Page 1:New 2.5" Hard Drives: More Storage, Faster Speeds (and More Power?)
Page 2:200 GB At 4,200 RPM: Toshiba MK2035GSS
Page 3:120 GB At 5,400 RPM: Western Digital Scorpio WD1200BEVS
Page 4:Test Setup
Page 5:Data Transfer Performance
Page 6:Interface Performance
Page 7:I/O Performance
Page 8:PCMark05: Windows XP Startup Performance
Page 9:Energy Consumption
Energy consumption is the area that surprised us the most, especially for the Western Digital Scorpio WD1200BEVS. In comparison to the comparable Fujitsu MHV2120BH, which is also a 5,400 RPM drive, WD's is almost a power hog. On idle power, the Scorpio pulled 43% more energy and under load it uses 45% more energy.
In the final analysis, notebook sized 2.5" storage is always a tradeoff between capacity, performance and power requirements.
The Toshiba MK2035GSS has the largest capacity of any standard-sized 2.5" hard drive we've tested and would be noteworthy for that fact alone. It also packs more power into less height than the same capacity-sized competitor from Fujitsu and is respectable in all major benchmarks. A speed demon this drive is not. It is, however, a viable option for less I/O-intensive tasks, where storage as opposed to access is the primary motivation.
The Western Digital Scorpio WD1200BEVS on the other hand is a solid performer. Though not top of the class, it's close. Though its power consumption numbers aren't marvelous, they're not bottom of the barrel either. Unless you really need to have the best of the best and are willing to pay the price for it, this drive is a sweet spin. Depending on the kind of deal you can get from your local reseller (or WD directly); it could also be a sweat deal.
On a cost-per-capacity basis, the Western Digital Scorpio WD1200BEVS works out to be about $1 per GB, based on the average cost as shown in our price comparison in Merchant Hound.
Toshiba's 200 GBs, however, come at a higher cost of $1.50 per GB, which is nearly 50% more than that of the Scorpio. If this were intended for desktop deployment, you'd probably have enough room to put two WD1200BEVS in one case and end up with a better deal. The Reality is that 2.5" drives are targeted at mobile deployment, where room for one is likely all that you'll get.
If you're looking for the most capacity in a 2.5" hard drive, Toshiba MK2035GSS is the choice to make, at least until another vendor comes out with a bigger drive. We expect to see 250 GB drives by spring 2007.