Eugene

The SR Notebook Drive Roundup

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Good opening review. Reminiscent of the early SR reviews. (Which, for those that haven't been readers for 8 years, were often 'roundups' like this.) Based on this review, I went and got myself a shiny new Hitachi 7K100 to slap in the new Christmas notebook. (Not bad, got 1GB of RAM for $130, the 60GB 7K100 for $135, and am getting a Pentium-M 780 (the 2.133GHz model,) for free.

While the 7K100 is decidedly faster (and quieter) than the Toshiba the notebook came with, I was disappointed to hear that it is architecturally different (aerial density) than the reviewed model. I, too, would like to see one of the lower capacity models reviewed for comparison. (Did I, in reality, make a bad move?)

As for udaman... Well, Eugene was making the point that 'stated seek times' has no direct bearing on performance, and should not be used as a comparison metric. He was *NOT* saying that 'seek times' have zero bearing on performance, only that the 'stated seek times' you see in advertising don't really matter. Yes, seek times matter. Just not as much advertisers want to make us believe. (Heck, re-read his article, SR's benchmarks are really 'seek time measurements'!) It's random seek times that matter, not 'long stroke'. And even then, truly random isn't that big a determiner. That means that overall, a 2.5" disk will be faster than a 3.5" disk, if aerial density (aerial density, *NOT* 'data per platter',) rotational speed, and all other variables were the same.

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The E7K100 series 2.5" HDD from Hitachi features 24/7 operation just for blades and such.

I just bought a 7200rpm 80 7K100. Nice, sounds like a little 180GXP HDD (not like the newest generation 7k500).

That thing gets very warm compared to the 5400rpm Fujitsu it replaced.

any1 know which is the better drive for a laptop because i keep seeing conflicting responses all over the net. the E7K100 is designed for 24/7 operation (blade servers, POS vs laptops), so supposedly it operateds at a lower temperature range then the 7K100, but power performance suffers?!?!?! thanx in advance

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Dear Folks.

In November 2005, SR claimed :

- the best 2.5" HD is : Hitachi Travelstar 7k100 100GB ATA-100 7200 RPM.

- the best 2.5" HD, at a reasonable price, would be : Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 80GB ATA-100 5400 RPM.

But, now, we are in January 2006 !!!

And, now, more drives have come with 7200 RPM, and with more capacity, and higher density, and higher speed.

Still, they can be found with ATA-100, but, more and more, they come with S-ATA.

So, my big question is :

Are those 2 drives from November 2005 still the best choices in January 2006 ?

Or, maybe are there new better contenders ?

Could you tell me which new drives have come now, and that are ATA-100 only, and that are better, and with better capacity, and either in 7200 RPM, or 5400 RPM (for reasonable price) ?

Are there some reviews of these new contenders ? Where ?

When SR will upgrade this November 2005 review ?

Thanks for all.

Frederic Laroche.

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Eugene plans to review SATA notebook drives and any new ATA notebook drives, including Toshibas if possible, early this year. I don't know exactly when, but they're definitely planned.

You can assume that SATA notebook drives will perform almost identically to their PATA counterparts, with the possible exception of power consumption.

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Good opening review. Reminiscent of the early SR reviews. (Which, for those that haven't been readers for 8 years, were often 'roundups' like this.) Based on this review, I went and got myself a shiny new Hitachi 7K100 to slap in the new Christmas notebook. (Not bad, got 1GB of RAM for $130, the 60GB 7K100 for $135, and am getting a Pentium-M 780 (the 2.133GHz model,) for free.

While the 7K100 is decidedly faster (and quieter) than the Toshiba the notebook came with, I was disappointed to hear that it is architecturally different (aerial density) than the reviewed model. I, too, would like to see one of the lower capacity models reviewed for comparison. (Did I, in reality, make a bad move?)

As for udaman... Well, Eugene was making the point that 'stated seek times' has no direct bearing on performance, and should not be used as a comparison metric. He was *NOT* saying that 'seek times' have zero bearing on performance, only that the 'stated seek times' you see in advertising don't really matter. Yes, seek times matter. Just not as much advertisers want to make us believe. (Heck, re-read his article, SR's benchmarks are really 'seek time measurements'!) It's random seek times that matter, not 'long stroke'. And even then, truly random isn't that big a determiner. That means that overall, a 2.5" disk will be faster than a 3.5" disk, if aerial density (aerial density, *NOT* 'data per platter',) rotational speed, and all other variables were the same.

Looks like ehurtley had not been paying too much attention to the 2.5in drive technology then. Most people already knew the newer Hitachi 7K100 line has higher aerial density than the older 7K60...oh well.

