Comprehensive evaluation of the top four 7200 rpm notebook drives
Tom’s Hardware compared performance notebook drives from Seagate, Hitachi, Samsung and WD with the depth and precision that only Tom’s can. The value-add here is their understanding of the complex mix of factors that interact in real-life notebook use: performance, power, durability, security.
Note that “performance” class 7200 rpm drives are on their way to becoming “mainstream” class, since more people are replacing desktops and expect desktop performance.
Conclusions from the review:
Although we found ups and downs for each of the four products, all the drives passed the basic requirements for high-performance notebook hard drives, with great benchmark results. However, you should not just go any purchase any of the four drives, as their characteristics mean that some are more suitable for specific applications.
#4 Samsung’s Spinpoint MP2 is a good performer, delivering great throughput of up to 86 MB/s, and dominating the PCMark05 application benchmark, which is pretty relevant. Yet the drive is not a suitable overall recommendation, as its access time and I/O performance are a bit weak, and it’s as power-hungry as first-generation 7,200 RPM drives by Hitachi and Seagate. In terms of efficiency, Samsung is simply not yet where it could be.
#3 The Hitachi Travelstar 7K320 offers balanced performance and delivers good results across all benchmarks, but it does not win a single one of them except the Windows XP startup benchmark of PCMark05. If you want maximum performance or efficiency you might want to look for another drive, but if you find this model installed in your new notebook there is no reason to worry—it’s a good product.
#2 Western Digital’s new Scorpio Black has arrived with a bang. It has the fastest access time and great I/O performance, beating all the other 2.5″ hard drives. Though its throughput cannot quite match the transfer rates of the Seagate drive, WD manages to get excellent results in all of the benchmarks. And despite good but not exciting power consumption results, we found some surprises: WD implemented a sensible power management solution, which has the drive consume the least power at low-power idle and when playing DVD video off the HDD.#1 Seagate Momentus 7200.3. We were looking at the four hard drives from a mobile user’s perspective, so we paid close attention to performance per watt ratings. Not only does Seagate hit new transfer rate records, but it also beats the competition by providing the best combination of low power consumption and high performance. It might not win all the benchmarks, but overall it is on top. Its lead over WD was very small, though.
Seagate sees the importance of 7200 rpm for notebook and Tom’s sees the results in Momentus. Expect to see more of the good stuff in future versions of this winner.
Posted in Laptop PC, Products
Tagged 7200 rpm, G-Force, Hitachi, Momentus, notebook, review, Samsung, Seagate, Tom's Hardware, WD, zero-G
500GB, 7200 rpm – who needs 3.5″?
Seagate announced two new 500GB notebook drives. So what?
- The 50-year history of the disk drive is all about cramming more and more bytes on less and less real estate. The real estate shrinks when drive formats drop a size.
- 500GB 2.5″ drives mean we’re close to not needing the capacity advantage of 3.5″ drives. It’s the beginning of the end for the 3.5″ form factor. Servers have mostly made the switch with 2.5 SAS drives like Seagate’s Savvio.
- 500GB 2.5″ 7200 rpm drives mean notebooks can get desktop performance without sacrificing capacity. Expect rapid adoption of 7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm in notebooks now that there is capacity parity and less of a premium in power consumption.
“Our work is to make the sale.”
More from Jean Charles Compagnon, IT manager for APEX IT. Making deals on airplanes, Oracle demos via laptop, outfitting billable employees vs. non-billable staff, selective security.
Consider Barracuda 7200.11 for gaming – performance AND capacity.
I’m proud of our new monster drive! Tom’s hardware rates Barracuda 11 as the fastest 1 TB drive on the market. More interesting to gamer system builders:
“With the exception of access time and I/O benchmarks, it also clearly beats Western Digital’s 10,000 RPM Raptor, and sets the new standard for desktop hard drives.”
Raptor has been the defacto gamer drive for a long time. Consider offering your customers a new twist: performance with capacity for their data-heavy gaming systems.