Notebook HDDs Deluxe: 160 GB by Fujitsu, Seagate, Toshiba

Fujitsu MHW2160BH - 160 GB, 5400 RPM

This is the second largest, but the fastest 2.5" hard drive by Fujitsu. The MHW2160BH offers a capacity of 160 GB, is equipped with a Serial ATA/150 interface, and carries 8 MB of cache memory. There is a 200 GB drive, the MHV2200BT, but it has a height of 12.5 mm compared to the more common 9.5 mm, and it runs at 4,200 RPM. The 160 GB MHW2160BH rotates at quicker 5,400 RPM, yet doesn't consume too much energy. Fujitsu deploys its fluid dynamic bearing system to reduce noise, which it calls Silent Drive Technology.

After a look at our power consumption results, we found that the MHW2160BH is very energy efficient when compared to other 5,400 RPM drives. We measured an idle power of 0.7 W, which is less than the idle power of Hitachi's Travelstar 5K160 or the Seagate Momentus 5400.3 at 160 GB. However, Samsung's HM160JC is even more thrifty, requiring as little as 0.5 W in idle mode. The Samsung drive we tested before was equipped with an UltraATA interface, however, while the Fujitsu MHW2160BH runs Serial ATA, which, like many other serial technologies, may require slightly more energy.

The 17.8 ms access time is an average result, which both Toshiba and Seagate underbid. However, Seagate's 14.2 ms access time shouldn't be the benchmark, as the Momentus spins much faster.

A maximum sequential read transfer rate of 48 MB/s is an excellent result for a 5,400 RPM drive - as a matter of fact, it actually beats the maximum transfer rate of Seagate's first generation Momentus 7200.1. However, the average and minimum transfer rates could be a bit quicker, as Toshiba's 160 GB drive offers better performance as you fill the 160 GB with data. Fujitsu's drive reaches good results in PCMark05's hard drive benchmark, which tests file write performance and Windows XP startup time.

The operating temperature range of 5-55°C is very much standard for notebook hard drives today, as is the drive's weight of 101 g. Fujitsu states a component life span of five years, but it only offers a three year warranty.