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Scorpio Blue: Big Notebook HDDs Go Mainstream

WD Scorpio Blue 500 GB Details (WD5000BEVT)

WD has been active in repositioning all of its products. Mainstream products are called “Blue,” power-efficient drives are named “Green,” and high-performance drives are called “Black.” This applies to the desktop series “Caviar” and the mobile series “Scorpio,” while the enterprise drives and all external products don’t yet carry these suffixes. However, we like the approach, as it allows buyers to get a quick feel for basic drive characteristics, such as performance, capacity, and power consumption.

Specs and Performance

The new Scorpio Blue at 500 GB has the product number WD5000BEVT, and it is the top model of the current mainstream mobile hard drive lineup. While the Scorpio Black at 7,200 RPM is available in sizes up to 320 GB, the Scorpio Blue is offered at 500 GB, 320 GB, 250 GB, 160 GB, 120 GB and 80 GB. All of the Blue drives spin at 5,400 RPM, utilize a SATA/300 interface with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) support, and come with 8 MB of cache memory.

Western Digital specifies a 12 ms average seek time, which translates into 16.2 ms average access time (including rotational latency). That’s a good result; only Seagate’s Momentus 5400.4 is slightly quicker, and other 5,400 RPM drives are slower when randomly accessing data. The Scorpio Blue at 500 GB also sets a new record in throughput, as it reaches 83 MB/s read transfer rate and hence beats the current mainstream champion, Samsung’s Spinpoint M5 (HM500LI). Just to show you how much progress has been made, 83 MB/s is more than a 750 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 desktop drive reached a little more than two years ago.

Power Consumption

In addition to performing well, the new Scorpio Blue also delivers excellent power consumption numbers. We measured idle power results for 2.5” mobile hard drives in the area of 0.77 W to 1.31 W (5,400 RPM drives). The WD5000BEVT consumes 0.8 W when idle, which is very close to the best result by Fujitsu’s MHY2250BH (a 250 GB drive). If you look at capacity per watt, WD does very well indeed. Also noteworthy is that we measured a maximum peak power of only 2.6 W, which is also close to the leader in this segment, Seagate’s Momentus 5400.5 at 2.45 W. Clearly, Western Digital created a very balanced drive.

Specification Table

ManufacturerWestern Digital
FamilyScorpio Blue
Model NumberWD5000BEVT
Max. Capacity500 GB
Other Available Capacities80, 120, 160, 250, 320, 400 GB
Spindle Speed5,400 RPM
Platters2
InterfaceSATA / 300
Cache8 MB
NCQYes
Height9.5 mm
Weight117g
Operating Temperature0-60°C
Specified Idle Power ( Low Power)0.85 W
Measured Idle Power ( Low Power)0.91 W
Warranty3 Years