portable external HD vs desktop HD for backup

Started Apr 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Roland Wooster Senior Member • Posts: 2,112
Re: portable external HD vs desktop HD for backup

The advantage of 3.5" drives is that they are dramatically faster than 2.5" drives, so copying your backup files is quicker - I would estimate they are at least 50% faster, perhaps as much as 100% faster for some tasks. They are also larger capacity, and cheaper per GB.

The advantage of 2.5" drives is that apart from being smaller, and thus easier to carry around is that they only use a 5V power source, rather than the 5V and 12V required for 3.5" drives. This means that 2.5" drives can be 'USB bus powered' i.e only need a USB cable to be powered, versus a 3.5" drive which needs either a SATA power cable or an external power supply.

If you're looking at external chassis, if you can get one with eSATA that will provide the best performance, even better than USB3. Although the sequential read/write performance may not be much different, the latency on eSATA is better than USB3 so small file transfer is quicker.


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