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Notebook Hard Drive Roundup

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the you-spin-me dept.

Data Storage 122

Sivar writes "With the increasing popularity of notebooks and their growing use in gaming and workstation-like tasks, it is important to consider the performance of more than just the CPU and video. has a roundup of notebook hard drives which includes their new gaming and office tests, server performance graphs for those so inclined, and finally power usage and noise numbers which are particularly important for laptop hardware."

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Fuck'em (-1, Troll)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131603)

Seriously, if you want real reviews on noise&heat, just go to SPCR [] , at least these guys know what they talk about and their Recommended [] sections give you all the damn facts you need in the easiest possible way to read them

Re:Fuck'em (4, Insightful)

Sivar (316343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131887)

at least these guys know what they talk about
Right,, a website dedicated to reviewing hard drives since 1998, doesn't know what they are talking about when reviewing hard drives.

Don't worry, yours doesn't sound like a fanboy post or anything. ;)

and their Recommended sections give you all the damn facts you need in the easiest possible way to read them
Good point, because it is such a pain in the ass clicking on Performance Database [] at the top and then choosing to sort by NOISE or POWER DISSIPATION.

Seriously I don't know how anyone can be expected to figure that out.

Re:Fuck'em (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132715)

Well, he has a point.
Storagereview completely ignored noise until recently, and their test criteria are more then questionable.

They dont meassure access noise at all, and their idle nosie meassurements are usually in "xx mm" distance, with xx being a low number... Which doesnt mean shit, as this will only meassure noise emitted right there (whatever surface they put the sensor above), but not the "real" noise profile you get in normal (50cm or so) working distance.

Performance-wise, otoh, their testbed is very balanced and sensible.

Re:Fuck'em (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132780)

Right,, a website dedicated to reviewing hard drives since 1998, doesn't know what they are talking about when reviewing hard drives.

SR has never focused on noise and heat production factors until very recently. Their criterias are sub-par, as well as the documentation of their testing benches (check SPCR, they explain everything about their testing methodologies and update them as soon as they find a flaw).

SPRC has been focusing nearly exclusively on silence and heat issues (notice that it's what I was talking about?) for years, and go up to the pain of providing comparative audio records of the products they review in order for the reader to truely have the best informations they can provide (because, and that's something very few other than SPCR accept to tell you, dB is only a subset of the noise/silence experience, and the type/quality of the sound is almost as important)

Durability (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133196)

The review identifies the important qualities as: Capacity, Speed, Power Consumption, Heat Generation, Noise, and Ruggedness.

Then it measures only Office DriveMark 2006, High-End DriveMark 2006, FarCry, The Sims 2, World of Warcraft, IOMeter File Server Tests, Average Read Access Time, Average Write Access Time, WB99 Disk/Read Transfer Rate, WB99 Disk/Read Transfer Rate, Idle Noise, Idle Power Dissipation, Active Power Dissipation, 12V Maximum Power Dissipation, and 5V Maximum Power Dissipation.

Where's the Mean Baggage Checks to Failure?
Where is Height Droppable Without Crashing?
Where is Hours Baked at 75C without Melting Something?
Where is Minimum Functional Temperature?
Where is Number of Times Hit on Head with Frying Pan?
Where is Number of Watermelons Smashed with Working Drive?

Re:Durability (1)

Sivar (316343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133806)

Durability is generally listed in the drive's official specs, and manufacturers are far better equipped than any review website to test those things. Durability was mentioned only to establish how different considerations are when looking into hard drives for laptops vs. hard drives for desktops.
Really I don't see the big deal here.

Re:Fuck'em (1)

Mendy (468439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133676)

Right,, a website dedicated to reviewing hard drives since 1998, doesn't know what they are talking about when reviewing hard drives.

I've never been able to take SR that seriously since they lost their drive reliability results back in 2002 due to a HD failure :)

Re:Fuck'em (1)

Sivar (316343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133862)

"I've never been able to take SR that seriously since they lost their drive reliability results back in 2002 due to a HD failure :)"
Except that they didn't lose their database in a hard drive failure--it was deletion (the drive was fine). It isn't like Storagereview's website is run on an in-house server in which SR chooses the drives and controllers and such.
Like most review websites, it is run on a dedicated server on one of many hosting services. These companies generally have a generic (and cheap) configuration for easy maintenance, and do not allow "suggestions" for the storage infrastructure.
In fact, SR tried to get them to run the server on two Seagate Cheetah's, but the hosting provider did not want to alter the standard hardware for the server, and rightfully so--they wouldn't have replacement parts in case the Cheetahs died.

I am sure it seems cute and fun to say "ha ha, a storage website lost data!", but you really should learn at least a little about what really happened before making a sweeping decision like "therefore they can't be taken seriously."

Re:Fuck'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14131925)

Thank you for the very well structured critisism.

