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  • Feb 8th, 2021 6:40 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 29, 2011
878 posts
1009 upvotes

PMR 2.5" external HDD?

hey all, just got a request from a client to give them a complete duplicate of the project we've been working on. so i'm looking for an external 2.5" harddrive in the 2TB range with USB3 (SSD not needed)

because I've had bad experiences with non-PMR drives...the writes take soooo long...can anyone recommend me some drives that are known to be PMR?
(i searched for this one at BB but couldn't find any info https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/wd ... e/13837117)

looking to buy local from BestBuy, Canada Computers, Walmart, etc. to pickup tonight, so as to not have to wait for shipping.

thank you!
5 replies
Member
Dec 6, 2020
298 posts
269 upvotes
My understanding is that all of Seagate and WD's 2.5" externals -- and all currently produced 2.5" internal drives -- use shingled magnetic recording, which is what you don't want if you need good write speeds.

Your best bet if you need a 2TB in an external 2.5" form factor is to buy an external SSD, such as the Samsung T7. $$$$.

If you're flexible on form factor, you could get a known-decent 3.5" HDD (such as a WD Red Plus or a Seagate Ironwolf) and an enclosure. Canada Computer might have something suitable in stock.

Some of WD and Seagate's 3.5" externals might not be shingled, but I'm not certain what the current state of play is with these drives. The manufacturers do not publish details on which drives have shingles and which ones work.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 27, 2004
12943 posts
2229 upvotes
Vancouver.bc.ca
I've read a comment or two here where some dude says that write speeds are fine until you hit the 50% capacity threshold. If that's true, get a 4TB and only use half of it.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 29, 2011
878 posts
1009 upvotes
middleofnowhere wrote: My understanding is that all of Seagate and WD's 2.5" externals -- and all currently produced 2.5" internal drives -- use shingled magnetic recording, which is what you don't want if you need good write speeds.

Your best bet if you need a 2TB in an external 2.5" form factor is to buy an external SSD, such as the Samsung T7. $$$$.

If you're flexible on form factor, you could get a known-decent 3.5" HDD (such as a WD Red Plus or a Seagate Ironwolf) and an enclosure. Canada Computer might have something suitable in stock.

Some of WD and Seagate's 3.5" externals might not be shingled, but I'm not certain what the current state of play is with these drives. The manufacturers do not publish details on which drives have shingles and which ones work.
thanks for the reply. ok i bit the bullet and just bought a "normal" 2.5" so i guess it's SMR. ugh...

not sure where the drive will get passed onto during the project so i figure smaller form factor is better. it's a small client so don't want to burst their budget on a T5 or T7 :\

FYI i found some info on bigger drives:
https://rml527.blogspot.com/

https://old.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comme ... rpmr_hdds/

hope that helps
Member
Dec 6, 2020
298 posts
269 upvotes
gotglint wrote: aw man, this makes me sad. guess i should be glad for grabbing one of the last-gen WD 2.5"
Unless you need high capacity, an SSD is a far better option.

If you need high capacity and reasonable performance, you are indeed stuck with 3.5" drives.

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