Magnetic disks are storage devices like hard disks, floppy disks or removable cartridges covered by a magnetic coating which digital data is stored. They record information instantly making its speed high. In addition, magnetic disks are reusable whereby information can be recorder and erased and new data stored on them. Magnetic disks are customer friendly because they are inexpensive and easy to use. They hold small amounts of information but are easily accessible and portable. The main difference between Magnetic tapes and magnetic disks is that the tapes are a bit slower compared to the magnetic disks (Saffady, 1990).
An optical disk is a non-volatile storage device as it retains information even if not powered. They are easily accessible and unlike magnetic disks, optical disk systems use laser to read and write data. Their storage capacity is large up to 6 gigabytes but they are not as fast as magnetic disks. Read only optical disks are not expensive but read and write disks are expensive. Furthermore, optical disk data is permanent and can be read and used several times but cannot be modified. There are some types of optical disks that can be erased and new written data store on them but they are expensive (Khursgudov, 2001). Optical disks include CD’s, DVD’s etc.
On the other hand, flash RAM’s are volatile as they need a steady flow of electricity in order to use its contents although the data stored is safe even if not on an electric power. Flash RAM’s are cost effective and old data can be erased and new data stored.
Solid state drives (SSD) are the most attractive storage devices as they are small in size meaning they are portable. They are flexible in usage, faster and more power efficient since power from batteries can be used if the power went off. SSD’s are characterized by ultra-fast data access and are volatile memory. Besides, they consume less energy, greater endurance and perform three times better (McCormick, 1990). They have no moving parts and therefore no mechanical breakage.
Static RAM (SRAM), Dynamic RAM (DRAM) and synchronous DRAM can be used when one needs to store large amounts of data with faster speed and wants it to be durable. These storage devices are volatile and can only be use while on power or else data will be lost when it is off power. These storage devices can be best used when one needs to store a lot of data with less physical space. They are less expensive and are found on personal computers, desktops, laptops and workstation computers. One chooses storage devices depending on its speed, volatility, portability, cost and the amount of information to be stored.
Khursgudov, A. (2001). The essential Guide to Computer data Storage: From Floppy to DVD. New York: Prentice Hall Professional.
McCormick, J. (1990). A guide to Optical Storage Technology: Using CD-ROM, WORM, Erasable, Digital paper and other High Density Opt magnetic Storage Devices. University of Michigan: Dow Jones-Irwin.
Saffady, W. (1990). Optical Disk vs. Magnetic Storage. University of Michigan: Meckler.