Re:Fuck'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14131971)

What do you have against Storage Review? They do a decent job, and have been around for years. Also, there are no reviews on any 7200 rpm notebook drives at SPCR. Is it possible for you to be helpful without talking like a know-it-all jackass?

Laptops really for gaming? (5, Interesting)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131607)

I see this hyped all the time, but do people really use their laptops for serious gaming? I mean a large portion of people? I have both a desktop and laptop, but would never use my laptop over my desktop. I see commercials with companies showing someone riding a bus playing a game on their laptop, and I just can't see that happening. Office applications I see the biggest use.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131719)

I'm personally considering a move to no-desktop computing. Laptops have come down so far that they're finally almost affordable, although as ever you can build a desktop to beat the pants off a laptop for something like half the price. I did a 3dmark test of my desktop (athlon xp 2500+) with a radeon 9700 pro against a mobile athlon 64 3000+ with a mobile radeon 9-something and I got literally twice as many 3dmarks as the laptop, so I wouldn't be able to play any of the hot new games worth a damn, but all of the older ones would be fine.

In addition, with console game systems becoming a more credible place to play first person shooters (see nintendo revolution's controller, eh?) I may not have any reason to play any non-strategy PC games. Those games [generally] need CPU more than graphics, so that should be fine.

Mostly, I don't have time to play PC games any more. Console games are usually broken up into smaller, more convenient pieces. Granted, you can usually save anywhere in a PC game, but it can be disorienting coming back in the middle of a mission. I believe the move towards laptops can also be seen as a move away from sitting on your ass in front of a big heavy display for long periods of time - people making that move probably aren't playing many PC games anyway.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Informative)

slaker (53818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131728)

On Saturday, for no particular reason, I bought a $1300 Gateway Athlon64/4000 with 1GB RAM and an X600 graphics chip (roughly on-par with a Radeon 9700).

I tried out Farcry on it. It played FINE (granted, not on the highest detail settings). I sat in the passenger seat of a car and played with a trackball.

Later, I tried City of Villains on it. It played fine.

This thing isn't even a "gaming" laptop. An X600 is modest, not exceptional, graphics hardware, but it's good enough for something as modern as Farcry. I'd say mobile gaming is at least a possibility on new hardware.

The other thing is... most laptops (including my 3-day-old Gateway) still ship with 4200rpm drives. And, amazingly, the bit-density of large drives (80GB or 100GB or 120GB) is still good enough to keep up with the faster-spinning power-hungry 5400 and 7200rpm models; drives with high density platters read data in larger chunks regardless. When I look at the trade-off in battery life for going to a faster drive, I'd have to say I'm a little put off. Mostly I'm going to load Firefox and/or a word processor on that thing, and that's about it. Even with a 7200rpm drive, I'm not going to get a huge subjective improvement in performance.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

Anubis333 (103791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131935)

Far cry plays fine on highest settings on my laptop.

Do you like Far Cry?

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132114)

$200 for "Zero Dead Pixel Insurance, Guaranteed no dead or partially-lit pixels for first 30 days of purchasing"?

Did you buy this option?

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132331)

Sager notebooks are basically unbranded versions of Gateway/Dell/HP machines, IIRC.
I've never quite been able to trust their products, truth be told.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132454)

Sager notebooks are basically scary, over the top laptops. You can get them with RAID for chrissakes.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

ArcheKlaine (859416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134006)

Sager is the US seller of clevo notebooks in the US. They are the people who provide the notebooks to retailers such as Hypersonic [] , Alienware [] , and a few other retailers. Sager's direct-consumer tech support is admittedly pretty bad, but that's because they do their business through retailers, and prefer to do consumer tech support through them. (Besides, the retailers give 200 dollar or so discounts off of Sager's prices as is.)

I myself use a Sager NP9860 as my main workstation. It's simply the highest quality laptop I've ever used. Well worth the absurdly high price for the performance it gives. It's heavy as hell for a laptop, not meant to be portable, but I carry it around school and work all day as is. When the day's done, having a laptop that can play the latest games maxed out at 1680x1050 is fairly nice.
I eagerly await the release of the NP9750, which is an AMD-powered equivalent to the NP9890.
If you want to learn about notebooks, the best place to discuss them is going to be at NotebookForums [] . It has a large, active, friendly (providing you don't make fun of certain user's favorite retailers.) community willing to discuss just about anything about laptops.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

m_chan (95943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132338)

I would respectfully offer an alternate opinion regarding performance and power. I have used a Fujitsu 4200rpm 30GB drive and a Hitachi 5400rpm drive 40GB prior to my current Hitachi 7200rpm 60GB drive, all in a Dell latitude D600 running whatever version of Fedora was/is current.

