The deed is already done, but I’m still curious: Is there any disadvantage to using a 2.5" spinning hard drive in a desktop machine, rather than just going with the standard 3.5"?
I currently own an Alienware R5 Aurora desktop machine. I love it, but I felt that the 1 TB hard drive was too small. Well, it took 18 months, but I finally filled it up, and need more HD space.
It already came with a 240 GB SSD for the Windows drive, and the only other drive was the 1 TB 3.5" 7200 rpm. I am on a budget, so going all-SSD is out of the question for now.
However, this goofy Alienware case, while cleverly laid-out inside, amazingly offers zero space for an additional hard drive. Unless that hard drive is either a 2.5" laptop drive or an SSD. There is room (and handy mounting already in place) for two laptop drives.
So I ordered a 2.5" 1 TB WD Black from Amazon and installed it. Went fine. No adapters necessary.
But this caused me to wonder: Why don’t all desktop machines simply use 2.5" drives? They are much, much smaller in footprint, and this one cost less than the 3.5" version. Are there drawbacks? The speed should be the same, right? 7200 rpm for both. All I can think of is maybe they run hotter due to size?
It’s not a really important question, as I’ve already done it. I’m just wondering if there is a reason all desktop hard drives aren’t 2.5" instead of 3.5".
Also, which way is right-side up? Label side? Does it matter?
Yes, not all drives are created equal, and there are more variables than rotational speed and cache. For example, both the WD Blue and Black 3.5" models are 7200RPM, and both have 64MB cache, but the Black has higher density platters so they’re faster and noisier, while the Blue has higher endurance and is quieter.
Good to know. I’ve apparently fallen behind on HD specs. I’ve always bought WD Blacks because I thought they were the only WD consumer drives that were 7200 rpm. I just assumed everything else would be 5400 or slower. From what you just said, I may have been better served with a Blue for my storage drives.
For this reason, it might actually have been more price efficient (per gig) if you updated the single 3.5 inch drive to a 3, 4, or 6 TB drive. You can get a 3 for about 70 bucks, or a six for about twice that. More work transferring files around though.
I don’t bother with 7200 myself anymore. Spinning disks are for holding the data, all the actual work is done on the SSD. I just want a reliable giant disk.
That’s exactly it. I should have really stuck in a bigger drive right away when it was new, but I was all excited to get it fired up, and then after I had a few games installed and a bunch of saved games, I just decided what the hell.