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Thread: 3.5" drive VS 2.5" drive, any advantage?

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    3.5" drive VS 2.5" drive, any advantage?

    Hi guys,

    Beautifully soft modded my black wii and thus far have run into any problems loading any games, even problem titles.

    Im currently using an old 160gb 2.5" hard drive in an enclosure which powers from the Wii itself. Its not the most elegant looking solution and while 160gb is pretty big, id feel better with 250gb or more space available.

    Currently the games seem to load about the same as normal, I was wondering - are there any performance increases from a 7200rpm 3.5" drive with a 32meg buffer - will it load games faster and perform better on the Wii than a 5200rpm 2.5" drive, or is the Wii restricted to how quickly it will boot and load games anyway? - will it only ever be on par with what the original 6x DVD would have done?

    Of course pound for pound its a lot cheaper to buy a 1tb 3.5" enclosure and while that might be massive overkill for the Wii, you can get a 1tb Seagate for 55 in the supermarkets now, and its almost the same price or more for less space.

    The downside for me is that it'll have to run off its own power and it'll be nearly the same size as the entire Wii, where as a 2.5" drive will probably the same price for only 250gb would look better and could power off just the USB.

    Also are there any drives which power up and power down when the Wii comes on and off, currently my USB enclosure stays fully powered when the Wii is in standby which is annoying - if there is a 2.5" drive which can be powered by the Wii and will turn off when the console is off that would be the perfect combination and worth the extra money in my eyes.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, i'll sum the questions in bullet points.

    1. Any perform boost on the Wii for a 7200rpm 3.5" 32meg buffer drive to a slower 5200rpm 2.5" or will they both only perform the same as the original DVD?
    2. Any 2.5" drive that will power up and down with the Will when connected via USB?
    3. General consensus on the 3.5" vs 2.5" decision?


    Thanks

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    Thumbs up

    personally, i like the 2.5 drives better for the wii because you do not have to plug them into the wall. It turns on when you turn the wii on, which is great if your lazy like me lol.

    also, i noticed when i used a 3.5 drive, my screen was fuzzy like the cables were not plugged in all the way or something, but that went away when i stopped using the 3.5 drive.

    so i would say 2.5 is the best.

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    Thought I might have got a bit more feedback on this, but I guess people arn't as bothered as me?

    No news on if a 7200rpm drive can load faster then?

    I want something that lines up and matches my gloss black Wii - the old WD Mybooks with the blue leds almost do that perfectly but the 3.5" ones are bigger than the Wii itself, unfortunatly the 2.5" doesn't come with the blue led which would have matched the DVD drive of the Wii.

    Of course, I could get the cheapest and ugliest drive I can and hide it away with a long USB cable...and in that case theres a 1tb Seagate on offer at the minute but again it comes back to, can I get a 3.5" that might power up and down with the Wii and will it perform better?

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    I find the 3.5's to be just better in general. I've used a few 2.5's and they were not properly grounded or had electronic noise which fedback through the usb which caused noise on the video signal.

    If you can afford the space, just get a 3.5.

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    i fancied i 3.5 drive my self however what puts me off is having to unplug the usb and power then trail it all over to the computer find a spare power socket to load games from the computer then back again. 2.5 drive just plug in and out with little hassel.

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    update

    OP, do you have any updates on your original 3 questions from any research you may have done? I have these exact same questions.

    thanks
    1. Any perform boost on the Wii for a 7200rpm 3.5" 32meg buffer drive to a slower 5400rpm 2.5" or will they both only perform the same as the original DVD?
    2. Any 2.5" drive that will power up and down with the Wii when connected via USB?
    3. General consensus on the 3.5" vs 2.5" decision?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhs28 View Post
    OP, do you have any updates on your original 3 questions from any research you may have done? I have these exact same questions.

    thanks
    1. Any perform boost on the Wii for a 7200rpm 3.5" 32meg buffer drive to a slower 5400rpm 2.5" or will they both only perform the same as the original DVD?
    2. Any 2.5" drive that will power up and down with the Wii when connected via USB?
    3. General consensus on the 3.5" vs 2.5" decision?
    7200 is 50% faster than 5400, just as a 10k RPM drive is faster still and a 15k drive is extremely fast.

    However, it is only as fast as the bus speed (the speed between all the components in the machine it is working on) and the Wii is renowned for being slow in this department, so RPM of hard drives is not an issue really, there will be negligible noticeable differences of one drive over another if anyone would be bothered to sit down & time the loading of each game from a different drive.

    Wii HDD drives do read faster than DVDRs & original DVDs though, so there is the benefit really.

    The real issue is portability between the PC & the Wii, and how you get your games onto the Wii HDD, I bet there are 100s of happy campers with their portable 5400 2.5" USB bus powered drives powering up & down just as equally as there are those lugging around a 3.5" IDE/SATA USB drives with a power adapter & cord attached, it is a personal preference determined by what you can get hold of and costs involved. Whatever suits you will be of most benefit, not the casing it comes in.

    You may have a drive sitting there doing nothing and all you need is a USB case to pop it in, which is what I did. But my Wii is feet & inches away from my PC, so all I have to do is swap the USB cables round to get the games over. Each to their own eh?

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    Not really im afraid.

    No one seems to have tested either. Ive been using a 2.5" drive. It came out of an old Macbook, and its in the cheapest chinese drive enclose you'll ever see. Ive actually removed the cover off it, so its basically an exposed 2.5" hard drive laying on a sata chip set with a camera usb lead going into the back of it - oh and it plays anything and everything i throw at it.

    Drive powers up and down with the Wii, unless you have 24Connect on in which case it goes into standby and leaves power to the USB port (I assume incase you've got the internet connected via the Nintendo ethernet adapter)

    This will happen with the 3.5" as well.

    As far as I can see probably no difference in load times, maybe a bigger cache *might* improve some speed, but its all doubtful really.

    The main thing people seem to point out is that it might be better if the drive has its own power rather than running from the Wii but theres no real evidence behind this and never will be.

    My conclusion is that it doesn't really matter. But my summery would be

    • Dont bother with anything over 350g (because ive now got every good game ever released since the Wii came out on a 160gb drive with loads of space left!)
    • If you want something that looks good, find a nice 2.5" drive that matches the Wii and put it on show, alternatively there are 3.5" drives that match quite well, especially the black wii, see the Western Digital Mybook with blue led.
    • If just want to hide it away and give the illusion all the games are on the Wii (i haven't decided which I prefer yet) I think almost any repuatable brand will work well...and still look better than my exposed hard drive haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lfc4ever View Post

    The real issue is portability between the PC & the Wii
    An excellent point mate, id forgotten about that bit. I supposed laptop users might be more flexible here (like myself) but yes certainly a 2.5" is easier to move back and forth depending how much you plan on doing it...

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    My 500GB Seagate Freeagent powers up when Wii is switched on. It checks the USB signal. There are other devices similar, for example, I have a 4 drive Tsunami enclosure that can be configured to power up only when there is a USB signal.
    The one advantage you have is that you don't need to move the power supply brick around. My drives are pretty fast as far as I can tell and the games do not load instantly - repectable speed but I suspect that you are getting just as good anyway. The Wii may be the limiting factor so putting faster and faster dirves may not help.

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