The 7200rpm drive is significantly faster on boot. Last I timed, I think it was close to 20 seconds faster than the 4.2k. Applications jump up when launched, and gnome panel menus draw almost instantly when first opened as opposed to looking like they will open "when they get around to it". OpenOffice launches much more quickly as well. I timed the boot and the application performance a while back. I don't have the numbers handy on the machine I am at but it was a substantial difference. Moving large chunks of data like multimedia files is night and day. 27MB/sec sustained transfer rates on the 7.2k vs. what was it, 14MB/sec iirc, on the 4.2k? It's quite perceivable.

Battery life is practically identical; the 7.2k drive draws three watts active as opposed to 2.7 on the 4200, whereas they both idle at around .8 watts. With the drive set to spin down after 10 seconds of inactivity and commit journal writes every 10 minutes, the drive is idle most of the time anyway. And even then, those numbers are not even on the radar as far as major factors in power draws on the system. One notch of brightness on the lcd draws more than that.

I would not have changed drives just for the performance increase. However, I needed more space and the performance boost was a nice side benefit with no downsides except the capital outlay.

Best regards,


Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132365)

ThinkPads typically ship with 5400RPM drives, but the difference when you upgrade to a 7200RPM drive is still *stunning.* This is the number one change you can make to increase the speed of running your system, and IMHO is well worth the loss in maximum battery life. I can't even imagine a 4200RPM drive...

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132491)

I replaced the 30 gig 4200rpm drive in my T23 with a 60 gig 7200 7k60.

It made one hell of a difference.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Interesting)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131748)

I've been on campus again recently because of a night class I'm taking. Here's what I've noticed:

For a lot of college kids these days, the laptop is their only computer. If a game doesn't run on a laptop, they don't play it. They are more likely to own a handheld console than a desktop PC.

As far as I can tell, Quake III and City of Heroes were made strictly for the VH-1 demographic (and their children.) Young adults are mostly giving the PC game scene a pass.

The one exception seems to be World of Warcraft, which actually plays pretty well on low-end laptops. (I've played it on an iBook myself, and found that it worked quite well.)

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14131751)

I see this hyped all the time, but do people really use their laptops for serious gaming?

For serious gaming, no. But for fun gaming, sure.

I don't normally play games, but when I'm travelling it's a fun way to kill time when I don't feel like doing actual work on my laptop. Granted I have an older laptop (Thinkpad T23) and even older games to run on it.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Interesting)

cbrhea (929943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131753)

My new laptop has become my primary machine at home for coding, gaming, blogging, etc.

The desktop has been relegated to filesharing and being used by the wife.

Yes, it's becoming more popular.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

serverleader (718422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133253)

Same case here ... but now wife wants a laptop too :( ....
I'm waiting on the intel procesors on macs to get her one! :)

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131755)

I play games on my laptop all the time. I have a geforce go 6800, and most games are more than fast enough. Assuming i'm not going to try fps head to head, it's fine. I love the fact that I can play civ iv at barnes and noble while my wife studies.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (3, Funny)

Macphisto (62181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131761)

"Serious gaming"?

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Insightful)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131786)

I would imagine it to be too costly to do gaming on a laptop. The heat issue, graphics cards that can't be upgraded, and power consumption in general would be too much. I suppose if you could afford it, why not, right?

For me, though, the laptop isn't a gaming platform. It'll run Unreal Tournament II decently, but Enemy Territory runs at maybe 20fps max (10fps average). Yeah, it's not's also not too upgradeable. Definitely not as tweakable as a good ol' desktop. If by "gaming" you mean an occasional bout of Frozen Bubble, then sure, why not? Anything needing more oomph, probably not.

Maybe there's a market for it out there, like there's a market for high-priced luxury cars. All I know is that I'm not its intended target 'cause I couldn't afford a gaming laptop nor could I justify preferring one over a desktop for gaming.

You'd want to plug it into a bigger monitor anyway. You'd need a power outlet for extended gameplay. You'll need a table to set it on 'cause it'll be really WARM from all that processing/spinning. You'll most likely plug in a USB optical mouse with one of those gaming mousepads. Did I mention you'll have a hard time upgrading the graphics card? In the end, you might as well have a desktop.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132054)

On some of your better laptops (ie Sager, Quanta, which you can get through companies like, they offer upgradeable graphics chipsets through a recently standardized slot system.
Power consumption isn't much of a factor...when you're doing anything that requires special attention (ie work or gaming), you'll likely be stationed somewhere and plugged in. Some of the 12lb monsters that Sager puts out pretty much assume you'll be using the thing at a desk. As for monitors, there are models with 17-inch screens available and 19-inchers are coming soon. If you need something bigger, just output to a TV.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133445)

but Enemy Territory runs at maybe 20fps max (10fps average)

Hmmm. Really, the same Enemy Territory that I can play fine on my Matrox G550 (which has very little 3d acceleration to speak of...)?

Admittedly I'm playing with almost all details set to "low" (which has some advantages btw, for example I can sometimes see enemy players shine through walls ;-) ) and I'm not sure right now whether I run it at 800x600 or 1024x768 but I think it's the latter even.

