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Toshiba serves up 200GB on two platters

First INQpressions Toshiba 200GB 2.5" HDD
Thu Dec 07 2006, 11:46
THIS REVIEW FEATURES a device I would not have thought even remotely possible a few years ago, a 200GB notebook drive. Of course there was a time when this hack thought a 20MB hard drive was a marvel to behold, so I guess that's not saying much.


Of course the drive looks just like almost every other notebook drive around, but it seems to harbour some extra some extra shininess whenever I think about the capacity this little 98g thing has.


For the techinically inclined amongst you, this drive runs at 4200rpm and uses only two platters with 4 heads, an impressive feat of engineering indeed. It has an 8MB buffer and uses an ATA-7 interface, which of course limits its use to only modern notebooks or external HDD enclosures. Of course you can connect this drive to any S-ATA connector, even in a desktop PC, but you'll get much better performance and value from a normal 3.5" drive.

Speaking of performance, it's time to run this drive through its paces. I ran the drive on the HDTach benchmark against the Maxtor 40GB 7200rpm IDE drive already in the machine I connected the Toshiba drive to.


As you can see from main graph the Toshiba does a pretty job of maintaining performance during a sequential read test, while the Maxtor starts a lot higher but drops off very quickly. In the following HDTach tests the Toshiba drive flags somewhat. In the Burst Speed test the Toshiba drive operates at around 76.9MB/s whereas the Maxtor delivers 124.5MB/s. The notebook drive has a random access time of 19.6ms, with and average read of 33.6MB/s utilising roughly 2% of the CPU, whereas the desktop drive has a random access time of 14.7ms, with and average speed of 52.6MB/s, utilising practically 0% of the CPU.

These are synthetic tests, which don't always reflect real life performance. This becomes immediately apparent when measuring file copy speeds, for instance when copying a single 545MB file the Maxtor took 36 seconds to copy the file whereas the Toshiba took only 18 seconds, really showing off the improved data speeds in S-ATA compared to IDE.

In Short

If you're desperate for extra space and only have 2.5" of real estate to cram it into then the Toshiba 200GB notebook drive is certainly well worth while. Bear in mind the drive uses a S-ATA connector so its connection options are somewhat limited in that regard, but if you have a fairly modern notebook or small form factor external HDD enclosure that supports S-ATA then you're good to go. ?


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