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Just had an HP 2.5" 146GB SAS 10k drive fail on a RAID5 array after about 2.5 years. It made me wonder if this was a fluke or an indication that 2.5" drives are less reliable than 3.5" SAS drives.

I've had many 3.5" SAS drives running for many years without any issues (knock on wood).

I would think that smaller drives would generate less heat and therefore be more reliable, but couldn't find any evidence of this.

I realize all drives will eventually fail and that it's a crap shoot with any particular model, but was hoping someone could point out some related studies or comment on the SCSI drive sizes they've found to be most reliable in servers.


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You've got a pretty small sample size. I wouldn't think anything of it. Unless there's some statistically significant evidence available from somewhere, I don't think it's possible to draw a conclusion one way or another.

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+1 for small sample size. One drive isn't a sample, it's an anecdote. – Nic Mar 30 '10 at 1:44
Isn't the plural of anecdote "fact"? >smile< – Evan Anderson Mar 30 '10 at 14:34

I've had similar experiences, and stick with the 3 1/2" drives when possible; my guess is the smaller drives actually generate more heat, with less room to breathe in the smaller package. I'm sort of hoping the 2 1/2" form factor will fade away, and more will go to SSD's.

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Actually, the reverse is true. The smaller drives use way less power and thus generate very little heat and need little if any cooling. They are way more efficient in that regard. Whether or not they are more or less reliable, I dunno or I'd post my own answer. I've wondered about this too but have yet to see a comprehensive comparison. – icky3000 Mar 30 '10 at 0:54

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