The performance with these settings is good enough for a fluid game (~40fps or so?) and I don't miss the high textures / effects all that much. After all gameplay is what counts and that's what ET delivers par excellence.

Since most modern laptops ship with graphics chipsets that have better 3D acceleration than my old matrox
I'd be really surprised if they weren't good enough for ET - probably even at higher detail settings than I am using.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14134087)

I'm running a 9700(?) mobility radeon with 16MB of RAM, direct rendering is enabled. Ubuntu box. P4 2.4GHZ, 256MB RAM, 40GB HD. I've tried the tweaks and stuff and can't get more than maybe 20fps. If it ever hit 40, it'd be indoors. Lowest setting as well. I've had cg_drawparticles off. I've even tried fluxbox to see if I can drop the amount of resources used by KDE but things still crawl.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134191)

Hmm. Maybe I'm more resistant to lag, but 20fps sounds very low to me. I haven't measured it (don't even know the console command) but the game is definately playable for me. No noticable delays, e.g. turning the mouse moves the viewport instantly and without flicker or stutter.

Admittedly there is one map (the one with the rain, don't recall the name) that cause noticable lag. But it's only that one map and it's still playable. I assume that on in that map it would go down to around 20fps in certain situations but most of the time it's still fast enough to hand out precise headshots...

Maybe the G550 is actually better than it's reputation but no 3d-game except counterstrike and ET would run
at an acceptable framerate.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14131789)

i would like to say that i use my laptop for gaming and video wathcing as much as i used to use my desktop. for my freshman year i got a nice new laptop and my intention was to give my big noisy desktop to my sister. however this has yet to hapen due to me wanting a few movies well a crapload of movies and tv from my desktop. i play games on it because i hate starting the desktop up anymore and my laptop works just as good. i fly rather often at least as far as im concerned for a college student and my laptop in the airport and on the go is rather nice. while i do not play games on the bus i do spend plenty of time on campus between classes and live off campus so a few games while at school is nice to break up the day. however this laptop is more a desktop replacement and is heavy and large for a portable computer, but when going places it is used and quite often it is used at home so i dont have to install games twice to play them.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131825)

do people really use their laptops for serious gaming?

It depends on what you consider serious. I use my laptop to play stuff like EQ2, Civ 4 and Evil Genius but when it comes to FPSs I'm still a desktop devotee; for one reason it's cheaper and another is that I normally don't use my laptop on a desk, so in the matter of keyboard/mouse play the desktop is more natural to me.

Could I use my laptop to play HL2? Sure, but my performance would suffer simply because of layout over computing power.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

LaPoderosa (908833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131834)

Graphics cards which can rival their desktop equivilents have been the main bottleneck to laptop gaming. They've come a long way over the last few years though.

I have personally just hit the threshold where I'm prepared to give up my desktop gaming for the convenience of a laptop - I just purchased a Dell XPS M170 [] which includes a GeForce 7800 Go. It benchmarks at 87fps on Doom 3, high quality, 1024x768, 4xAA, which is on par with higher end desktops.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132193)

Congrats you own a really expensive gameboy. :-) /me spent the last two days getting two 256Mbit carts loaded with Goomba and PocketNES [along with a huge collection of GB and NES games]. Retro-gamer!

To me it makes a bit more sense. It's easier to snap a gameboy out at an airport or on a plane, the batteries last longer and frankly nothing beats a good match of some mid-90s GB game with ridiculous plotlines and often hard to decipher graphics [that said I'm a FF2 addict :-)].


Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Insightful)

meisenst (104896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131899)

Yes. People do.

I used my laptop (Eurocom D500P, basically a branded Clevo) for gaming for quite a while. It had a mobile ATI 9600 Pro, 1 GB of RAM, 60 GB HD, and was a very reasonable gaming machine. Still is, but it can't handle some of what I play, notably Everquest, and that is mostly due to the game's horrible graphics engine.

Games like q3 arena, BF1942, Steam and all of its bits, and even Battlefield 2, Doom 3, Quake 4 run pretty decently with appropriate settings levels. This would probably go for any laptop that is similarly outfitted, including the Compaq/HP nc8000 that I use at work (which also has a Mobility Radeon in it). I haven't played around with any geForce Go laptops, so no idea how they fare.

Now, keep in mind that this machine, like most that can be used for high end gaming, are laptops of the "portable but plugged in" variety. They'd likely run out of battery life in minutes rather than hours if left unplugged.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131928)

You don't need bleeding edge hardware these days. My girlfriend picked up a AMD 3 GHZ laptop with 512 meg of ram for about a grand. We didn't even look at the video card specs at the time. Turns out the thing has some random ATI Mobility card (X200?). At any rate, I installed Guild Wars and it ran great.

So, your standard, middle of the road laptop runs most modern games just fine these days. You don't have to blow $3k on a "Gaming" laptop, as long as you don't mind playing at less-than-max settings, with moderate frame rates.

