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Just a few short years ago laptop hard drives were standard at around 30 or 40GB. Desktop hard drives maybe 80 to 100GB for the average home user. Now, a laptop with less than 100GB is laughable to many and desktops commonly hit the mark between 500GB and 1TB. As software develops and technology advances, the files we use on a daily basis grow as well.
So when you are building your own computer or replacing the hard drive on your current one, keep the past few years in mind. If you are filling up your current 100GB drive and are in the market for a new one, jump up to 250GB. You want to leave enough room so that you do not end up buying another hard drive six months from now because the one you just bought turned out to be too small. Spending a little extra now gets you the capacity you need and saves you money down the road.
Storage capacity is an issue for family computers just as much as computer enthusiasts' machines. More and more hard drive camcorders are being made today, especially high definition ones. Home movies will be much higher quality now and you will need somewhere to store all that video.
The size of the drive you need can depend on what you use your computer for. Though whether you are a serious video gamer or casual Web surfer, it is always a good idea to go with a drive that clocks in at 7,200 RPM. Drives coming in at 5,400 RPM are becoming a thing of the past along with the 30GB storage capacity.