How to search for regular sized 2.5″ HHDs for laptops

hard drivelaptop

I'd like to get a larger hard drive for my laptop.

2.5" drives have had tremendous increases in capacity because they are adding extra platters that make them thicker. These thicker drives will not fit into the standard laptop drive bay.

Searching for a 2.5" hard drive over 500 GB is returning thousands of items. Once you read the fine print, you see that they do not fit into a standard 2.5" laptop bay.

On sites like Newegg and Amazon, I can filter by SATA, IDE, Soild State, 5400 RPM, etc – but how do I filter on thickness?

Is there some industry standard that is used to designate what drives that are standard thickness versus a drive that uses non-industry-standard sizing? Meaning, is there some designation that says, "A is a regular 2.5-inch drive" and "B is a fat 2.5-inch drive"?

My only alternative seems to be reading the specifics for the thousands of hard drives out there to see which ones match the exact dimensions of the regular 2.5" drive that I want to replace.

Best Answer

  • 2.5" hard drives normally come in one of three thicknesses:

    • 12.5 mm - these are the Super-Phat drives that probably only larger laptops (DTRs and workstations) can fit. They usually have three platters instead of two, enabling higher capacity.
    • 9.5 mm - this is the most common size and should fit most laptops without problems.
    • 7 mm - these slim drives are used in thinner laptops (like ultraportables). Most SSDs are also in this size, and usually include a plastic bumper to increase the thickness to 9.5 mm in case the HDD mounting system requires it.