WD Scorpio Black 750GB & Scorpio Blue 1TB

Storage
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AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recordings start with 5 to 10 seconds of ambient noise, then 10 second segments of the drive in the following states: idle, seek with AAM enabled (if applicable), and seek with AAM disabled.

Notebook Hard Drive Comparatives:

CONCLUSIONS

WD Scorpio Black 750GB

If you need a big, fast laptop hard drive, the Scorpio Black 750GB is a fine specimen, the speediest model we've encountered thus far. Unfortunately it achieves this success by sacrificing its acoustics somewhat. Its vibration level is a bit high and while not really a loud drive, it does emit more noise than other 7200 RPM drives so there's definitely room for improvement. Of the other 2.5" hard drives that have passed through our doors, only the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive keeps pace. Of the two we would have to give Momentus XT the nod as it is a much quieter drive unless of course you need an extra 250GB of capacity — the largest Momentus XT is still only 500GB just as it was more than a year ago when it was released.

If storage space is less of an issue, now is the time to consider a solid state drive. The recent flooding in Thailand where many hard drive assembly plants are located, has driven up hard drive prices dramatically. While SSDs are still significantly more expensive per byte, the price gap between HDDs and SSDs has never been narrower.

WD Scorpio Blue 1TB

For the highest capacity 2.5" notebook drive, the Scorpio Blue 1TB's power consumption is impressive, particularly when seeking. If you work your hard drive heavily you will probably see a slight improvement in battery life. From a noise perspective, it's adequately quiet and generates only a low level of vibration. Its performance isn't anywhere close to drives like the Scorpio Black 750GB or Seagate Momentus XT 500GB, but it does compete well against older, smaller 5400 RPM models and even the 7200 RPM Momentus 750GB. It's a quintessential WD "blue" drive, a mainstream model that offers a bit of everything. There are quieter drives and faster drives, but if you're in the market for a well-rounded model with a lot of storage space, it's a great choice.

Many thanks to Western Digital for the Scorpio Black 750GB and Scorpio Blue 1TB samples.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB 5940RPM Hard Drive
SSD Roundup: Corsair F180 vs. Zalman S Series vs. Kingston SSDNow V+100
OCZ RevoDrive 120GB PCI Express SSD
Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB & Momentus 750GB
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB vs. WD Caviar Blue 1TB
Seagate Momentus XT: The Best of Both Worlds?

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