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Difference in external hard drives

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by MaxPayne1, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. MaxPayne1

    MaxPayne1 Member

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    I just wanted to ask a question about external hard drives. I admit it may sound rather 'simple' but I gotta learn somewhere.

    With external hard drives I understand that they come in 2.5" and 3.5" and usually the 2.5" are 5600RPM (usually referred to as notebook drives)and 3.5" usually at 7200RPM.

    Can I use 3.5" external drives (USB connected) on a laptop as I thought usually they are only 2.5"?. and vise versa can I use a 2.5" on Tower PC'S?.

    From what I read a lot of 2.5" external had drives are USB powered as they don't require an external power source due to the lower speed 5600RPM whereas the 3.5" require an external power source as they spin faster (7200RPM) and would draw too much power from the laptop or Tower PC.

    My final question is am I better to get a 3.5" HHD with external power source for a laptop so as not to drain the battery?.

    Thanks in advance if you can follow my questions as it does sound a bit confusing. The more I read the more confused I get :)
     
  2. Ripper

    Ripper Active member

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    1. Yes and Yes

    2. True

    3. Yes

    Also, with a 3.5" HDD you have more options for more storage. Ie, upto about 700GB or sumin.

    Sorry for being short, I'll answer any further questions in more detail, i'm in a bit of a rush :)
     
  3. Distorded

    Distorded Regular member

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    I have a WD Passport and it is USB powered. I have only used it on a PC and a laptop that had a power supply plugged in. It works great but if you can always be around an outlet I would get a 3.5" drive. But you have to remember that every time you unplug the HDD with the power supply your computer has to re-recognize that drive when it is plugged back into the laptop or when the laptop os powered off. If you think about how long a 400GB HDD takes to load. I have the 160GB WD Passport and it loads in about 30 sec. You will sit there over one minute waiting for this drive to load. Besides if you have a laptop I would get a 3.5" HDD, and a either sync your laptop to your PC then to the external HDD. Or you could get a HDD that is connected to the internet and connect from there. Then when you get home you could plug-in and have a better connection.
     
  4. steimy

    steimy Active member

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    I have a Western Digital "My Book" external HDD (320GB) at home, and one at work that is 160GB. They work well but i find them a little slow. This is because when they are not in use they sort of go into standby mode. So when i go to 'my computer' and go to the hard drives to save stuff it will take it about 3-5 seconds to spool back up so you can select it. It got to be a hassle talking this on trips for work so i ended up buying a 4GB USB flash drive for that, and i love it.
     

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