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Toshiba MK6461GSYN (640 GB)

Six 2.5” High-Capacity Notebook Hard Drives
By , Achim Roos

The Toshiba series MKxx61GSYN offers up to 640 GB of storage space, primarily targeting home users. Buyers can choose among five sizes: 160 GB, 250 GB, 320 GB, 500 GB, and our test subject, the flagship MK6461GSYN with 640 GB capacity, which costs approximately $90.

Contrary to the other five hard disks we’re testing, the Toshiba disk does not use Advanced Format, though this doesn’t negatively affect height or capacity. While the 500 GB and 640 GB models use two platters, the smaller models use one. All of them, however, are only 9.5 mm (0.374“) high, which is the standard height of notebook drives. According to Toshiba, the storage density is up to 506.3 Gb per square inch.

The MK6461GSYN is equipped with a SATA 3Gb/s interface, a 16 MB cache, and a 7200 RPM spindle speed. Incidentally, Toshiba’s MK6461GSYN and Western Digital’s Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT are the only two members of the ”7200 RPM club” in this test. A version of the MK6461GSYN with a free-fall sensor is available, too. Should a notebook with this drive in it fall, the hard disk retracts its read-write head to the park position, avoiding a crash.

Performance

It is hardly surprising that 2.5” hard drives with 7200 RPM spindles achieve the highest data rates. Toshiba doesn’t specify its performance specs, so we’ll simply present the benchmark results. 

Toshiba’s MK6461GSYN achieves a sequential read rate of 89.5 MB/s and an almost identical write speed of 89.4 MB/s. It loses its match-up to the other 7200 RPM drive, Western Digital’s Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT, which barely misses three-digit data rates.

By the way, the 5400 RPM WD Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT almost catches up to Toshiba’s solution, too.

We expected this drive’s power consumption to be higher than the 5400 RPM drives. But, according to its data sheet, Toshiba should actually be on par with the slower-rotating drives. The company specifies 2.1 W while active, and a 0.8 W idle power. Our benchmarks confirm the idle figure, but show higher power consumption under load. Depending on the benchmark, it consumes between 1.5 and 3.2 W.

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  • 10 Hide
    Zero_ , November 3, 2011 5:53 AM
    Talk about a bad time for a hard drive comparison...
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    arpitnathany , November 3, 2011 5:00 AM
    On the western digital hard disk page the Western Digital Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT is mentioned as 750 TB please correct it.

    Nice article as a whole
  • 2 Hide
    arpitnathany , November 3, 2011 5:02 AM
    On a lighter note I would love to have a 750 TB drive at that price
    someday.....
  • 0 Hide
    acyuta , November 3, 2011 5:09 AM
    Good to have all the latest data in one place. Wish Dell had put in the 750GB Scorpio Black instead of 750GB Momentus in my XPS15.

    One minor point: good to know that i7-920 is now part of Sandybridge. Can you check???
  • -8 Hide
    JeTJL , November 3, 2011 5:12 AM
    Wonder how well these things survive the drop test. If they can survive a fall that a SSD can sustain then I'll be up for it. Other than that wish higher capacity SSDs become cheaper.
  • 10 Hide
    Zero_ , November 3, 2011 5:53 AM
    Talk about a bad time for a hard drive comparison...
  • 2 Hide
    howardp6 , November 3, 2011 10:01 AM
    GoFlex is a Seagate disk product line not Western Digital
  • 2 Hide
    AppleBlowsDonkeyBalls , November 3, 2011 3:31 PM
    Western Digital hard drives sound good in theory for laptops, but they're not. I would never use one unless they fix a fatal flaw.

    What flaw? The fact that the hard drive automatically goes to sleep (parks its head) after eight seconds of inactivity, and since this is hardwired into the firmware it completely dismisses what you set in your Power Options in the Windows 7 Control Panel. Why is this bad? Because if the HDD is inactive for more than eight seconds it needs to unpark its head, and that creates a very noticeable lag when launching applications or working with files because the process takes a few seconds to complete, not to mention it puts more stress on the HDD mechanics.

