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Benchmark Results: Power Consumption And Efficiency

Reviewed: 2.5" Notebook Hard Drives From Toshiba And Hitachi

We tested power requirements at idle, at maximum streaming, at HD video  streaming, and at workstation I/O operation.

Idle power does not differ very much. Generally, 5,400 RPM drives require between 0.7W and 1.0W in active idle, which means that the drive has to remain spinning. Measuring standby power consumption doesn’t really make a lot of sense, as most drives are well below 0.2W or even 0.1W, leaving no noticeable difference, even after hours of notebook standby.

If you want maximum throughput, then the 7,200 RPM drives will require half of a watt more than the 5,400 RPM mainstream drive. All three candidates required around 3.0W in this test.

We also tracked power consumption for HD video playback off the hard drives. Hitachi’s Travelstar 7K500 consumes as much power (1.1W) as many 5,400 RPM drives. Seagate came in at 1.3W and Toshiba unfortunately requires 1.7W. If you spend hours at a time watching video, such as on an international flight, then this difference will certainly result in many minutes more or less of playback time. Obviously, the notebook, battery, and other applications running in parallel also make a difference.

Many I/O operations per second result in a 2.2W to 2.4W power requirement.

Power Efficiency

If we divide streaming performance (using I/O operations per second) by power consumption in watts, we receive an efficiency score. The two new drives do best here. Seagate is a bit behind since the Momentus 7200.4 requires more power while delivering less throughput.

Efficiency on workstation-type I/O operations is best on several 5,400 RPM drives, as their I/O performance isn’t much better or worse than on the 7,200 RPM drives, but power consumption is typically lower.

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  • 0 Hide
    wintermint , June 10, 2010 6:17 AM
    Can you also benchmark the noise level next time? I prefer a quiet PC :x
  • 2 Hide
    rocky1234 , June 10, 2010 7:15 AM
    wintermintCan you also benchmark the noise level next time? I prefer a quiet PC :x

    these are laptop drives so by nature they make very little noise.
  • 0 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , June 10, 2010 8:20 AM
    wonder how is the performance when put 2 7K500 on RAID 0 compare to the 3.5" 7200RPM HDD
  • 0 Hide
    LaloFG , June 10, 2010 9:22 AM
    Great to see more variety at 500GB.

    Nice article, except for the Vantage benchmark, i hope someday Tomshardware drop that type of benchmarks (same in games articles).
  • 0 Hide
    ietrinidad , June 10, 2010 11:25 AM
    The WD7500BPVT from Western Digital has a 9.5mm height, not 12.5mm as you had mentioned as being non-standard. Whereas the WD10TPVT has a 12.5mm height. I also personally own a WD7500BPVT, and it works great in my 15" MacBook Pro Spring 2009 Model.
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , June 10, 2010 2:32 PM
    Why these drives aren’t 640GB? Clearly they are using two 320GB platters so 640GB is the max size and not 500GB.
  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , June 10, 2010 2:32 PM
    HUH?!!?!? why is this news? I've had the Hitachi 7K500 (HTS725050A9A364) for over 4 month now, how is this news?!!?!
  • 0 Hide
    bmgoodman , June 10, 2010 2:50 PM
    Hey, why didn't you include the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid in your charts? Would make it much easier to compare! Thanks.
  • 0 Hide
    zoemayne , June 10, 2010 4:46 PM
    no one ever benchmarks temperatures. you should do that.
  • 0 Hide
    puddleglum , June 10, 2010 6:11 PM
    Hmmm. So are these 4096 Byte sector drives?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2010 9:09 PM
    Western Digital WD6400BEVT is a 640G drive according to WD. All the charts have it at 500G.
  • 0 Hide
    pinkfloydminnesota , June 10, 2010 9:51 PM
    Temperatures don't affect hdd life except at the extremes.
  • 0 Hide
    pinkfloydminnesota , June 10, 2010 9:56 PM
    nor do they effect it
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , June 10, 2010 11:06 PM
    Drive selection should be guided not by performance or cost but by reliability. Any extra megabyte per second or a few dollars off is nothing if the drive fails after a few months. For example the current Seagate drives have big reliability problems (check out user reviews on Newegg).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 11, 2010 4:09 AM
    and how do u benchmark reliability?
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , June 11, 2010 8:45 AM
    Yes sir there are lots of things you can read on their web site but how reliable they are no one can tell until you bought one and it fails.
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , June 11, 2010 2:15 PM
    As I said, check out user reviews on Newegg. Newegg lists users who bought that particular product from them so you know they're not bogus reviews. If a Seagate drive has 20% one-egg (worst rating) reviews and Samsung drive has 8% one-egg reviews, that says a lot about the quality and reliability of the drives. Of course this only works for popular products but it's better than simply hoping you're buying a reliable drive.
  • 0 Hide
    conebone96 , June 11, 2010 6:19 PM
    My Hp Dv7 came with two MK5056GSY (raid 0) they are very impressive no vibrations to speak of and extremely quite as well I should mention that HP does have jell cushions on each contact point but very impressive.

  • 0 Hide
    spamurnz , July 19, 2010 8:46 PM
    I've been looking for the best/most reliable 2.5" 500Gb 7200rpm hard drive for my MacBook Pro. After all of that research the Toshiba sounds like a very solid hard drive. Still, it's only been out for a month or two (7/19/10) So I just can't be sure. I was about to grab the Momentus Xt, but I'm scared after hearing some of the reviews about reliability.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2010 1:22 PM
    I am using this drive in the Macbook Pro 991. just upgraded two days ago. working great! silent and love it's speed. Friends of mine keep having problems with Seagate and WD.