Packs in the highest capacity in a 2.5-inch standard height laptop hard drive
Good performance, saves power, cool, silent, Advanced Format (4K alignment)
A bit expensive, consistently slower random access times
Expert Rating :
Laptop users are as data hungry as their desktop counterpart and this therefore calls for laptop hard drive manufacturers to manufacture laptop hard drives with higher capacities. Along with a higher capacity, the focus is shifting to producing laptop hard drives which consume less power, but performing faster.
If you happen to already have a laptop, but are running short on disk space, then it is time to get yourself a 5,400 RPM hard drive such as the WD Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT, with a huge 750 GB capacity. Western Digital is a well known name in the storage segment and we have the above mentioned hard drive in our Tech Labs today. Let us find out how well it fares in the tests.
The WD Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT hard drive boasts of a huge 750GB capacity in a 2.5-inch normal height (9.5 mm) form factor. The huge capacity makes it possible to make the laptop as viable a computer to store data, videos, music and games as is the personal computer today. This is WD's latest generation mobile hard drive to use perpendicular magnetic recording technology for such large capacities and has an areal density of 375 Gb/sq inch. The drive is supposed to have a better performance with a lower power consumption. It contains two glass platters with four recording and reading heads. The rotational speed of the spindle is 5,400 RPM.
Only a small part of the electronics is exposed below
This laptop hard drive is just 9.5 mm thick making it well suited for slim desktop PCs and is suitable for all laptop models.
The drive has the popular SATA interface making it suitable to be connected in a laptop as well as a desktop or a drive casing. This particular drive has the SATA II or 3Gbps interface.
WD Scorpio Blue incorporates WD's WhisperDrive technology, which combines state-of-the-art seeking algorithms to dampen noise and vibrations, yielding a quieter drive. These algorithms also decrease power consumption by optimizing the way a drive seeks for data. ShockGuard technology protects the drive mechanics and platter surfaces from shocks. SecurePark ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface, thus resulting in improved long term reliability due to reduction in head wear and improved non-operational shock tolerance. This is achieved by parking the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down, and when the drive is off.
One of the main differences between this drive and others is that it supports Advanced Format Technology (4K alignment). This allows a larger 4K sector size as against the earlier 512 bytes, while reducing the need of ECC data size to 100 bytes per sector of 4K as against the earlier total of 320 bytes per eight 512 bytes sectors. This is a savings of 220 bytes for 4K sector size, which actually translates to availability of more capacity.
Of this increased capacity of around 7 - 11% (according to WD), 5.5% is used by ECC, while the rest is used to optimize in different ways. Presumably, this will be done by doing away with the innermost or slowest track area of the platter, thus improving performance while making no change to the mechanism of the drive. In the future this may allow for larger drive capacities using the same platter size. Advanced Format is available only when installing an operating system, as it needs to take place at a lower level. Or you can do it by downloading the 4K alignment tool from WD's website, but making sure that you set the jumper appropriately.
These days there is an increasing awareness for "greener" products and this drive is also one such products. Not only is it acoustically quieter but also consumes less power. According to its specifications it consumes just 1.6 W at full load, while it takes up as little as 0.65 W in the low power idle mode. This goes a long way into its longevity and also in ensuring a better battery life for laptops and netbooks.