Enthusiast 2.5" HDDs: Speed or Capacity?

Fujitsu MHW2160BJ: 160 GB, 7,200 RPM

The MHW 2BJ model family is the first 7,200 RPM product by Fujitsu. There are three versions available, offering 80, 120 and 160 GB capacities respectively. The 80 GB should requite a little less energy, as it is based on a single platter, while the two higher capacity models have two platters each. The data sheet states a maximum power draw of 5.5 W during spinup, and 2.1 W or 2.3 W read/write power (150 Mb/s SATA vs. 300 Mb/s SATA). However, we measured an activity power level of 3.4 W, which is clearly less than what other 7,200 RPM 2.5" drives demand. Effectively, the power requirement of this 7,200 RPM 160 GB drive equals the power draw of WD's 250 GB Scorpio drive or the Seagate Momentus 5400.3 at 160 GB, yet it spins much faster.

Its average access time of 16.0 ms cannot compete with that of other 7,200 RPM drives, which showed 14.2 to 15.4 ms average results. However, the minimum, average and maximum data transfer rates of the MHW2160BJ exceed all other models we've reviewed. Amazingly, the maximum transfer rate of 60.0 MB/s is slightly behind Samsung's new HM250JI at 61.8 MB/s, but the average and minimum transfer speeds are clearly faster, as is the interface bandwidth. That means that the new Fujitsu drive won't lose too much of its data rates once you get close to using the entire capacity. This drive also scores very well in the PCMark 05 application benchmarks, though it is not a high flyer in our IOMeter I/O benchmarks.

At 116 g, the 160 GB MHW2160BJ is not particularly light: several other drives weigh approximately 100 g. Fujitsu provides a three-year warranty for all internal hard drive models, which also covers this new product.