[SIGCIS-Members] use of 3.5 inch hard drives

thomas.haigh at gmail.com thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Wed Jan 5 07:11:59 PST 2022

3.5 inch hard drives are far from obsolete. 2.5 inch drives were used primarily in laptops, all-in-one systems (e.g. iMac) and small form factor desktops (e.g. Mac mini) where they have been pretty much entirely replaced by SSDs in all but the cheapest systems. With the latest generation, games consoles have also shifted to SSDs.


The main application for hard drives now is backup and storage of large volumes of data, such as videos. 3.5 inch drives store more data because their platters are bigger, though there are still plenty of 2.5 inch drives being sold for external use for backup or home network storage. I like to keep local, non-cloud backups of all my photos and backups of my computer disks. For that I run a desktop computer, which has a 2TB SSD for most of my data, an internal 4TB 3.5 inch hard drive for photos and video, and an external 8TB 3.5 inch hard drive to give an extra level of backup.


You can buy an 18TB “enterprise grade” high reliability 3.5 inch hard drive for about what you’d pay for a 2TB high performance NVMe module. So for companies with a lot of data to store, hard drives still make sense for larger, less frequently accessed data or for the kind of backup and archival operations that used to be done with optical disk, magnetoptical disks, or tape.


Best wishes,





From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> On Behalf Of Jonathan Coopersmith
Sent: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 12:26 AM
To: SIGCIS <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] use of 3.5 inch hard drives


A recent post asked for information about any current uses of 3.5 inch hard drives.  My son recently gave me these for a birthday present.


Stay sane and get a booster (partially for you; more for others), 




Jonathan Coopersmith


Department of History

Texas A&M University

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