portable external HD vs desktop HD for backup

Started Apr 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP lovingtheview Contributing Member • Posts: 807
Re: portable external HD vs desktop HD for backup

Roland Wooster wrote:

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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I forgot to thank you for the well-crafted summary of portable vs desktop external hard drives.  I decided to try a Toshiba Canvio 1.5Tb portable USB 3.0 drive.  Its speed with my laptop with USB 3.0 is quite good.  With my desktop, having USB 2.0, I haven't made an observation.  I must say though, its incredibly small size is most handy.  My only concern with it is the proprietary USB connector.  I would like to think that I could easily replace this little [approx. 16 inch] connector without having to go to Toshiba.

Best to you,


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