Can Laptop HDD Be Used in Desktop?

The hard disk drive is a key component of any computer and can be found in both desktop computers as well as laptops.

It utilizes mechanical platters with data stored on them which are accessed by the read/write head that moves over these storage devices, allowing for easy access to all information saved onto it.

You can use both the desktop HDD and laptop HDDs interchangeably. A computer will require a compatible hard drive but most of them can also be used in place with another type that is not their own counterpart.

The only difference is that you would need to make sure your computer has a connection for an external hard drive (desktop) or USB port if it’s a laptop, but other than that they’re completely interchangeable.

What is a Hard Disk Drive?

HDD is a storage device that stores digital data – anything from games to movies and to music. It works by storing this information on rotating platters and having the read/write head that moves over these devices in order to access the stored data.


The Desktop HDDs and the Laptop HDDs are also interchangeable because of their shared connection type – they each use an equally convenient USB connector called “SATA”.

Additionally, both types of HDDs are usually cross-compatible with each other. If you happen to have an old desktop hard drive and want to use it on your laptop, all that needs to be done is connect it via a SATA cable or an external enclosure and you’re good to go.

See also  How Much RAM Does League of Legends Need?

Differences Between a Laptop HDD and a Desktop HDD

Both devices serve a common purpose, but they’re typically used in different settings which means there can be some difference between them that might affect what you purchase for your needs!

1 – Speed

The hard disk drive operates by spinning platters at high speeds and writing or reading information from them in order to store or retrieve files on demand.

The hard drive of desktop computers spins at 7200 revolutions per minute and this is much faster than the laptop where it rotates 5400 times in a minute. The slower speed slows down your computer which can be problematic for programs that need to run quickly such as games or video editing software.

2 – Size and Storage

The HDD in desktop computers is larger than the laptop version. With more platters, there are many terabytes of storage to be seen on a 3.5-inch drive which will not show up on 2.5 inches due to fewer platters and space for them inside their casing.

The size difference between the two drives makes it possible that one would have a much higher capacity than the other. If you need more storage than the laptop could provide, then it’s recommended to buy a desktop HDD.

4 – Portability

In terms of portability, the laptop HDD is far more portable than the desktop version. The 3.5-inch drive usually weighs less than 1 kilogram while the 2.5-inch can be much lighter (500 grams) and that makes it easier to move your data around as you please.

See also  Why Are Laptops More Expensive Than Desktops?

Additionally, laptops these days are used more often on the go as people move around with them, allowing you to take your data wherever you need it.

5 – Compatibility

Your desktop computer has enough space for a smaller HDD like the laptop HDDs. One can use a 2.5-inch drive and install them as internal storage.

However, 3.5 inches does not fit on laptops internally but one can attach or utilize it as external storage with relative ease by attaching it to your USB cable which connects to your laptop’s hard drive!


The hard drive is quite a necessary component of your computer system as it holds a lot of data for you but there are some differences that you should know before buying one for yourself which can affect the final decision when shopping.

Know the need and requirements well and make sure to know how much space is required by your computer needs. The rule of thumb is to buy a hard drive with the same number of platters as your laptop’s HDD or more.

Leave a Comment