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Why are external hard drives cheaper than their internal hard drive counterpart?

post #1 of 3
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Why are external harddrives cheaper than their internal harddrive counterpart?

External harddrives of the same manufacturer and size and speed (eg. 1TB Seagate 5400 rpm harddrive) are usually cheaper than the comparable internal harddrive (same speed, same size, same manufacturer). Sometimes, the warranty length is the same too. Considering externals have the external enclosure and other stuff too, shouldn't they be more expensive?

Just today, I saw a 1TB Toshiba external USB 3.0 + a bunch of other stuff in a bundle going for $45 - whereas the cheapest internal one of the same speed and size goes for around $50-$60 depending on the website.
post #2 of 3
External HDDs are usually lower quality based on the assumption the lower quality drives will last as long since they normally do not run nearly as much as internal HDDs.
     
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post #3 of 3
Most external HDD's are 5400 RPM or slower drives, while most desktop drives are 7200 RPM. There goes a lot of the speed, and price. Also, most manufacturers choose the cheapest brands most of the time.

My own 500 GB Buffalo external HDD has a WD drive, but it's a 5400 RPM model. Also, it only has 8 MB cache (most regular HDD's have at least 16 MB, and the most "extreme" have up to 64 MB), which can translate to a lower BOM, and a lower retail price. LAstly, most modern external HDDs ditch the SATA to USB adapter, and directly solder USB connectors to the disk itself, saving even more money.
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