Enterprise Storage: Two 2.5" 600 GB Hard Drives Tested

Toshiba MBF2600RC (600 GB)

Toshiba has been very active recently, especially since the takeover of Fujitsu’s hard drive business. The overlap in the 2.5” notebook space is probably less significant than the fact that Fujitsu’s enterprise drives were a strong asset. Fortunately for Toshiba, the results appear profitable, as the latest mainstream enterprise 2.5” hard drive, the MBF2600RC, delivers very solid performance.

The Toshiba drive has a specification list similar to Seagate's model: 10 000 RPM spindle speed (10 025 to be precise), 16 MB of cache memory, and a 6 Gb/s SAS interface. Toshiba offers the same 450 GB and 600 GB capacities, but you can also opt for 300 GB. The latter runs two, instead of three platters, which should decrease power consumption.

We looked at the 600 GB drive. An excellent 3.5 W idle power comes courtesy of Toshiba's enhanced power condition state. This technology dynamically reduces spindle speed when the drive is not in use. Our active idle test requires the drive to be instantly available, but since there is no noticeable delay upon access, we can’t say anything negative about this feature. This is probably why the drive runs as cool as it does. A 54°C (rather than 60°C) surface temperature is quite a difference, and it's mirrored by the low power consumption numbers at maximum throughput, 1080p video playback, and workstation I/O.

A quick look at the benchmark results shows us that aggressive power savings don’t come at the expense of performance, although this isn’t the fastest 2.5”, 10 000 RPM enterprise drive across the board. The MBF2600RC delivers the best throughput of all comparable drives, and it delivers better I/O performance than the Savvio 10K.4. This is because Seagate apparently hasn’t optimized the latest Savvio drive for I/O performance at all. I/O numbers are still higher on older Savvio 10K drives and the Fujitsu 300 GB 2.5” MDB2300RC. In the end, the low power consumption paired with strong performance ensures that Toshiba’s 600 GB drive delivers great power efficiency.