Western Digital Scorpio (WD6400BEVT, 640GB)
The new 640GB Scorpio Blue is almost as low on power as the Fujitsu MJA2500CH and delivers roughly the same transfer rates. However, WD reaches shorter access times and great I/O performance. Keep in mind that this is a 5,400 RPM drive, yet it matches Seagate’s 7,200 RPM Momentus 7200.4 in the database and file server tests where it technically shouldn’t.
The manufacturer specifies 2.5W for read/write operation and 0.85W idle power, which is close to what we measured: 0.7W idle and 2.6W for streaming reads. Intensive I/O activity resulted in 2.2W power consumption. In the end, WD’s streaming and workstation activity yielded average performance per watt.
WD has a marginal advantage when it comes to the operating environment, allowing for drive operation between 5°C and 60°C, while Fujitsu tops out at 55°C. However, Fujitsu’s drive is lighter; at 117g for the 640GB Scorpio Blue, WD weighs 16% more. In the end, the Scorpio’s power consumption is low, and performance is solid. However, WD could do better in the application benchmarks.
Two more high-capacity notebook drives are coming up soon, reaching 750GB and 1TB capacities. These will be using the same technical foundation, but work at modified parameters. Both will utilize three platters instead of two, and WD will reduce the spindle speed from 5,400 to 5,200 RPM. We’ll look at the new compact storage monsters once they arrive at our lab.