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2.5" vs 3.5" reliability

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I'm looking to buy a couple of external drives for backups/archiving and reliability is the most important factor me. Is there a wide margin in terms of reliability between 2.5" and 3.5" drives?

Also, does the orientation of the drive play any part in its performance (for instance placed flat vs on its side like a book on shelf)?

TIA

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3.5" drives are much more easily damaged by shock and sudden movement while spinning as they're intended to be stationary. 2.5" drives can withstand much more, so are a better choice for an external box, however capacity tops out much lower.

Orientation has no effect on modern hard drive performance.

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2.5" should be more reliable as these are designed to be used in laptops. Problem with heat is also less of a problem even with my former Hitachi Travelstar 7k100 IDE, which as the model name tell is a 7200 rpm drive. Had that drive mounted in a slimmed noname magnesium or aluminium cabinet for quite some time before I let it replace an other drive in an older laptop.

Even modern 2.5" 7200 rpm drives however like the 1tb Travelstar 7k1000 seems to lag behind the better 3.5" 2tb drives which I've had a look at not long ago. http://storagereview.com/hgst_travelstar_7k1000_review

If you are interested in 3.5" then there is at least two writeup which might be of interest. 2TB http://reybasti.hubpages.com/hub/Top-5-Best-2TB-Hard-Drive-For-2013 Worth to mention which he not did is that the 2TB Barracuda only have one year warranty.

And the 3TB http://reybasti.hubpages.com/hub/Best-3TB-Hard-Drive-for-2013

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For external drives ALWAYS go with 2.5in. They are way more reliable than 3.5in. And they don't need separate power supplies.

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The 3.5 may give you more space for your dollar, but in the long run, the 2.5 will last you longer, and be an overall better buy. Like FastMHZ said, the 2.5 can withstand alot more than the 3.5. Another plus is the 2.5 is normally a lot quieter.

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