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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 164398 8-Feb-2015 15:52
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Does any one know the power consumption of a typical 2TB 3.5" External HDD vs a similar drive but in 2.5" portable format?

I have the former currently plugged into my router via USB to act like a NAS of sorts but have acquired a 2TB 2.5" external drive.

Trying to decide whether it's worth swapping the drives over to save on the power consumption and $$$

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Mr Snotty
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  Reply # 1233000 8-Feb-2015 17:06
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Simple answer - not a noticeable amount on your power bill.

Long answer - 2.5" drives use anywhere in between 300mW to 1A @ 5V depending on the drive hence why they can be powered off USB, 3.5" drives use around 1A on the 12v rail and 200mW on the 5v rail.

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  Reply # 1235989 11-Feb-2015 20:21
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I can tell you that its typically less than 24 watts - since most power supplies that come with external hard drives are 12v 2a (12x2=24 watts)

24 watts is 17.9kw units

at 25c per kw unit, thats $4.47 per month if it was on 24/7

However it is not on 24/7 because the hard drive will either have a built in sleep mode, or your computer has a function to switch off the hard drive after x minutes of it being idle. It may also spin down to a slower speed when idle.

Now thats also based on the maximum amount of wattage that the wall wart can provide - the actual maximum consumption is going to be less.

A typical 2.5" external drive will use less than 5 watts

So I dont think its worth switching since the larger drives typically last longer.

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  Reply # 1236047 11-Feb-2015 21:07
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When we did the sums a few years back, the savings of a 2.5" over a 3.5" running all the time was about 5 years. Keep it any less than that and the 2.5" was costing you more.

That was 1TB drives. Now that there are 2TB 2.5" and way bigger 3.5" I expect there would never be a payback on the $/gig/month


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