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The difference in performance can be illustrated by how fast the disk in the drive spins. A server hard drive will spin at up to 15000rpm which is two to three times the spin speed of a PC HDD.
In terms of reliability these drives will tend to have a shelf life of roughly double that of a normal HDD as well as a much lower failure rate though most will be used in a RAID array. The smaller form factor of the discs allows more hardware to be housed in the datacentre or server room whilst also reducing energy costs.
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