How can you differentiate between a laptop hard drive and a desktop hard drive?

Questions about hard disks' performance, issues, tips, and software.
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How can you differentiate between a laptop hard drive and a desktop hard drive?

Post by kiran »

They are different with respective to following factors

Size : Desktop hard drives has 3.5“ form factor while laptop drives has 2.5” form factor.
Apart from laptop drives all mechanical hard disks like Surveillance, NAS, SED has 3.5″ form factor
As the capacity of the drive increases in a laptop drive manufacturers increase the thickness so they accomodate more platters, a 4tb notebook drive is 12.5mm thick while a 1tb can be 9.5mm thick
Smaller form factor means more data density is thus laptop drives has more data density, to be able to achieve such density technologies like PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) are used
Interface : The drives offer different type of connectivity to exchange data between Drive and other components.
Some interfaces like SAS, SATA-Express are only available in Desktops mechanical drives (laptop ssd’s does support Sata Express)
Some interfaces like ZIF, ATA-6 are exclusively supported in laptops only
RPM : Revolutions per minute - Mechanical hdd has moving parts spinning the platters inorder to perfoorm random read/write operations
Laptop hard drives are available in 5400rpm and 7200rpm only while some old laptop drives has 4200rpm
Along with 5400rpm and 7200rpm, Desktop hard drives also support 4800,5200, 5900, 7000, 10000 and whopping 15000 rpm. Be it super fast access or 24/7 operational stuff you are covered.
Caching : Early laptop drives used to have less cache capacities available when compared to desktop drives, 128mb is available in desktop drives but only 8mb in laptop drives. With raise in Flash memory technologies now they both are supporting caches up-to 8gb.
Power Consumption : Unlike Desktops that operate power supplies ranging 150 to 1000 watts, laptops are designed to work on the power delivered out from Li-Ion batteries which max out at 65W. To make the laptop give good battery life laptop hard drives are designed consume very limited wattage. A Good quality 7200rpm laptop drive can run at mere 7.5w while desktop drive consumes around 25w.
Kinetic Energy and Vibrations : Unlike desktop drives that are mounted to large metal cabinets creating vibrations and noise, laptop drives are designed to generate less kinetic energy resulting in less vibrations making them feasible to be used in plastic/polycarbonate laptop bodies with minimal vibration.

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