And to seek times, again ehurtley, you analysis seems like even more double speak than Eugene's. That seek times have not direct bearing on performance, but that they don't have zero bearing on performance, WTF?!?! so they have indirect bearing on performance? Well that seems an awfully convoluded what of putting it. I'd prefer that notation that seek times do have a bearing on perforamance, always, but that other factors come into the equation as to how a drive performs for a given use/application, firmware optimization, etc. But it's far too apparent to me that both you and Eugene make the appearance of utterly dismissing seek times, just because you don't like the misleading inference manufacturers (really, so you think 10.0 ms seek vs 9.5ms seek is getting the ignorant's panties all in a bunch such they ignore all other more important performance measures? Well hell, let them buy only on that, but I don't see many doing such, purely 100% on 0.5ms-1ms differences, without so much as a glance at other measures) lay on that metric. So what if they publish seek times, are you saying that everyone is going to buy a drive, just like a 2.4Ghz CPU is what % faster than a 2.2Ghz CPU, without even looking at other factors in the equation for speed? Oh yes, in some applications that 0.2Ghz does make a difference, while it is small; there's a difference. Now with a hard drive, one with a 'penalty' of slower seek times, could in fact be significantly faster on virtually all other performance measures, I don't disagree with that. But to so categorically dismiss seek times like you two do, is quite misleading IMO, as much as you contend manufacturers are misleading the ignorant. Yes, I have read that thread in question, and I find it misleading in it's conclusions and analysis. Ie. I disagree with "It's random seek times that matter, not 'long stroke'". In many cases, that maybe true, but once again, both you and Eugene assume a particular use pattern(s), which may not apply to the broad range of users experiences, different people use computers for different reasons/applications; that which SR's test measures are not completely 100% indicative of performance, (though the cases where this happens maybe limited in degree) representative of all uses. It's not that I'm saying Eugene is completely wrong in his statements, it's just I find them not worded well enough to explain differences, and it appears from my point to be therefore skewed by intellectual bias as to what he prefers to emphasize. His emphasis is too strong in the opposite direction, in a manner of speaking. I somewhat agree with the direction he is speaking of, just don't agree with the manner in which it is overly emphasized, IMHO.

Eugene plans to review SATA notebook drives and any new ATA notebook drives, including Toshibas if possible, early this year. I don't know exactly when, but they're definitely planned.

You can assume that SATA notebook drives will perform almost identically to their PATA counterparts, with the possible exception of power consumption.

Well an SATA drive designed for blade servers, will not necessarily have the same performance as an SATA or ATA drive for laptops. There would be a reason for higher power drain, as would the case be for 3.5in desktop drives. While the mechnical design may be similar if not identical in most respects, the same mechanics using more power, could theoretically be setup for greater performance in a blade server (though the firmware maybe be more optimized for that application, rather than desktop type application uses).

Now what I want to see 1st in the next round of drive reviews, is the 1st major perpendicular recording drive from Segate, the 160GB, 5.4k rpm drive that is apparently already shipping.

OWC shps 160GB 2.5-inch portable drive

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Hi,

I tried to browse the results of the notebook drive review in the performance database and did not find any. Is it a bug or am I doing something wrong?

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Hi all,

I recently bought a Toshiba laptop with an SATA HDD interface.

Turns out that the Toshiba drive that comes with the laptop is more than a bit slow.

Looking at the drives reviewed here and elsewhere it seems that the Hitachis are definitely a bit faster than the Seagates, with the exception of Tom's review, which seems to have the Seagate at the top, with both the SATA & ATA versions close.

I think I'm still leaning toward the Hitachi, but Newegg, where I plan to buy the drive, only has the 80GB version in stock.

Anyone think that the performance difference between the 80GB version and the 100GB version of the Hitachi drive is anything to worry about?

Thanks?

Mark

Edited by live2learn

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Anyone think that the performance difference between the 80GB version and the 100GB version of the Hitachi drive is anything to worry about?

Nope. Assuming they're identical except for the capacity, you might be looking at a percentage point or three in drive performance.

If the new drive doesn't help enough, consider that extra RAM can reduce the impact of a slow drive.

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ok, the most interesting topic in there 7200rpm drives

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/7k100/7k100.htm

Capacity: 100 / 80 / 60

Data heads: 4 / 4 / 3

Data disks: 2 / 2 / 2

Max. areal density: 81 / 66 / 66

so, 100gb version and other two are diferent in performance. and unfortunatly there can be drastical diferences...

is it possible to review all capacity versions? or atleast 80 gb version(s) ;)

btv. i gues 80gb momentus might perform better than 80gb travelstar...

I apoligize if this has already been answered...

I just purchased a Dell e1505, and I got the cheapest HD and RAM, because I knew I could upgrade aftermarket for cheap $$$.

I am looking at the Hitachi 7K100.

Size(space) doesn't really matter to me but preformance does... are there any reviews of the 60g/80g/100g versions side-by-side?

I plan on going with the 60g (because it's the cheapest, and like I said size isn't an issue), but before I pull the trigger on this one @ NewEgg for $114 I want to know the differences between this and the other versions of the 7K100.

The main preformance issues that I am most interested in are:

1. Power Usage (battery preformance)

2. Heat (I like to keep my stuff as cool as possible)

3. Speed (File TransferSpeed & Seek Times)

Thanks in advance for any and all help,

-BassKozz

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It should be marginally cooler, less power hungry and slightly lower performance due to the same amount of data being spread across more radial distance, and thus requiring bigger seeks than on a higher capacity drive. You're only talking about a few percent difference, so I'd say go ahead and buy it!

