2.5" HDD Galore: Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba

The New Notebook Drives For 2008 Are Here

It took the hard drive makers a while to exceed the maximum capacity of 160 GB at 5,400 RPM or 100 GB at a 7,200 RPM revolution speed. But ever since perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) took off, there seem to be new capacity points and new speed records almost every other month, especially in the 2.5" notebook hard drive segment. In this article we will summarize some news and look at three of the latest models.

Samsung, Toshiba and Western Digital were the first to provide 320 GB notebook hard drives. However, Samsung's Spinpoint M6 drive was the first product to reach our storage test lab Compare Prices on Spinpoint M6; the other two drives will follow shortly as they become available. These drives represent the crème de la crème of the high capacity notebook hard drive segment, while 7,200 RPM drives max out at 200 GB capacity.

The second drive in this roundup is Seagate's current Momentus 5400.4, which represents the fourth generation Momentus hard drive at 5,400 RPM. Although it arrived later than the 250 GB 5,400 RPM drives from Samsung or Western Digital, it has not yet reached 320 GB capacity.

Last but not least, we received Toshiba's 7,200 RPM top model shortly before the Holidays, and decided to include it in this mixed roundup as well. The 160 GB GSY drive isn't the top model, as there also is a 200 GB version. Based on our experience, though, performance should not differ very much, making the 160 GB model a good ambassador for the entire product family.

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