A spindle is a shaft that holds rotating hard disk drive (HDD) platters in place. The term is also often used to refer to a single HDD.
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Spindle speed, measured in rotations per minute (RPM), is one metric used to gauge disk drive performance. Spindle speed can affect seek time, which is the speed at which a drive can locate a single bit of information, as well as the sustained rate at which data can be read from, or written to, a disk.