Western Digital Scorpio Blue (WD5000LPVT)
Western Digital's Scorpio Blue hard drive family slogan is "Big capacity for portable computing." This pretty much sums up what the line-up is all about. Fitting plenty of storage capacity into a small form factor that consumes as little power as possible while generating minimal noise is the Scorpio Blue's objective, not achieving blistering performance. Therefore, all of the models in this family have 5400 RPM spindles. The high-density drives should still achieve decent data rates, though.
Western Digital pushes the envelope when it comes to data density, packing up to 500 GB on a single platter. Beyond the 500 GB model on our test bench today, the Scorpio Blue series is also available in capacities of 250, 320, 640, 750, and 1000 GB. The 1 TB flagship (WD10JPVT) we tested a while back does its job in a 9.5 mm-high form factor, and thus fits into any notebook drive bay. But beware; Western Digital still manufactures a three-platter 1 TB Scorpio Blue called the WD10TPVT, which is 12.5 mm-high.
This time around, however, we chose to take a look at a very unique version of the 500 GB Scorpio Blue. It's a 6.8 mm-high, single-platter WD5000LPVT that should sport lower power consumption than most, if not all, two-platter disks. Indeed, the WD5000LPVT's datasheet, along with its 320 and 250 GB derivatives, reveals very low figures for power use.
Aggressive performance is not a primary design goal of the Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT. Nevertheless, the disk does offer a surprisingly high data rate. Its average sequential read and write operations clock in at 90.1 MB/s, surpassing the other two 5400 RPM contenders getting benchmarked for the first time: Hitachi's Travelstar 5K1000 and Toshiba's MQ01ABD100. The WD5000LPVT even matches two 7200 RPM models, Seagate's Momentus and Momentus XT.
The WD5000LPVT's access times are fairly typical: 16.3 ms (read) and 17.3 ms (write). We could only partially confirm Western Digital's specified low power consumption values. According to our measurements, the disk draws 0.4 W at idle; only Seagate's Momentus XT draws less power at 0.3 W. However, during a write stress test, the WD5000LPVT;s draw shot up to 3.3 W, which is significantly higher than the 1.5 W claimed in this drive's datasheet.