is 2.5 or 3.5 hard drive more durable on average?

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  1. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,261
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #11

    Hi there

    bigger drives -- more power consumption but until recently are far cheaper to manufacture when you need large amounts of data e.g >4 or 5 TB. The motors can be more robust -- better bearings able to run for months if not years continuously - but if getting these types of drives get the ones with the largest cache size and fastest RPM rate -- 7200 RPM is the minimum these days for acceptable performance. (10,000 RPM far better but more expensive of course).

    The smaller HDD's were originally designed for laptops and were usually notoriously slow --these days the small form factor is only really used now for SSD's and even these are being gradually replaced by the NVMe type (those look a bit like small computer memory chips) which have no moving parts, almost zero power consumption and incredibly fast. However these still are limited to 1TB or less with current (affordable) technology.

    For a while yet if you want large data volumes the old 3.5 inch spinner will still be around for a few years -- and on servers etc they still do a good job. Never ever get slow HDD's though -- poor I/O systems will kill even the fastest computer in the galaxy stone dead.

    In all the years I've been dealing with computers the one thing that causes poor performance over anything else is poor HDD's --always assuming enough RAM and you aren't trying to run too many programs at once.

    If you want to see the effect of slow HDD's -- boot up an an i7 machine Windows 3.11 running from an external floppy drive attached to the machine via a USB port -- now have fun twiddling your thumbs as the I/O on the floppy disc goes about its slow ponderous business. !!!!!

    If you haven't got a floppy drive set then try using a Windows to Go system created on an old fashioned laptop HDD -- connect the laptop HDD via sata-->USB connector -- and also play the finger twiddling game !!!. BTW using Linux won't be so bad an experience when run from an external drive as it's a humungously more efficient OS so once its booted and loaded it tries to do pretty well everything in RAM making far fewer I/O calls to the HDD.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  2. storageman's Avatar
    Posts : 942
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 19041.329
       #12

    Tsw88 said:
    Does WD or Seagate usually make a portable drive of better quality??
    WD has been known to provide their low quality units in their WD Elements units. You will not find a WD BLACK (There highest quality drive) in a Elements unit.

    Seagate is the same way asl of them in the use lower quality drives in their packaged units.

    I have after a failure taken the unit apart and seen it for myself.

    I'm not saying the drives are defective, but take a look at the warranty periods of their packaged units vs their top quality drives ? The proof is in standing behind your product.
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  3. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 3,808
    Windows 10
       #13

    I just bought a Hitachi X300 8TB drive for right around $200 (3.5" of course). Cost per byte/MB has never been cheaper! I can remember paying as much or more for drives at or under 1 TB in the late 2000's. I'll often turn to the Backblaze Hard Drive Failure info (e.g. here's the Q1 2019 version) to pick out reliable drives. HGST has lower failure rates than many other mfgrs.
    --Ed--
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 272
    win10
    Thread Starter
       #14

    EdTittel said:
    I just bought a Hitachi X300 8TB drive for right around $200 (3.5" of course). Cost per byte/MB has never been cheaper! I can remember paying as much or more for drives at or under 1 TB in the late 2000's. I'll often turn to the Backblaze Hard Drive Failure info (e.g. here's the Q1 2019 version) to pick out reliable drives. HGST has lower failure rates than many other mfgrs.
    --Ed--
    How about HGST portable drive (2.5) ?
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  5. lolnothankyou's Avatar
    Posts : 86
    Windows 7 Professional x64
       #15

    Check the official documentation. For example 500GB WD Black WD5000LPLX should be very durable on paper. It's certainly better than other 2.5 and 3.5" HDDs.
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  6. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 3,808
    Windows 10
       #16

    @Tsw88:
    Don't know about the Hitachi HGST 2.5" drives. I've only ever bought the 3.5" models. Sorry!
    --Ed--
      My Computers


  7. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,533
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
       #17

    Just my two cents -

    Use an SSD for your main drive and a fast HDD for auxiliary storage.

    As for 3.5 vs. 2.5, there used to be an issue with the quality and longevity of the smaller drive footprint.
    Nowadays, 2.5 is significantly better but 3.5 still rules in the enterprise category for the density of data and I/O.

    For a laptop, the SSD is the way to go with proper cooling.

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  8. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 1,264
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #18

    There are two main reasons you must have a 2.5" drive in laptops rather 3.5" drive.
    - The fist one is obvious: Size
    - The second and most important is the gyroscopic factor. All rotating disks will try to stay in the same plane. The gyroscopic effect you can see on a bike. The bike doesn't fall when the wheels are in movement.
    When you bend the laptop you force the disk axe to a different position but the disk deforms itself to try to stay in the same plane as it was before and it can hit the moving head.
    To decrease the gyroscopic effect on laptop drives, you decrease the diameter and the rotating speed.
    - Energy isn't the main factor as you only spend energy to increase speed (startup). While rotating the losses due to bearings and air friction are minimal compared to the arm "motor".

    In other words, 2.5" are slow in speed and smaller in diameter resulting slower read / wright speeds. But to have high capacity, clusters has to be smaller and more precise. More precise means more cost.

    For laptops, I will always recommend a SSD.
    For desktops, I will always recommend a small SDD (for Windows and programs) and a fist class 3.5"disk for data.
    I always use WD Black or Gold (enterprise). They are more expensive than the Blue or Green but they will last longer.

    Any rotating disk cost more to fabricate than a SSD.
    SSD's prices are falling while HDD's are stable.
    Very soon you wont see any rotating disk for sale.
    WD already bought Sandisk as they see no future for HDD.
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  9. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,533
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
       #19

    Megahertz said:
    "The second and most important is the gyroscopic factor. All rotating disks will try to stay in the same plane. The gyroscopic effect you can see on a bike. The bike doesn't fall when the wheels are in movement.
    When you bend the laptop you force the disk axe to a different position but the disk deforms itself to try to stay in the same plane as it was before and it can hit the moving head.
    To decrease the gyroscopic effect on laptop drives, you decrease the diameter and the rotating speed."
    Seriously? Are we mounting the laptop to a car tire, lol?
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  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,261
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #20

    Hi there
    Laptops by their nature are designed to be portable which means lots of (hopefully only ) small bangs, crashings etc -- and if you've ever seen the usual security chaos at modern large city airports when taking laptops etc then there's all sorts of maltreatment. Smaller devices can usually survive those things more readily - but these days nobody should even think about using anything in a laptop other than an ssd -- no moving parts so will be very rugged.

    For desktops -- unless using SSD's there's no point in a 2.5 inch form factor -- in fact even the 2.5 inch ssd is probably on the way out as people find it cheaper to use the NVMe type of SSD's so the question the OP put is essentially redundant.

    That said though it's not the cost per byte of large HDD's that should concern people so much as the speed and cache size and quality of the HDD. Most HDD's have MTBF's longer than the probable life of your desktop -- I'm still using some HDD's from computers I replaced ages ago. Slow HDD's are the WORST thing anybody can have on a computer -- even if you have the fastest CPU on the planet --- get 10,000 RPM HDD's with huge cache sizes --these will be quality devices and will last almost indefinitely.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


 

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