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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Interfaces and Configuration ]

Hard Disk General Interface Factors

There are a number of attributes that determine the quality and usefulness of a hard disk interface. One can theoretically evaluate a hard disk interface by looking at how well it "scores" in these various attributes, and comparing it to alternative interfaces. In the real world, of course, we are limited in our choices to what the industry uses as a standard; it's not like one can easily design a new interface. Still, it's useful to understand these general interface factors, and in particular, how they trade off against each other--as with most areas of life, you "can't have everything". :^)

In this section I begin by looking at compatibility issues related to the system bus, and then cover the very important matter of interface performance, and a related issue, command overhead. Then I examine issues of device support and expandability. Last, but definitely not least, is the essential matter of cost.

Next: System Bus Interface

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