Is 2.5 inch disk drive suitable for desktop?


K

kathy

Can I pick your brains about a hard drive upgrade.

I have an old desktop PC with a 250 MB hard drive. I would like to
increase the storage capacity and think 500 MB may be enough.

The new drive will replace the old one.

I notice that 500 MB is a size which I can now buy in 2.5 inch format.
Is a 2.5 inch drive likely to be better (faster, lower power
consumption, etc) than a 3.5 inch drive? Are the connectors the same?

Or would it be better to install another 3.5 inch drive?

Thank you for any advice.
 
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D

David Brown

Can I pick your brains about a hard drive upgrade.

I have an old desktop PC with a 250 MB hard drive. I would like to
increase the storage capacity and think 500 MB may be enough.

The new drive will replace the old one.

I notice that 500 MB is a size which I can now buy in 2.5 inch format.
Is a 2.5 inch drive likely to be better (faster, lower power
consumption, etc) than a 3.5 inch drive? Are the connectors the same?

Or would it be better to install another 3.5 inch drive?

Thank you for any advice.

A 2.5" drive will be marginally lower power than a corresponding 3.5"
drive. It is also likely to be lower speed, but not so that you would
notice much. It will cost more per MB than a 3.5" drive - but you are
talking about such low capacity (for modern drives) that this will not
make much difference either. So it is not going to make a huge
difference either way.

(I assume you mean GB, not MB, in your sizes. A 500 MB disk would be
hard to find outside of a museum.)
 
R

Rodney Pont

A 2.5" drive will be marginally lower power than a corresponding 3.5"
drive. It is also likely to be lower speed, but not so that you would
notice much. It will cost more per MB than a 3.5" drive - but you are
talking about such low capacity (for modern drives) that this will not
make much difference either. So it is not going to make a huge
difference either way.

(I assume you mean GB, not MB, in your sizes. A 500 MB disk would be
hard to find outside of a museum.)

Firstly are we talking SATA or PATA drives? SATA have a flat data cable
about a centimetre wide whereas PATA are 5 to 6 centimetres wide.

In my experience 2.5inch drives are noticeably slower than 3.5 inch
drives when I've run them on the same motherboard.

If you are SATA have you thought about an SSD? They can be much faster.
 
L

Loren Pechtel

Can I pick your brains about a hard drive upgrade.

I have an old desktop PC with a 250 MB hard drive. I would like to
increase the storage capacity and think 500 MB may be enough.

The new drive will replace the old one.

I notice that 500 MB is a size which I can now buy in 2.5 inch format.
Is a 2.5 inch drive likely to be better (faster, lower power
consumption, etc) than a 3.5 inch drive? Are the connectors the same?

Or would it be better to install another 3.5 inch drive?

Thank you for any advice.

2.5" drives are slower than 3.5" drives. I would only use a 2.5"
drive if I had to (laptop, USB power only) or if it was a SSD.
(There's no speed penalty with SSDs.)
 
P

Paul

Loren said:
2.5" drives are slower than 3.5" drives. I would only use a 2.5"
drive if I had to (laptop, USB power only) or if it was a SSD.
(There's no speed penalty with SSDs.)

I would concentrate most of my energy, in finding
a drive brand that was reliable. Reading the reviews,
find out how long they last and so on.

The Velociraptor is a 2.5" drive which comes
with its own heatsink and 3.5" carrier. It
is 10000 RPM, and spins faster than many other
desktop drives. The 600GB one, reads out at
180MB/sec. But these boutique drives aren't
for everyone. These ones could be refurbs rather
than new (the low price is a hint).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236244

There are even some out there, that come without the cooler,
and the available information suggests to take special care
cooling them.

I think rather than fall in all those sort of
traps, a plain ordinary 3.5" drive for $60 is a
better deal. After looking through the reviews
to find which ones are dropping dead too fast.

In terms of reliability, the 2.5" 5400 RPM ones look
good, but those would be slow (seek speed). The 2.5" 7200 RPM
look like they're a less good deal, as the reviews for
those are no longer 5 out of 5. The 3.5" drives are pretty
well uniformly bad, and finding a winner there involves
a lot of luck. Each generation can be better or worse than
the previous. For example, I had to stop buying my favorite
drive (again), after the new model showed itself to be
a dog (the price drop was a hint something changed).

The hard drive manufacturers know *exactly* what they're
doing. Just like in the car industry, they have tables
for bearing designs, which trade lifetime versus cost.
When a bearing fails on your car, some engineer just
nods his head and checks the tick mark on the chart.
"As designed". At one time, designs used over-engineering
because we didn't know any better. And as the tools improve,
every aspect of quality versus price is known. So whatever
comes from Seagate or WD, they know what the tradeoffs were.
There are no "surprises". If they want to make drives that
last like toilet paper, they can.

Paul
 
J

John Doe

kathy said:
Can I pick your brains about a hard drive upgrade.

I have an old desktop PC with a 250 MB hard drive. I would like
to increase the storage capacity and think 500 MB may be enough.

