Half Height Drives

This issue only comes up for a select few people that are trying to cram way too much into too small of a space. You often see what some manufacturers sell as “half-height” drives, but its not what you think.

When comparing hard drives, you will find drives that are shorter than others. And since the term half-height isn’t a standard spec listed on all drives, you might think these are half height and the other drives are normal height.

But this isn’t actually the case.

When hard drives came out, they were not the compact drive we see today.  Both drives in the above picture are considered “half-height” drives. A full height drive is over 3 inches tall and the industry has been making these 1/3 height drives for so long that we consider these normal height.

Here are some measurements of modern drives:

Slim – 19mm / 0.75 inch tall
(the 2 drives on the right in the above picture)

Half-Height – 25mm /  1 inch tall
(the drive on the left in the above picture)

Full-Height – 81mm /3.2 inches tall
(you will probably have a hard time finding these today)

5.25″ DVD/CD/Bluray drives – 40mm / 1.57 inches tall

As you can tell, the naming is very confusing and it all depends on reference points of what you are considering full height.  At the end of the day, make sure to check the product height if you are really space conscious.


openanalytics 1959 views

I'm a 35 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

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