    Unless it's simply for a storage drive where you don't care about performance I recommend you go with Seagate, Hitachi, or Samsung for laptop HDDs instead.
  • 4 Hide
    cadder , November 3, 2011 6:16 PM
    Current prices are a bit higher than what is mentioned in the article, actually pretty scary:

    Hitachi 750GB $140-160
    Samsung 1TB $220
    WD 750GB $160
    WD 1TB $230
  • 0 Hide
    ewood , November 3, 2011 7:16 PM
    yeah prices are way off
  • 0 Hide
    youssef 2010 , November 3, 2011 8:31 PM
    I'd go with the WD Scorpio Black
  • 0 Hide
    youssef 2010 , November 3, 2011 8:33 PM
    cadderCurrent prices are a bit higher than what is mentioned in the article, actually pretty scary:Hitachi 750GB $140-160Samsung 1TB $220WD 750GB $160WD 1TB $230


    That's because of the incident at WD's factory
  • 0 Hide
    11796pcs , November 3, 2011 9:09 PM
    youssef 2010That's because of the incident at WD's factory

    I was looking at Newegg and a 500GB Caviar Black that I had bought a year ago for $50-$60 was $150.
  • 0 Hide
    egmccann , November 4, 2011 4:16 PM
    cadderCurrent prices are a bit higher than what is mentioned in the article, actually pretty scary:Hitachi 750GB $140-160Samsung 1TB $220WD 750GB $160WD 1TB $230


    Yeah. Hard drive prices would have made for a great halloween article - they'd frighten all system builders and anyone looking for a storage upgrade. And we'll supposedly be seeing them like that for a while yet.
  • 0 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , November 4, 2011 6:50 PM
    BTW, whats with the high prices on HDDs nowdays? i heard that the prices rised because some floding in some country?
  • 0 Hide
    egmccann , November 5, 2011 12:36 AM
    crisan_tiberiuBTW, whats with the high prices on HDDs nowdays? i heard that the prices rised because some floding in some country?

    Flooding in Thailand, yep.

    From toms (link up above the discussion)
    Quote:
    The hard drive market is reacting to the heavy floods in Thailand.


    Zoom
    Prices for hard drives have jumped by as much as 50 percent within one week, market research firm IHS said. About a quarter of all hard drives are manufactured in Thailand and it appears that all major vendors are affected in some way.

    Western Digital previously said that it may see a revenue decline of about 60 percent in the current quarter and told German publication Golem.de that it will be able to produce only 22 to 26 million drives this quarter, instead of the planned 58 million units. A spokesperson said that WD "currently waits for the factories to dry" to be able to restart its manufacturing tools. What makes matters worse are the usually thin profit margins in the HDD industry, which means that manufacturers typically have only five to seven days of material supply.

    A Seagate manager told CRN India that the company expects and "acute" shortage of drives and that the manufacturer expects prices to increase. However, there was no information how sharp this increase can be. Both WD and Seagate said that the floods in Thailand have created a problem for the industry that will take several quarters to resolve.


    Other sources:

    CRN
    PC World
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , November 6, 2011 6:03 PM
    arpitnathanyOn the western digital hard disk page the Western Digital Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT is mentioned as 750 TB please correct it.Nice article as a whole

    750 TB? i did not know that they made such large hard drives...maybe you mean 750GB :) 
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , November 6, 2011 6:12 PM
    acyutaGood to have all the latest data in one place. Wish Dell had put in the 750GB Scorpio Black instead of 750GB Momentus in my XPS15. One minor point: good to know that i7-920 is now part of Sandybridge. Can you check???

    you can always replace it yourself, lol....it's not that expensive, lol

  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 8, 2011 3:35 AM
    About the Scorpio Black 750GB drive and it's power consumption. I put one in my friend's Asus 1005HA netbook and it doesn't get very warm and cut the boot time in half versus the stock one platter 160GB 5400RPM drive.
    The heat/power consumption isn't an issue.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 8, 2011 8:02 AM
    AppleBlowsDonkeyBallsWestern Digital hard drives sound good in theory for laptops, but they're not. I would never use one unless they fix a fatal flaw.What flaw? The fact that the hard drive automatically goes to sleep (parks its head) after eight seconds of inactivity, and since this is hardwired into the firmware it completely dismisses what you set in your Power Options in the Windows 7 Control Panel. Why is this bad? Because if the HDD is inactive for more than eight seconds it needs to unpark its head, and that creates a very noticeable lag when launching applications or working with files because the process takes a few seconds to complete, not to mention it puts more stress on the HDD mechanics.Unless it's simply for a storage drive where you don't care about performance I recommend you go with Seagate, Hitachi, or Samsung for laptop HDDs instead.


    Hmm, my WD Scorpio Black 750GB park it's heads about once a minute. I can hear it lock. But I have never experienced any lag from it and so far it hasn't worn out. My load cycle count is a 50,000 so far no problems with 2696 of power on hours.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 8, 2011 8:04 AM
    Err, about every 3 minutes.
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