The new drive will replace the old one.

I notice that 500 MB is a size which I can now buy in 2.5 inch
format. Is a 2.5 inch drive likely to be better (faster, lower
power consumption, etc) than a 3.5 inch drive? Are the
connectors the same?

Or would it be better to install another 3.5 inch drive?

If you aren't just trying to increase the storage capacity...

What you really should do, if you are able, is buy a 120 GB SSD
and add (not replace) it to the system as the primary drive.
Reinstall Windows to that primary SSD. Then keep all of your data
files like multimedia on the 500 GB secondary hard drive.

Using an SSD for the primary and a conventional drive for the
secondary provides a huge throughput increase. It's not a whizbang
upgrade, but the speed improvements will be noticed in many
different ways.
 
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J

John Doe

Paul said:
The Velociraptor is a 2.5" drive which comes with its own
heatsink and 3.5" carrier. It is 10000 RPM, and spins faster
than many other desktop drives.

I have one of those, they sent to me as a warranty replacement.
It's only 150 GB, but that's 7500 times bigger than my first hard
drive.
 
J

John Doe

Of course how much an SSD increases performance depends on what
exactly the "old SATA interface" is. Most likely it will provide a
very nice boost in speed because it affects so much of the system.
For anybody that wants to keep such a system, it's the only way to
go. Especially since the conventional hard drive is sitting there
ready to be bumped into its useful secondary position.
 
J

Joe Pfeiffer

kathy said:
Can I pick your brains about a hard drive upgrade.

I have an old desktop PC with a 250 MB hard drive. I would like to
increase the storage capacity and think 500 MB may be enough.

The new drive will replace the old one.

I notice that 500 MB is a size which I can now buy in 2.5 inch format.
Is a 2.5 inch drive likely to be better (faster, lower power
consumption, etc) than a 3.5 inch drive? Are the connectors the same?

Or would it be better to install another 3.5 inch drive?

Thank you for any advice.

Do you really mean MB? You're talking about drives that are, by today's
standards, absolutely microscopic. Multi-terabyte drives are available
for under $100. Checking.... directron.com has a 20GB drive (tiny by
today's standards, huge in comparison to the drives you're talking
about) for $10.99.
 
P

Paul

John said:
Of course how much an SSD increases performance depends on what
exactly the "old SATA interface" is. Most likely it will provide a
very nice boost in speed because it affects so much of the system.
For anybody that wants to keep such a system, it's the only way to
go. Especially since the conventional hard drive is sitting there
ready to be bumped into its useful secondary position.

By using the Force150 jumper on a drive here, I can see
SATA I limiting transfers to somewhere in the 123 to 130MB/sec
range. The former number recorded by HDTune, the latter by HDTach.
And some drives have a bit more headroom than that, so you're
slowing even a hard drive down with a SATA I interface.

The main improvement on an SSD, is seek time. But if you bought
a 500MB/sec SSD, you'll definitely want something a bit better
in terms of a port to connect it to the computer with. If you
want to see that speed working for you. You need a SATA III port
on the Southbridge, to see that SSD running flat out.

And an older PC with only a 32 bit PCI bus, running at 33MHz,
the speed just isn't there for more than SATA I. It's the same
problem with adding PCI USB3 cards, no blistering speed due
to the limits of the PCI bus. A PCI USB3 is still a
worthwhile purchase (because your backup time could be
reduced), but you won't win any races against friends
with native USB3 ports.

Paul
 
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J

John Doe

Paul said:
John Doe wrote:

By using the Force150 jumper on a drive here, I can see
SATA I limiting transfers to somewhere in the 123 to 130MB/sec
range. The former number recorded by HDTune, the latter by HDTach.
And some drives have a bit more headroom than that, so you're
slowing even a hard drive down with a SATA I interface.

The main improvement on an SSD, is seek time. But if you bought
a 500MB/sec SSD, you'll definitely want something a bit better
in terms of a port to connect it to the computer with. If you
want to see that speed working for you. You need a SATA III port
on the Southbridge, to see that SSD running flat out.

And an older PC with only a 32 bit PCI bus, running at 33MHz,
the speed just isn't there for more than SATA I. It's the same
problem with adding PCI USB3 cards, no blistering speed due
to the limits of the PCI bus. A PCI USB3 is still a
worthwhile purchase (because your backup time could be
reduced), but you won't win any races against friends
with native USB3 ports.

Paul
 
R

Rod Speed

kathy said:
Can I pick your brains about a hard drive upgrade.

Sorry, I would have to remove my tinfoil hat for you to do that.
I have an old desktop PC with a 250 MB hard drive. I would like
to increase the storage capacity and think 500 MB may be enough.

The main situation where it might not be is if you
plan to have much in the way of movies etc on it.
The new drive will replace the old one.
I notice that 500 MB is a size which I can now buy in 2.5 inch format.

