Primary storage is where the operating system, software applications, files and data are stored on a PC. In the past, primary storage has only been offered in the form of hard drives. However, Dell now offers solid state disk drives (or SSD) on many systems. The following factors should be taken into account when deciding what type of storage option will best meet your needs.

Primary Storage Decision Factors

  1. Capacity requirements. More gigabytes (GB) mean more capacity. Presentations, videos, spreadsheets and photos, which take up much more space than word processing documents and emails, will require a hard drive with more storage capacity. High-capacity hard drives help to provide your enterprise with a scalable technological foundation that can meet its changing needs, both today and in the future.

  2. The importance of the data. Data loss is always a concern. Sensitive data such as customer information, financial records and medical history can be better protected from malicious attack by encryption. Dell recommends using a hardware-based encryption solution, like a Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) to help protect your data without the negative impact on the performance of your system. Data redundancy on multiple drives and backing up your system to external storage are the best way to help prevent data loss in the case of drive failure.

  3. Performance. System performance and boot time are influenced by the type of storage you select. For hard drives, the speed of the drive, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM), indicates the performance of the drive. A 7200 RPM HDD is standard performance for desktop applications. If you're work requires higher performance drives with fast access times and fast data read/write, then a Hybrid hard drive or a solid state drive is what you want. SSDs have no moving parts, so their speed is not measured in RPM. Solid state drives provide better overall performance over 7200 RPM and Hybrid drives.

  4. Power Efficiency. Select OptiPlexTM systems enable you to choose 2.5" 7200 RPM drives or solid state drives for increased power efficiency compared to standard 3.5" desktop drives. 7200 RPM 2.5" hard drives use up to 68% less power than standard 7200 RPM 3.5" desktop drives. Solid state drives use 96% less power than standard 3.5" desktop drives.

All OptiPlex systems support SATA 3.0Gb/s (formerly SATA II), a serial revision of the popular legacy ATA bus, feature a raw data transfer rate of up to 3.0 Gb/second, small connectors and cables and a dedicated bandwidth and cable for each device. SATA 3.0Gb/s delivers an excellent blend of high performance and configuration convenience.
All OptiPlex systems use Native Command Queuing (NCQ), a technology that increases drive performance by internally optimizing the order read and write commands are executed to minimize head movement within the drive.

RAID , or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a storage technology that uses two or more disks to achieve greater levels of performance or data protection through redundancy. There are several different types of RAID configurations. Available on select OptiPlex systems, you may choose to have your OptiPlex PC configured in RAID 0 or RAID 1.

RAID 0 , Referred to as 'striping', writes data across all the disks in the RAID array, improving performance. The accessible capacity is equal to the sum of the capacities of all disks in the array. However, if one disk fails in a RAID 0 configuration data on all disks will be lost.

RAID 1 , Referred to as 'mirrored', writes identical data to two separate drives. This is a back-up type solution. Data is not lost in the event that one drive malfunctions. The accessible capacity is equal to the capacity of the smallest drive.


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