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The Future of Storage is Small

By: Chris Ramseyer | Editorials in Storage | Posted: Jan 8, 2010 2:28 am

Benefits of 2.5


We have shown you all of the different sizes that make up the 2.5 inch family and some of the products that are already on the market. Now it is time to see why the market is moving in this direction.


Power Draw


To compare the power draw differences between 3.5 and 2.5, I chose to go straight to the high end, Seagate's 15,000 RPM Cheetah and Savvio drives. Seagate does a really good job when they publish the specifications for each of their products and we were able to find the power requirements very easily.




The numbers published by Seagate shows very little difference between 3.5 and 2.5 on the 5 volt side. The 12 volt power draw is where we see significant savings with the 2.5" FF Savvio 15K.2. In many usage scenarios the 2.5" Savvio 15K.2 pulls less than half the power of the Cheetah 15K.7.




I was hoping to find the power draw numbers from Seagate's new Pulsar solid state drive, but since the drive has not been officially released, those numbers are still under wraps.


I was able to find some information on Samsung's website that shows their early 2.5" Enterprise SSD in a comparison with an early 15K RPM 2.5" SAS drive. These are older, first generation drives, but it does represent products that are still in use today. In Samsung's chart we see that further reductions in power drawn can be had from solid state drives.


Thermal Considerations


2.5" drives have smaller platters and lower inertia than 3.5" drives. The motor has less moving mass to rotate so it can work less while drawing less power. This leads to cooler operating temperatures per drive. In a server environment where hundreds of drives are in the same room, the benefits add up quickly.


Reduced Size = Double the Amount




On the previous page we discussed how you can fit significantly more drives in a server chassis. Most notebooks only have one SATA port so you are not going to be able to add more drives to your notebook. Products like the Vizo Arius II ARS-250 will allow you to install two 2.5" drives in the same space where a single 3.5" drive would reside in your desktop. More products like the ARS-250 are being released every week and we should see a flood of similar products released at CES.


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