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I'm a little out of touch with modern desktop builds, but I recently built a new machine anyway. I want to pick up a SSD for my I/O intensive apps (EverQuest 2 and Flash CS4 mostly), but I'm having trouble finding any in the 3.5" form factor.

Is this expected, or do I fail at product search? And, if it is expected, do 2.5" SSDs come with an adapter to fit them in my desktop machine, or will I need to purchase one separately? And, finally, if I do need to purchase an adapter, are they pretty standard or are some better than others. General advice is most welcomed, though specific product recommendations in addition would be helpful!

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Just mount it somewhere with double-sided tape. There are no moving parts, it might as well be dangling off a cable or sit on the bottom of the case. – Mircea Chirea Apr 26 '12 at 21:31
up vote 13 down vote accepted

I would just buy a 2.5" drive and use a mounting kit:

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Now that they all use the same SATA ports, you just use the same standard connectors as any other hard drive.

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+1 All I have seen are 2.5". I understood this was the form factor so the adapter is the way to go. – Dave M Mar 4 '10 at 20:07
Thanks for the verification. – Cory Petosky Mar 4 '10 at 20:09
BTW the kit on a picture looks like 3.5" for 5.25" bay, not 2.5" for 3.5" bay – user27803 Mar 4 '10 at 20:11
@RocketSurgeon - Good point +1, I can't find a better one though :( If you (or anyone) finds one, feel free to edit the picture – William Hilsum Mar 4 '10 at 20:29
@snark - Thanks. second picture is great - I found the first one but thought it was a little dark/hard to tell... Anyway, uploading to tinypic so other sites don't get mad! – William Hilsum Mar 4 '10 at 21:02

Most SSDs tend to fit a 2.5" form factor, although there are some exceptions such as the OCZ Colossus. Adapters/brackets/mounting kits can be bought from most online computer stores. A Toshiba/Kingston SSD is one of the few drives that comes with a 3.5" adapter, but I wouldn't recommend the drive in terms of performance. I can't advise on the pros and cons of the different adaptors, as personally my SSD just "rests" in a 3.5" slot - there are no moving parts so I'm not that concerned about it.

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Check out the ICY DOCK MB882SP-1S-1B 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter.

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I bought an X-25M not long ago and it came with its own 3.5" adapter kit in addition to the Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-1B I threw in my cart. Oh well! The Icy Dock was of much better quality than the metal angle brackets that shipped with the SSD! – Collin Allen Mar 5 '10 at 7:50

From what I know, you can use any laptop hard drives in a desktop, provided they are new enough that they use the SATA interface. No adapters should be needed, and it should rest nicely in your A: drive, floppy drive port.

It will also save you a little bit of power. but at the expense of a bit of speed. However, the 3.5 inch ssd's tend to cost a little more to buy. So, to recap

2.5 pros

  1. lower power consumption
  2. will fit the desktop, but won't sit tight unless you get a bracket to hold it in place
  3. lower price

3.5 pros

  1. faster speed
  2. will fit nicely and screw in place
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