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Desktop External Hard Drives

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Filling up the hard drive on a computer occurs quickly, and it can slow your device down over time. An external desktop hard drive ensures users have plenty of space for music and video libraries, and maximizes the performance of a computer, laptop, or gaming system. Staples® carries a variety of hard drives that meet the needs of anyone requiring additional storage space.

Determining Which Desktop Hard Drive Is the Right Choice
Choosing the right hard drive requires an understanding of how much space you need. A smaller, 320GB drive provides ample space for saving documents and spreadsheets. A 500GB drive holds up to 125,000 MP3 songs or 100,000 digital videos, making them a good choice for someone saving an extensive music library. For storing high-definition videos, a 2TB drive holds 240 files, while an 8TB model stores 960 movies. A 10TB to 48TB drive lets you back up multiple machines for increased data safety.

Choosing Between a Portable and External Desktop Hard Drive
A traditional desktop external hard drive includes a 3.5-inch disk and speeds of up to 7,200RPM, providing similar performance to drives inside a desktop computer. Many of these drives have large capacities, ensuring users have plenty of additional storage space. External drives consume more power due to the increase in speed and capacity, which requires users to plug into an AC outlet.

Portable models typically have a 2.5-inch drive and speeds of up to 5,400RPM. These drives don't require the same amount of power as their external counterparts, letting users plug into their laptop or desktop USB port. Portable units have cases that protect them against drops and bumps for increased durability. The smaller drives also have a streamlined design that fits easily into a bag or purse for transporting from one location to another.

What's the Difference Between Desktop Hard Drive Types?
A hard disk drive (HDD) stores information on a platter and has an arm that reads and writes data. A solid-state drive (SSD) stores information on memory chips and doesn't have moving parts. HDD options provide more space for those looking for budget friendly drives, while SSD models offer increased speeds but less memory.

Which Desktop Hard Drive Works for Backing Up Files?
Both a portable and desktop external hard drive works for backing up files on a computer or laptop. For simple backups of smaller files, a small external drive protects the data if your system crashes. For video and music libraries, a portable hard drive lets you listen or watch on any compatible device.

Can You Use a Desktop Hard Drive for Gaming Consoles?
Hard drives for desktops provide storage for gaming consoles. A portable option lets you play games with friends away from your own system. An external drive offers faster speeds for enhanced load times. If you purchase games frequently, consider a drive with a higher storage capacity so you don't run out of space quickly.

What Connections Speeds Do Desktop Hard Drives Have?
The connection speed of a hard drive determines how quickly it transfers data. External eSATA drives provide faster speeds than a typical USB connection at 3 Gbps to 6 Gbps but require an electrical outlet for power. USB 2.0 drives work with most devices and transfer files at about 480 Mbps. Models with USB 3.0 connections are rated at about 5 Gbps, providing quick transfers of most file types.
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