I don't really understand the guys who opt for 100 FPS at max res anyway. I can frag your ass just fine at 1024x768 at 30 FPS -- and spend the $1500+ I saved on shit that matters.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

Slacker (3964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132305)

I agree 100%.

My Sharp RD-10 is about 2 years old (at the time it was high-end) and still plays everything I throw at it. I don't do really "serious" gaming on any platform, but when I see a new FPS or strategy game that I'd like to give a spin, I haven't really ever run into a problem. It's got a P4, 2.8 GHz desktop CPU, a GeForce 420 Go, 512 MB ram and on-board mini-pci wireless so really still not too bad by modern specs. While the battery life isn't anything to brag about, it has no problem doing what I need it to do on the gaming front.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

glaswegian (803339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131930)

Sure, why not. Anyone who doesn't have the money for two computers could want a "desktop replacment" laptop. My laptop was sold with just that in mind and I have played quite a few games on it. However I do agree that playing a game on the bus coming home from work is just marketing schmooze.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

Peter H.S. (38077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132049)

I see this hyped all the time, but do people really use their laptops for serious gaming?

Yes. I believe that Notebook sales already have surpassed desktops PC's in many countries. In a not so distant future, notebook computers will constitute the wast majority of computers in peoples home.

Besides, even desktop PC's will soon use 2.5" "notebook" hard discs, instead of 3.5" discs. Of course there will be a transition period, but PC hardware will continue to shrink in size. (full height 5.25" SCSI drives, oh what sound they made when starting.)


Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132056)

I'd say you're right. My laptop has the occasional game of Half-Life 1 played on it, but for the most part, I use Writer, Calc, Firefox, and Evolution and maybe play some music off my hard drive or online.

They should have tested the 100GB version of the Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 instead of the 80GB. I paid under $150 for it in September (after my original 4200 rpm 60GB HDD died) and it is a little faster than the 80GB version that a friend has in his laptop.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

idokus (902277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132127)

I see commercials with companies showing someone riding a bus playing a game on their laptop, and I just can't see that happening.

I don't see them either, but that's probably due to natural selection, for those who try probably their laptop gets nicked before long.
(Those who don't try get a better chance of maintaining ownership)

MSI-1036 17" Turion 256MB X700 laptop (1)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132212)

One of these [] would be fun to have. (And the notebook's nice too...) They appear to be out in Europe already and should hit America soon.

Throw in an AMD Turion MT40 (2.2GHz, 25W) CPU (see, 2GB RAM (Crucial PC3200, ~$240), that Hitachi 100GB 7200RPM HD (see, along with the stock 17" widescreen and 256MB Radeon X700 GPU and you'll have a seriously nice gaming notebook.

If you want something really outrageous, the Clevo D900K [] notebooks take Athlon 64 X2 dualcore CPUs and GeForce 7800 Go GPUs. Heavy though.

There are some nice 15.4" Turion notebooks with X700 GPUs too from Acer and MSI [] .

Hopefully we'll see some really neat stuff next year when nVidia's new notebook chipset comes out.

My notebook has a lowly GeForce 440 Go though because apparently nobody at HP is into gaming. Nice machine otherwise though.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132364)

I see this hyped all the time, but do people really use their laptops for serious gaming?
I don't use laptops for gaming, based on person experience. I'm a college student who uses a desktop at school and the family laptop at home. I recently got addicted to World of Warcrack, and I really needed a fix while I was home for Thanksgiving. Remember, World of Warcraft isn't an extremely demanding game compared to some of the FPS titles out there, but it ran sluggishly at times on my family's new laptop. We're talking about a desktop replacement type laptop, one of the big 9 lbs suckers with every option available (including a Radeon graphics chip, can't remember the exact number sorry). I turned all the graphics options down, used the lowest resolution, closed all other programs... still, it ran poorly.

As for people riding the bus playing a game, that's obviously BS. Most games are torture to play without a mouse--the trackpad doesn't cut it. My old laptop was great for working on reports while I was on the train in the morning, or surfing the web at the student center. But gaming? No way.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14132852)

I see commercials with companies showing someone riding a bus playing a game on their laptop, and I just can't see that happening.

Laughing guiltily here. I play Neverwinter Nights on the bus every single day on my laptop, mainly because between job and family, that is the only time I can justify playing a game! When at home, I would rather spend time with family, and when at work, I would rather work... and er... post to Slashdot??

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14133041)

Not being a person who can afford two computers, I use my laptop as my primary gaming platform very much. It may not be able to run the most recent games, but it can run XP (and Linux, but running Linux isn't exactly impressive, XP is the bloat software here), play Worms 3D and my collection of good 'classic' games (from about the age of said Worms game to stuff that needs a virtual PC to run nowadays) at full speed, play flash and java games online (most of what I play recently), and so forth fine.

