Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need to buy another hard drive. The question is, internal or external? How do I choose between the two? What are the advantages/disadvantages of one over the other?

share|improve this question
What is the drive going to be used for? – Sasha Chedygov Dec 24 '09 at 7:51
I'm going to store lots of media on it, mostly video, and I'll be watching those videos. I might also install games on it. – Phenom Dec 24 '09 at 8:30
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Very simply, if you need it for storage, on a fixed PC, and are unlikely to need to use it outside your lan, go for an internal disk. If its gonna be going on walkabout, external disk. The internals are the same, but internal disks mostly use PATA or SATA, while external ones for most part use the slower USB interface, or ESATA, though the latter is not as common, and just sata.

share|improve this answer

Essentially, you want your external drive as a backup drive. Of course, this is all down to personal preference, but in general... go internal, unless it's a backup or rarely accesssed drive.

Otherwise, if it's a drive that you access frequently but for some reason move for place to place, use an external drive (though in this case there are probably better solutions)

In a nutshell, you want an internal drive unless you are using it as a backup drive - in which case, it makes little difference.

It depends upon your specific needs. What exactly do you want this drive for?

share|improve this answer

Store media mostly video : external.

Install games (or any other non-portable product) : only internal.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.