Friday, 14 October 2011

Western Digital's new drives expand laptop storage to 1TB

Whether you have a Windows- or OS X-based laptop, one glaring flaw in either genre (and in laptops in general) is the capacity of the hard drive. A year ago, it became possible to pump up a desktop computer with a 3TB drive, but your laptop hit a wall at 750GB. And if you are a true media maven, even 750GB could be a bit confining at times for everything you want to store.

More storage in less space

Getting 1TB on a 2.5-inch platter wasn't simple. (Interestingly, the claimed formatted capacity of the drive is a little over 1TB -- 1,000.204GB, to be exact -- not the usual 931GB that marks a 1TB device.) WD achieved it by adjusting the areal density (the number of bits per square inch) and adding Advanced Format technology. (For the full explanation, you can check out a PDF of WD's white paper.
We tested the 1TB Scorpio Blue against a Seagate Momentus ST9750420AS, one of Seagate's high-performance drives -- it's a 2.5 inch drive that has a 750GB capacity. It spins at a faster 7400rpm and has a 16MB cache compared to the Scorpio Blue's 5400 rpm and 8MB.


Switching to the higher-capacity Scorpio Blue, despite its slower rotational speed, is practically a no-lose situation. Low data-content files that are typically accessed numerous times -- such as, say, bank or credit records -- are at a slight disadvantage but, as can be seen from the test results, the 1TB Scorpio Blue holds its own with the type of large files associated with streaming and other media-based applications. And since the price of the 1TB drive is about the same as a similar 750GB drive, I strongly recommend it.

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