'll have and it is measured in RPM. For right now, 7200 rpm is pretty much the going standard for mid to high end home computers.

I chose a Samsung, Spin Point 250 GB hard drive This unit will give me storage capacity for about 95,000 digital images. I chose this because nearly all of our home photography is digital and my other computer based pursuits are fairly image intensive. Additionally, 250 GB will give me plenty of room to expand into the video realm. The Samsung model ranks high among similar comparable models in all operational categories. I trust Samsung for quality and I just can't pass up the price at $70. I figure that in three to five years when I need more capacity I'll be able to add another 250 GB for about $50. One consideration that I need to keep in mind is that this hard drive requires that certain operating systems be fully upgraded with manufacturer's service packs in order to fully utilize the available drive space. I'm strongly considering using Windows XP Professional as my operating system but I need to fully research the proposition yet.

If you are looking for a hard drive for a computer you are going to build, this informational link will give you some good starting background. This next link will hook you up with our friends at Engadget and all of their hard drive discussions. This third link will spirit you over to Download Squad where you can get some other interesting hard drive perspectives. If you're just a hard core shopper and you want to wade through the mountains of available hard drive options, you may start out at the Tiger Direct hard drive category and then you may hop on over to the Newegg hard drive category and wade through all those offers. Good luck my friends... it's a jungle out there.

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