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Six 2.5” High-Capacity Notebook Hard Drives

Samsung Spinpoint M8 HN-M500MBB (500 GB) And HN-M101MBB (1 TB)

Samsung targets the mobile computing and notebook market with its 2.5“ Spinpoint M8 family. You can choose between four different storage sizes: a 1 TB flagship (HN-M101MBB) and 750 GB model feature two 500 GB platters, whereas the 500 and 320 GB models only employ one platter. The manufacturer does not specify its storage density, but mentions AF support and the capacity increase enabled by AF.

Samsung sent us two Spinpoint M8 disks for this round-up, the HN-M500MBB (500 GB, $55 street price) and HN-M101MBB (1 TB, $90 street price).

Apart from the different capacities and platter configurations, all Spinpoint M8 models are identical. They have an 8 MB cache, a SATA 3Gb/s interface, and a 5400 RPM spindle. Compared to the M8’s predecessor, Samsung claims to have increased performance by about seven percent through a combination of AF and a higher-clocked SoC (system on chip) controller.


The performance of both Samsung notebook hard disks is average. The 500 GB model has a slightly higher sequential data rate than the 1 TB one, achieving a read rate of 84.7 MB/s and a write rate of 84.6 MB/s, which is quite good. It’s not good enough for the top spot, however, as Western Digital’s Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT is faster.

The 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint M8 loses out to its smaller sibling, sporting read speeds up to 79.9 MB/s and writes as fast as 79.7 MB/s, topping Hitachi’s Travelstar 5K750. If your main focus in choosing a 1 TB notebook hard disk is performance, the Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT will serve you better.

Compared to 7200 RPM drives, the Samsung disks offer lower power consumption. According to its data sheet, the Spinpoint M8 draws 2.2 W while in use and 0.7 W when it’s idle. Our tests confirm the idle power number, and demonstrate between 1.2 and 2.6 W for a disk in use.

  • arpitnathany
    On the western digital hard disk page the Western Digital Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT is mentioned as 750 TB please correct it.

    Nice article as a whole
  • arpitnathany
    On a lighter note I would love to have a 750 TB drive at that price
  • acyuta
    Good to have all the latest data in one place. Wish Dell had put in the 750GB Scorpio Black instead of 750GB Momentus in my XPS15.

    One minor point: good to know that i7-920 is now part of Sandybridge. Can you check???
  • JeTJL
    Wonder how well these things survive the drop test. If they can survive a fall that a SSD can sustain then I'll be up for it. Other than that wish higher capacity SSDs become cheaper.
  • Zero_
    Talk about a bad time for a hard drive comparison...
  • howardp6
    GoFlex is a Seagate disk product line not Western Digital
  • AppleBlowsDonkeyBalls
    Western Digital hard drives sound good in theory for laptops, but they're not. I would never use one unless they fix a fatal flaw.

    What flaw? The fact that the hard drive automatically goes to sleep (parks its head) after eight seconds of inactivity, and since this is hardwired into the firmware it completely dismisses what you set in your Power Options in the Windows 7 Control Panel. Why is this bad? Because if the HDD is inactive for more than eight seconds it needs to unpark its head, and that creates a very noticeable lag when launching applications or working with files because the process takes a few seconds to complete, not to mention it puts more stress on the HDD mechanics.

    Unless it's simply for a storage drive where you don't care about performance I recommend you go with Seagate, Hitachi, or Samsung for laptop HDDs instead.
  • cadder
    Current prices are a bit higher than what is mentioned in the article, actually pretty scary:

    Hitachi 750GB $140-160
    Samsung 1TB $220
    WD 750GB $160
    WD 1TB $230
  • ewood
    yeah prices are way off
  • youssef 2010
    I'd go with the WD Scorpio Black