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5GigaaHertz

Can you notice the difference in speed of 2.5 inch HDD to its 3.5 inch counterpart?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I dont have the tools and hard drives to test this but I want to confirm if there a difference between them in terms of speed (both with the same capacity and sku/model)

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Usually 2.5 in drives are 5400RPM because they usually go in laptops so that they don't vibrate too much and 3.5in drives are usually 7200RPM for the opposite reason, so probably yes, there will be a speed difference


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5 minutes ago, NZgamer said:

Usually 2.5 in drives are 5400RPM because they usually go in laptops so that they don't vibrate too much and 3.5in drives are usually 7200RPM for the opposite reason, so probably yes, there will be a speed difference

When i am cloning drives I have had newer 3.5" 7200 drives hit 225MB/s. Most of my 2.5 7200s are lucky to do 120. So there is a speed difference. 


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5400rpm is just to slow imo, it may be a full 20-40 seconds slower when booting up


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I use a 3.5 inch 5400rpm drive as a datagrave on my pc and in my opinion it is just good enough for that but even there are some hiccups 

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They are generally slower yes and not only because of the RPM difference, and in fact, probably not even because of that.  There are plenty of 3.5" drives that run at 5400 or more likely 5900 RPM these days and have been for years.  What slows down laptop drives is the physical size.  Given a certain data density and certain RPM, the smaller the disk, the fewer bits per second are flying under the needle.  It's the same reason higher capacity drives tend to be faster, even with all else equal, and why drive speed is best on a new one (where you're dealing with data stored around the outer edge) and slows down as you fill it up and move into dealing with data stored near the middle.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, _Omega_ said:

I use a 3.5 inch 5400rpm drive as a datagrave on my pc and in my opinion it is just good enough for that but even there are some hiccups 

Like when using it as extra drive to store some documents, music and videos?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Oswin said:

5400rpm is just to slow imo, it may be a full 20-40 seconds slower when booting up

Yup, I do notice that. 

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8 minutes ago, 5GigaaHertz said:

Like when using it as extra drive to store some documents, music and videos?

yes, but sometimes its a bit annoying when i want to show some pictures from for example my vacation to my family and sometimes the pictures take a second to load... but that are some serious fist world problem... its fine for documents...

But for soem games i would pass... i had really bad loading times in R6 when i had it on that drive

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

They are generally slower yes and not only because of the RPM difference, and in fact, probably not even because of that.  There are plenty of 3.5" drives that run at 5400 or more likely 5900 RPM these days and have been for years.  What slows down laptop drives is the physical size.  Given a certain data density and certain RPM, the smaller the disk, the fewer bits per second are flying under the needle.  It's the same reason higher capacity drives tend to be faster, even with all else equal, and why drive speed is best on a new one (where you're dealing with data stored around the outer edge) and slows down as you fill it up and move into dealing with data stored near the middle.

what about using those drives as some sort of Archive or like what you on external drives? for example Picture, music, videos, and documents, will you notice any slow down when accessing those kinds of files?

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8 hours ago, 5GigaaHertz said:

what about using those drives as some sort of Archive or like what you on external drives? for example Picture, music, videos, and documents, will you notice any slow down when accessing those kinds of files?

How much you notice will depend on what you're doing.  If you just need a file every now and then, or you use it as a backup drive and don't worry about how long it takes to read or write, you'll be fine, but if you are someone who steps through full-screen views of large image files on a regular basis, that's something that I'd imagine would be helped by more speed.  I can't promise this though since I haven't done extensive testing in this context.  I know that moving from poor (<10 MB/s) wifi to gigabit ethernet (~115 MB/s) definitely helps, but how much of a difference you'd see going from a laptop drive to a desktop one I can't say.  At some point there will be other bottlenecks holding you back, like CPUs power to downscale and prepare the preview, etc.


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