Three Generations Of 1.8" Hard Drives Benchmarked

160GB: MK1617GSG (2008)

The MK1617GSG is roughly two years old, but it serves as a perfect example to show how quickly capacities have developed in the 1.8” space (from 160GB in 2008 to 320GB in 2010 with the latest model represents a 100% boost in capacity). Desktop hard drives were already at between 1TB and 1.5TB and mobile hard drives had reached 500GB capacities by 2008 already.

This 160GB drive was available at 80GB capacity utilizing a single platter, or at 160GB enabled by two rotating platters. The SATA interface is specified for 1.5 Gb/s; native command queuing and an 8MB buffer memory are available nevertheless. Toshiba specifies 0.55W idle and 0.45W low power idle, which our power measurements confirm. Seek, reads, or write are rated at 1.4W. This is the case for the two newer drives, but not for this one: we measured up to 2.5W for streaming reads. That’s not an issue, though, as you would most likely go for one of the newer drives anyway.

Our performance benchmarks returned a maximum read transfer rate of 42 MB/s and a minimum sequential rate of 20 MB/s. Compared to performance numbers in the 2.5” and 3.5” this isn’t a lot, but the two following generations improved this performance characteristic a lot.