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Notebook HD with higher amperage : any risk ?

6 posts in this topic

Hi folks,

After serious failure of a Western Digital hard drive (Model WD5000BPVT) in an Asus K53SD laptop, I purchased an Hitachi TravelStar at 7'200 rpm (Model Z7K320-320) as replacement.

On the label pasted on the Western Digital drive is written 0.55 A (aka 550 mA).

For the new Hitachi drive, the current is 800 mA, i.e. 45% more current consumption.

I assume these are peak currents.

Voltages are the same for both disks, at 5.0 V.

I want to be sure that there's no risk to grill the motherboard or any other circuits as the new drive would "pump" more current.

I got contradictory answers. On some forum, I was told that there should be no problem, the current not coming from the motherboard and the S-ATA standard being well-defined.

But I'm not sure, as on the TravelStar I cannot see small spikes like on the Western Digital drive, and I still do have several questions.

1) Are the pins on WD Scorpio drives for a power supply that is not done via the typical SATA socket ?

2) Does the current that powers the drive not go through the motherboard when there are no spikes?

3) Even if the current powering the HD does not transit via the motherboard, is the diameter or wires large enough to avoid overheating ?

The technician from Asus told me that the notebook is compatible with those drives:

2.5” 9.5mm SATA HDD Supported for Primary HDD

Supported capacities of 5400RPM 320/500/640/750 & 7200RPM 750/500

The capacity of my HD is 320 Gb, but at 7200RPM. Is that any problem ?

Basically, I cannot understand why a laptop would not support lower capacities than 500 GB at 7200RPM.

Is this related to some controller, to some chip?

Also, my disk is 7mm high and I was planning using a chim.

Are there known uncompatibilities using a 7mm hard drive in a 9mm bay?

Thanks a lot for your help.

The specs of the new drive are here: http://www.hgst.com/internal-drives/mobile/travelstar/travelstar-z5k320

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It will be fine, your battery run time might be a little lower with a 7,200 rpm drive, but performance should be better. It is common in some cases to use a shim for 7mm drives, but they are not required in all cases depending on how the drive is mounted.

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The capacity of my HD is 320 Gb, but at 7200RPM. Is that any problem ?

Basically, I cannot understand why a laptop would not support lower capacities than 500 GB at 7200RPM.

Is this related to some controller, to some chip?

Support can mean what the they tested. So if they didn't test it, then it is not supported. It doesn't mean it won't work.

1) Are the pins on WD Scorpio drives for a power supply that is not done via the typical SATA socket ?

If you mean the 4 pin block, then don't touch it. They are for other settings that most people won't need. If the pins cover the whole width of the drive, then there is an additional thing you will want to remove. They are called Interposer cards, but IDK if newer system still use them(depends on manufacturer).

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SATA specs requires the power lines/connectors to support 1.5 A per pin. So you are safe. You're only halfway with your new drive.

On a more general note, SATA is a standard. A HDD producer would not be allowed to sell the drive if it would function outside the standard.

You worrying about this issue is a bit funny, no offense intended :)

Supported capacities: all lower capacities are supported, this is just marketing b*&^&*hit. That's not the case with higher capacities, that's where you have to obey the specs.

7mm vs 9 mm drive size: the screw holes are also standard, so when you screw the drive onto the tray it will stay in the standard position, with a gap of 2mm above or bellow. Again, it's about standards here, the 2.5" drive form factor is standardized.

Edited by Katy

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Thank a lot to all of you for your much useful and interesting answers. They help me a lot.

@cbrwork: Yes, I'm planning using a small shim.

If you mean the 4 pin block, then don't touch it. They are for other settings that most people won't need.

@Kdawca: Yes, I meant the 4 pin block.

So if they didn't test it, then it is not supported. It doesn't mean it won't work.
SATA specs requires the power lines/connectors to support 1.5 A per pin.

@Kdawca and Katy: This certainly brings me peace of mind !

You worrying about this issue is a bit funny, no offense intended.

This is the price for being a self-learner!

Often people think they know when they don't.

I prefer asking that doing irreparable things. Please pardon my ignorance.

Kind regard to you all.

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The 7'200 rpm seems working fine. I just have problem migrating Windows to a smaller drive, but this is another issue.

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