Laptops are just a bit slower and weaker in the graphics department than PCs. No one asks how X-month old computer can be used as a gaming platform, but everyone asks how a newer laptop that is, in fact, more powerful, can be used as one. Laptops aren't as slow and unable to play games as they are painted. Just a bit slower and more expensive than PCs. Remember that. :)

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

StANTo (934526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133235)

You're really missing a great scope of the laptop market with such a statement as that. A large proportion of laptop users are University students who purchase one for it's portability at having to travel to and from home at times of the year; sometimes as far as another country and aren't prepared to trapes a desktop system so far. Just like anyone; being human they want some entertainment. Everyone's got a computer of some form so they want to play computer games. This pushes some laptops to need to be powerful. It's true though, that they don't necessarily have to be (as another article on slashdot suggests) as most people just need it for web surfing and producing office-esque documentations. There is the need, there, though to have laptops as powerful as a desktop PC for gaming. A computer 'sibling' to this need is the shuttle PC; which is a more specific system that's designed to be minimalistic, portable and used for 'LAN Gaming'.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (1)

Browncoat (928784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133447)

I bought an Asus M6Ne for that exact reason. I'm in college and I can't have a desktop and a laptop. My solution was to have a laptop. It's got a Radeon 9700 and it works just fine with most of the FPS I play.

Of course I'd rather have a desktop, just to be more upgradable but having a laptop that can do most of what I want is the best of both worlds.

Re:Laptops really for gaming? (2, Informative)

DarkTempes (822722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133643)

I *only* use my laptop for gaming.

My other 'desktop' computers are used as servers or for work-only (aka workstations).

There are quite a few valid reasons for using a laptop for gaming. For one, I like to be able to sit on my bed or sofa and play Battlefield 2 without any lag via 802.11g and a logitech wireless mouse. I like to be able to bring my laptop easily to my friends' houses or to LAN partys without having to worry about alot of cables or weight (though my laptop is pretty heavy). I like to be able to do some horrible mundane task in WoW while watching an utterly crappy SciFi movie on TV in comfort. The main difference of a laptop over a desktop is portability at the cost of more $$ for equal performance. Otherwise there is nothing stopping even affordable (read ~$1000) laptops from being decent to great (~$2000) gaming machines.

No, given power constraints, I don't do ANY real gaming on battery only. My laptop would only last 40 minutes or so with that scenario and that's what, one round of BF2?

My current laptop is an Alienware and before that I had a Dell that I used just as much (and was alot cheaper), and with a little lag was also perfectly fine for all my FPS needs (played doom 3 fine and that was like a radeon 9600 mobile w/ 64MB of ram or something? maybe 128).


Proctal Relapse (467579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131616)

Sarah Silverman is a Zionist puppet of the Elders

AYE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14131918)

I second that..

Toshiba missing (3, Informative)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131620)

They didn't review any Toshiba drives in this roundup, which they readily admit in their conclusion. This is maybe a sampling or a survey but not a comprehensive roundup.

Re:Toshiba missing (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132167)

That's a shame. I got one of the newer Toshiba 40GB / 5200-RPM / 16MB buffer drive to replace the IBM 20GB / 4200-RPM / 2MB buffer drive that came with my Dell Inspiron 1100. That drive rocks and the performance increase was quite noticeable.

Re:Toshiba missing (1)

ezthrust (564219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133683)

maybe it is because they couldn't get one to run long enough. I have had two Toshibas in my 12" powerbook (one from Apple, the other I bought and installed myself) the first lasted two years, the second, a year and a half. The first I am not too upset about, as I was carting my laptop to and from work, sometimes only puting the 'book to sleep, not powering it off. I was asking for trouble. I coddled the second one though, taking it off the cooling stand at home only sparingly (I didn't want to go through all that again) And it lasted an even SHORTER time! I will NEVER EVER buy another Toshiba hard drive. EVER.

Re:Toshiba missing (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133751)

Sorry to hear about your luck, but if that were really the case, then don't you think that's readership would have been keenly interested in learning that information?

Hard Drive Speed? (1)

matr0x_x (919985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131635)

You mean my 7200 RPM disk isn't necessarily the best around for gaming :(

It's too bad... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14131641)

...that most of the time you can't elect to put a faster hard drive in your laptop from the factory. I've bought laptops, and then had to retrofit them because they didn't sell a bigger or faster version.

And what really sucks is... (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131818)

... you can't just pop the old drive into your desktop box. Sure, the adapter [] 's cheap, but it's not like buying a new 3.5" drive and just stuffing it in.

The solution: (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132228)

Get a portable 2.5" USB2/Firewire enclosure, there are even some with both interfaces. That's what I did when I had a 40GB drive sitting around gathering dust. I have a USB2 enclosure, which was 30 buckaroos, and apparently it draws so little power that it dosen't even need the wall wart that it came with. Bonus. The only problem is that it's sorta noisy, but it's relatively fast. It's great for moving big files around, and it's quicker and more cost effective than burning to DVD for most things.