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The "data head" is simply the head used to read one side of a platter. If it's got more data heads, that means its using more platter sides (in this case, both sides of both platters, instead of two sides of one platter and one side of the second platter).

The addition of a data head will slow down seeks by a frankly insignificant amount, and there will be the slight benefit described above because the same amount of data will fit into less radial space. There may also be a marginal increase in heat, but not much compared to increasing the number of platters.

We're still talking about small differences in this case, so I suggest you simply decide whether you need the extra 20 GB, or the extra $30 in your pocket. Think about what else you can buy with that $30, and decide which you'd rather have.

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The "data head" is simply the head used to read one side of a platter. If it's got more data heads, that means its using more platter sides (in this case, both sides of both platters, instead of two sides of one platter and one side of the second platter).

The addition of a data head will slow down seeks by a frankly insignificant amount, and there will be the slight benefit described above because the same amount of data will fit into less radial space. There may also be a marginal increase in heat, but not much compared to increasing the number of platters.

We're still talking about small differences in this case, so I suggest you simply decide whether you need the extra 20 GB, or the extra $30 in your pocket. Think about what else you can buy with that $30, and decide which you'd rather have.

Thanks again Spod...

Pro's and Con's of the 60gb over the 80gb

Pro's

+LESS HEAT

+FASTER SEEK TIMES

+$30 Less

Con's

-Less capacity

i think I am gonna go with the 60gb ;)

Thanks again,

-BassKozz

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Regarding the Toshiba drives, I'll add my voice to the list of folks whining for a review. I'm curious to see how a 5400rpm drive with 16MB cache compares to the Hitachi and Seagate 7200rpm models, both of which have an 8MB cache.

This is no review, but I have a Seagate 100GB ST9100824AS in my Macbook Pro and a Toshiba 100GB MK1032GAX in a Firewire 400 case. The Toshiba has a clone of the Seagate on it. Xbench is somewhat inconsistent measure of drive performance, with up to 5% variability from run to run, but average disk scores for ten or more runs probably indicate real differences. Xbench likes the Toshiba a lot. The Seagate averaged 30.7, the Toshiba averaged 36.1 for 20 runs.

This result is hard to believe considering that the Seagate has the advantage of being directly connected to the SATA bus, while the Toshiba ATA-6 drive has to work through a Firewire bridge, a cable and FW bus. The Toshiba seems nevertheless to be faster in general use. I would really like to see a review of this drive here. Perhaps Toshiba is working on a Firewire version.

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Regarding the Toshiba drives, I'll add my voice to the list of folks whining for a review. I'm curious to see how a 5400rpm drive with 16MB cache compares to the Hitachi and Seagate 7200rpm models, both of which have an 8MB cache.

This is no review, but I have a Seagate 100GB ST9100824AS in my Macbook Pro and a Toshiba 100GB MK1032GAX in a Firewire 400 case. The Toshiba has a clone of the Seagate on it. Xbench is somewhat inconsistent measure of drive performance, with up to 5% variability from run to run, but average disk scores for ten or more runs probably indicate real differences. Xbench likes the Toshiba a lot. The Seagate averaged 30.7, the Toshiba averaged 36.1 for 20 runs.

This result is hard to believe considering that the Seagate has the advantage of being directly connected to the SATA bus, while the Toshiba ATA-6 drive has to work through a Firewire bridge, a cable and FW bus. The Toshiba seems nevertheless to be faster in general use. I would really like to see a review of this drive here. Perhaps Toshiba is working on an SATA version.

Edited by we2b

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I need to get a SATA 160GB drive for my Core 2 Duo notebook. There are definitely a lot of choices on the market these days:

1. Samsung Spinpoint HM160JI

2. Hitachi Travelstar 5K160

3. Toshiba MK1637GSX

4. WD Scorpio WD1600BEVS

5. Seagate Momentus 5400.3 (ST9160821AS)

I'm leaning towards the Hitachi as they seem to have the best head technology resulting in significantly better seek time than their competitors. I figure all the drives use 80GB platters anyway so transfer rate should not be significantly different. Seagate has 5-year warranty which is definitely a plus. But it is about $20 more expensive than the Hitachi. So the Hitachi is still the best buy, IMO.

Anyone has any comment/recommendation?

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I need to get a SATA 160GB drive for my Core 2 Duo notebook. There are definitely a lot of choices on the market these days:

1. Samsung Spinpoint HM160JI

2. Hitachi Travelstar 5K160

3. Toshiba MK1637GSX

4. WD Scorpio WD1600BEVS

5. Seagate Momentus 5400.3 (ST9160821AS)

#1, #2, #5 are compared in multiple benchmarks here:

http://www.ixbt.com/storage/samsung-m80.shtml

plus some few benchmarks also here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/11/28/har...digital_rev_up/

Haven't found any review about #3, #4 so far.

From the information available I would tend towards Hitachi and Samsung. If you need more quiet drive, then sure Samsung (or WD). But if you need better seeking drive then Hitachi.

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