Doesn’t cost much more if anything to get the smallest 3.5" drive.
Is a 2.5 inch drive likely to be better (faster,

No, it will normally be slower than a 3.5" but there is
some overlap, particularly with the green 3.5" drives.
lower power consumption,
Yes.

etc) than a 3.5 inch drive? Are the connectors the same?

If the old one is a SATA drive, yes. Not if its an IDE drive
and it may well be if the computer is rather older.
Or would it be better to install another 3.5 inch drive?

Yes, its easier to do, no adapter required, and the smallest
3.5" drive you can find may well be as cheap as that smaller
2.5" drive you are considering too.

BUT if its and IDE drive and not SATA, you will have to
get a drive of ebay instead of from a normal retailer.

Easy to check which it is, a SATA drive has a pair of
quite thick cables going to it. An IDE drive has one
wide thin ribbon cable and one power cable with
separate wires visible in it.
 
R

Rod Speed

I would concentrate most of my energy, in finding
a drive brand that was reliable. Reading the reviews,
find out how long they last and so on.

Trouble is that there are only 3 real brands now
and one of them, Toshiba, doesn't do 3.5" drives.
The Velociraptor is a 2.5" drive which comes
with its own heatsink and 3.5" carrier. It
is 10000 RPM, and spins faster than many other
desktop drives. The 600GB one, reads out at
180MB/sec. But these boutique drives aren't
for everyone. These ones could be refurbs rather
than new (the low price is a hint).

There are even some out there, that come without the cooler,
and the available information suggests to take special care
cooling them.
I think rather than fall in all those sort of
traps, a plain ordinary 3.5" drive for $60 is a
better deal. After looking through the reviews
to find which ones are dropping dead too fast.
 
E

Ed Light

Of course how much an SSD increases performance depends on what
exactly the "old SATA interface" is. Most likely it will provide a
very nice boost in speed because it affects so much of the system.
For anybody that wants to keep such a system, it's the only way to
go. Especially since the conventional hard drive is sitting there
ready to be bumped into its useful secondary position.

Except that SSD's sometimes quit without warning.

--
Ed Light

Better World News TV Channel:
http://realnews.com

Iraq Veterans Against the War and Related:
http://ivaw.org
http://couragetoresist.org
http://antiwar.com

Send spam to the FTC at
(e-mail address removed)
Thanks, robots.
 
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J

John Doe

Ed Light said:
John Doe wrote:

Except that SSD's sometimes quit without warning.

Intel 530 Series 240GB SSDSC2BW240A4K5 sells for $130 shipped
(USA) and includes a five year warranty. The 120GB retail box is
$80. That is IMO a steal.

I paid $155 for a 120 GB 520 series SSD in July 2012 (now over two
years ago). No sign of any problems. I'm using 22.7 GB of drive C
with Windows 8. And I have a 750 GB secondary data drive.
 
J

John Doe

Anything can just go without warning. An experienced computer user
always has backups of important data. Some of us use very
efficient methods for backing up and restoring stuff. Hardware is
rarely an issue. Any reasonable hardware should not be an issue.

What, exactly, makes an SSD any more prone to quitting without
warning than any other device that includes electronic circuitry
like a conventional hard drive? Any credible citations showing
that sort of failure on high quality SSDs?





--
Ed Light said:
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Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:34:38 -0700
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Subject: Re: Is 2.5 inch disk drive suitable for desktop?
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Unlike hard drives that you can monitor, such as with HD Sentinel with
sensitivity set to server, and know if the disk is deteriorating. An SSD
may abruptly just go.

--
Ed Light

Better World News TV Channel:
http://realnews.com

Iraq Veterans Against the War and Related:
http://ivaw.org
http://couragetoresist.org
http://antiwar.com

Send spam to the FTC at
spam uce.gov
Thanks, robots.
 
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P

Paul

John said:
Anything can just go without warning. An experienced computer user
always has backups of important data. Some of us use very
efficient methods for backing up and restoring stuff. Hardware is
rarely an issue. Any reasonable hardware should not be an issue.

What, exactly, makes an SSD any more prone to quitting without
warning than any other device that includes electronic circuitry
like a conventional hard drive? Any credible citations showing
that sort of failure on high quality SSDs?

Both SSDs and hard drives, have firmware.
Without any cites at all, that represents an
"exposure" in terms of product quality. Just
about anything can happen, when devices use
firmware, have foreground and background tasks,
have multiple processor cores, and so on.
Both kinds of products are complicated.
(Look at the size of the ATA spec if you
need a reason why.) And people make mistakes.

If you wanted to look for examples, I don't know
if the ocztechnology forum is still available or not.
That's where I'd start looking if I was curious.

Look at the last page of this doc, as it shows features
being added to the firmware, after the product is
released. Do you think all firmware is bug free ?
Of course not. Is it possible to "test" that firmware
is correct. And the answer to that (from my experiences)
is a resounding "No!". You can test the living shit
out of code in the lab, only to have it fall over in
the field. It's rocket science.

http://www.ocztechnology.com/resources/drivers/Vertex_Firmware_Flashing_Guide.pdf

Paul
 

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