Along with a knoppix CD, it's also most handy when some relatives' computer dies for some mysterious reason. :) Then again, I sometimes I wish my relatives had never met a computer. :(

Re:And what really sucks is... (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133525)

Oh c'mon, the adapters are really cheap, I paid like $5 for mine, including the mounting rails and already regret not having bought more at the time to save on shipping. I'm using an older 2.5" drive in my desktop because it makes much less noise than the 3.5" drives and also after a over year the noise hasn't increased noticably like I expirienced with all previous 3.5" drives that I had in there.

I don't think I'll ever use a 3.5" drive in my desktop again, those are good for the "home-server" in the other room where noise doesn't matter.

Re:It's too bad... (1)

aclarke (307017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134126)

5 minutes before noticing this article on /. I ordered a new 15" Powerbook. The default drive is a 5400rpm 80GB drive. I was also offered the following choices:

  • 100GB 5400rpm for $100 extra
  • 100GB 7200rpm for $200 extra
  • 120GB 5400rpm for $200 extra

I know that Apple isn't "most of the time" but if you're buying an Apple it's "all the time" ;-) I opted for the 7200rpm 100GB drive and after reading this article I'm glad I did.

The best notebook harddrive? (2, Insightful)

intmainvoid (109559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131658)

is an external firewire drive!

Re:The best notebook harddrive? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132328)

And Kudos to storagereview for comparing laptop vs desktop [] drives in this test. The conclusion is that a good destkop drive pumps out 30-50% more IOs than a good laptop drive (even 7200 rpm ones). But the desktops drives' power consumption is relatively awful :)

It really makes me question the use of a laptop drive (and a slow one at that) in the cheapest Macintosh, but oh well.

Re:The best notebook harddrive? (1)

Sarkoon (242637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134088)

Not anymore. Now you see some laptops shipping with external Serial ATA connectors on them hooked up internally to the PCI-Express bus. Get a fast desktop SATA drive with an external power source and you'll have much better performance than any internal laptop hard drive.


My 7k60 screams (4, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131734)

I replaced the factory hard drive in my 12" PowerBook with a 7k60 a couple years back or so. The speed difference was so huge from a normal user perspective I wondered if the factory drive had always been defective. After trying other powerbooks, I have seen the factory drives are just really slow and the 7k60 is really fast.

It's hard to express in words how much faster my machine "felt" in everyday use. Startup time alone went from so slow where I always put the thing to sleep -- to my shutting down quite often now because it doesn't seem to take an eternity to boot.

Number and words do not do justice to the speed improvements possible by upgrading a slow 4200RPM drive for a 7K(whatever) drive. If you can afford it, I highly suggest you consider upgrading your slow laptop drive to a 7200rpm drive even if your factory drive is not dead (and out of warranty), which was the case for me.


Re:My 7k60 screams (1)

bprime (734645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131855)

I've just downloaded the new hard drive update, and my powerbook feels much snappier!

Re:My 7k60 screams (1)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131947)

Ditto, I put the same drive in a 1GHz 17" PowerBook and the performance improvement was very dramatic.

Re:My 7k60 screams (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132155)

Two words. "Ram cache".

I have a Seagate 4200RPM drive in my laptop and while initial startup may be a bit slower than my desktop (by a matter of seconds) application performance is just fine.

Oh did I mention I have 768MB of ram in it and I'm not running Windows?

That's why when I look at buying a new laptop [to replace this thing when it eventually dies] I always look at the max ram. My next one will likely have 768 or 1GB initially [I originally upgraded this laptop from 256M to 768M].

Ram is cheaper on the power than a "really fast hard drive" and in practice is faster too. I start many shells for instance, each time it loads "xterm" [and the shared libraries] they're in cache [or the .so cache] which is a heck of a lot faster than from a 7200RPM disk.

Not saying a 7200RPM wouldn't be nice but if I had to make a choice between spending money on memory or a fast HD I'd rather the memory.


Re:My 7k60 screams (1)

n8_f (85799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132794)

Well, I've got a gig and a quarter in my iBook and I still noticed a huge difference when I went to a 7K60. I got it for less than $150 a little over a year ago and I'm really glad I did (upgrading an iBook's hard drive is an afternoon's work). RAM is definitely great, but it isn't too hard to max it out in a laptop and upgrading the hard drive is really a complementary rather than alternate upgrade.

I love being able to copy files and start applications and do a variety of other disk I/O bound tasks faster on my 1 grand iBook than my brother can do on his 2.5 grand PowerBook.

Re:My 7k60 screams (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133149)

well not owning a mac I can't say but my Compaq laptop works just fine with a 4200. Sure I notice it chugs at huge program loads like openoffice or whatever, but that's just the first time.

