April 20, 2024

Common dimensions of drives and devices in computers

Ever tried to build your own PC? When it comes to drives like hard disk drives, solid state drives, floppy drives or optical drives like CD, DVD or BluRay drives you need to know about the different industry standards and their dimensions.

This article gives an overview about the most common drive dimensions.

Different drives

5,25″ Drives

This size is common for optical drives like CD, DCD and BluRay drives.

These drives are the largest drives in a modern computer system.

The common dimensions are:

Width: 146 mm
Height: 41mm
Length: (approx.) 165mm – 200 mm

Be careful about the variable length of these drives and make sure it fits in you computer!

a 5,25" drive
5,25″ drive

SlimLine 5,25″ Drives

For laptop computers and smaller computer cases such as HTPCs there exists another format: The SlimLine 5,25″

SlimLine Optical Drive
SlimLine Optical Drive

This type of optical drive is much thinner to fit into a laptop case.

The common dimensions are:

Width: 128 mm
Height: 13mm
Length: (approx.) 124mm – 130 mm

Also here be careful about the variable length!

3,5″ Drives

This size is used for either Hard Disk Drives or Floppy Drives.

3.5″ Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

The 3,5″ Hard Disk Drives are mostly used in desktop or server systems, but not in mobile systems like laptops. Most Solid State Disks (SSDs) are not in the 3.5″, but in the 2.5″ format (see below).

The common dimensions for 3.5″ drives are:

Width: 102 mm
Height: 18mm – 26mm
Length: (approx.) 147 mm

A 3.5" HDD
A 3.5″ HDD
Different heights of 3.5" HDDs
Different heights of 3.5″ HDDs

The different heights are mostly a result of the amount of platters that the hard disk drive consists of. Most of modern 3.5″ HDDs have a height of 26mm.

3.5″ Floppy Disk Drives

Floppy Disk Drives are hard to find nowadays as they are not used in modern systems anymore. Cheap USB drives with enormous capacities are the modern way of exchanging data.

The common standard for Floppy Disk Drives in desktop computers is (was):

Width: 101 mm
Length: (approx.) 145mm – 150mm

3.5" Floppy drive
3,5″ Floppy Drive

2.5″ Drives

2.5" drive
2,5″ HDD

The 2.5″ standard is getting more popular through the rise of Solid State Drives (SSDs). But also HDDs are manufactured in this format and can usually be found in laptop computers.

The common dimensions are:

Width: 70 mm
Height: 7mm – 9.5mm
Length: (approx.) 100 mm

Be especially careful about the size of these drives!

This article may not be complete. Sometimes manufacturers do not adjust to standards and some products may have completely different dimensions. Some manufacturers want to ensure that only their products can be used in certain systems, so they avoid industry standards.

But in most of the cases the above standards should give a good overview when building a new personal computer.

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