2.5-inch HDDs Expected Become More Popular Desktop PCs

Market research firm IHS believes that about 1 million 2.5-inch drives will be shipping in desktop computers next year, up from "virtually zero" this year, IHS said.

By 2016, the segment is forecast to grow to 7 million units. The unit volume is dwarfed by the 3.5-inch market, which will retain a dominant position in the foreseeable future. However, the growth opportunity appears to be clearly shifting toward the 2.5-inch market. According to IHS, 26 milllion 3.5-inch HDDs are predicted to ship in desktop computers in 2013 and 31 million in 2016. In 2013, 2.5-inch HDDs will account for only 4 percent of the desktop HDD market, but will climb to 18 percent by 2016, IHS said

“With a maximum capacity of 1 terabyte, 2.5-inch HDDs are proving very attractive to PC makers for use in their next-generation all-in-one designs,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. “Multiple all-in-one PCs have the potential to adopt 2.5-inch HDDs, including the iMac from Apple, the TouchSmart from Hewlett-Packard, the Series 7 from Samsung Electronics, the IdeaCentre from Lenovo, the Top Touchscreen from Asus Eee and all-in-one desktops from Vizio and Acer.”

The opportunity for 2.5-inch drives will grow as speed goes up and the price difference between the 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch decreases. “The 2.5-inch hard drive market may enjoy about four to five years of uninterrupted growth before low-priced, high-density solid state drives become more competitive,” Zhang said.

  • halcyon
    As long as they offer decent performance this sounds good. The WD Scorpio Black and Seagate Momentus XT come to mind as winners.
  • belardo
    I still trust a 3.5" 1TGB drive more so to a 2.5" version. But its easy to see the 2.5 entering into the desktop market as DESKTOPS becomes smaller themselves... making them lighter, cooler and less power.

    But the performance is still sub-par to a 3.5".
  • freggo
    I fail to see the advantage of a 2.5" drive in a desktop. R/W speed has to be lower using the same RPM and the lower power consumption is of course not as crucial as in a mobile device.

    What am I missing ?
  • tranzparentl
    Not for me, I'll take the larger capacity 3.5" drives for my desktop (at least 3 of them please) and keep the 2.5" drives for my laptop.
  • drwho1
    “The 2.5-inch hard drive market may enjoy about four to five years of uninterrupted growth before low-priced, high-density solid state drives become more competitive,” Zhang said."

    In other words, we still need to wait for 4-5 long years before we see a REAL price drop on the SSD market.

    I just saw today a 240GB SSD for $200 on Newegg.
    Maybe this is a sign of good things coming.
  • gilbertfh
    IMO 2.5" is great if you are going for an HTPC. But for a high end gaming rig I am thinkin SDD and 3.5" drives are going to be the preferred method for a long time to come.
  • tical2399
    Agreed with the poster above me. If performance is good and the drives are reliable then i'm with it. The only potential deal breaker would be price. If they cost more than the standard 3.5 drive with the same specs then i'll pass.
  • tical2399
    lol you guys post past. when i stated my first post, only the guy at the top had put something, by the time i was done like 5 more people had already posted.
  • memadmax
    The WD Velociraptor(2nd gen) is in 2.5 inch format with a heatsink that makes it 3.5 inch.
    So the performance of a 3.5 inch drive in 2.5 inch form factor is there.
    I think the real question is how long a high performance 2.5 inch drive will live, if you are going to go for high performance 2.5 inch drives.
  • spasmolytic46
    2.5's are great! I've been using them exclusively for about 3 years now. I take 4 of them and stuff them into a 5.25" enclosure and RAID them up. Right now I have 4 250GB WD Scorpio Black's in software RAID 0 and they are almost as fast my Corsair Force 120. I use the SSD for my OS and use the RAID for multimedia, Steam and .vdi's. Although I still use 3.5's in an external enclosure for backup purposes.