I suppose you are right though. Getting both a decent HD and amount of ram doesn't hurt and makes sense. Specially if you're a mac user, you have money to spend :-)


Re:My 7k60 screams (1)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132238)

The 5400 rpm drive in my laptop died recently. When looking for a replacement I decided for the same price to upgrade the speed of my drive rather than the capacity. I upgraded from a 5400 rpm 60 gig drive to a 7200 rpm 60 gig. The difference in speed is not very large, but it is definately very easy for me to notice an increase in performance in all aspects of my computing.

Re:My 7k60 screams (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133824)

Just curious, what brand and what model hard drive did you buy? I prefer to stick with known brands like Seagate, but they seem to be quite slow in coming up with fast laptop drives...

Even the Momentus 5400.2 is a nice drive (1)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134049)

I stuck one in my ThinkPad T22 in place of the 4200 RPM TravelStar that came with it, and the difference is quite noticeable! I'm sure that the much larger cache is what makes the bulk of the difference. It's also much quieter.

That old drive was a major bottleneck, even though I have 256 MB RAM on this system. I ended up putting the old drive into a cheap USB enclosure.

Flash hybrid drive (3, Interesting)

griffindj (887533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131742)

ahref= storage/story/0,10801,101330,00.html/rel=url2html- 18969 [] torage/story/0,10801,101330,00.html/>

Samsung is planning on releasing a hybrid flash/disk drive in the second half of 2006, which is around the same time as Vista. The hybrid drive is said to use 10% less power by reducing spin up times and also reducing hd failure caused by dropping. When the flash memory is full the data is then written to disk.
What will they think of next?

Re:Flash hybrid drive (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133300)

Now if I could only keep the pagefile on the flash portion and the rest of the data on the magnetic part...

Re:Flash hybrid drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14133521)

That would be bad: it would prematurely wear out the flash memory from excessive writes. You'd be better off to just increase your system RAM and turn off the paging/swap file entirely.

The read caching is what I'm curious about. If these hybrid drives had larger solid-state read-ahead caches too, then they would beat the pants off a traditional drive in both power and burst performance.

Hugely useful, especially for Mac users (2, Insightful)

Rackstraw (782748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131799)

About time someone did this! Ditto to the other post about huge speedups when getting rid of old 4400 Powerbook drives.

With more and more people doing video editing and compression (Final Cut, iMovie) and audio stuff (Logic, GarageBand)... it's very valuable to do this stuff on the go. It's not just gaming that sucks up resources.

So kudos to SR for putting this together, and it would be nice for Apple to provide speedier config options for its customers.

Notebooks are great, (0)

spazmolytic666 (549909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14131807)

yes, but do they run linux??

Re:Notebooks are great, (0, Offtopic)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132119)

Yes, they do. This 2002-vintage Gateway 600 has been since '04 and runs better on Linux than it ever did on XP.

Notebook hard disk sizes haven't grown (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14131902)

Notebook hard disk sizes haven't grown much in the last few years. In the late 1990s, notebook hard disks were getting bigger by leaps and bounds. In 1996, an average notebook hard disk was under one gig. By 1998, a low-cost notebook hard drive at Fry's was in the 3 gig range. In 1999, that became a six gig hard disk. By 2003, low-cost notebook hard disks were 40 or 60 gigs in size. Then they stopped growing.

The hard disks being compared here have an 80gb or 100gb size; the biggest notebook hard disks I have seen are 120gb hard disks. We broke the 80gig barrier about a year ago; if disks were growing the way they were in the 1990s, we would have 160gb notebook hard disks by now. I get the feeling that it is going to take a few years to break the 200gb barrier.

I get the sense that the technology is maturing and that people aren't interested in getting really big hard disks any more. So we're not seeing the growth factors we used to have.

Re:Notebook hard disk sizes haven't grown (2, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132158)

The hard disks being compared here have an 80gb or 100gb size; the biggest notebook hard disks I have seen are 120gb hard disks. We broke the 80gig barrier about a year ago
In fact we broke the 80 GB barrier a lot longer than a year ago. My T40 is well over 2 years old and came with an 80 GB drive.

After Seagate announced their next-generation 100 GB 7200 RPM drives (Momentus 7200.1), I waited over a year, checking every few months for availability. They never came and I gave up. Now I see they've finally been released, but sheesh, on the desktop, 100 GB drives are getting pretty rare because they're just too small to bother with.

Re:Notebook hard disk sizes haven't grown (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132749)

When you consider the size limitations placed on notebook drives (smaller platters/surface area, fewer platters per drive; I would assume the data density is the same) you can easily see why they haven't moved too far. Thanks to perpendicular recording, there are now 160GB drives with 200GB coming along soon, but I can't see them getting much bigger than that.

Re:Notebook hard disk sizes haven't grown (1)

ezthrust (564219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133727)

I disagree. The cost involved in buying a 120gb laptop drive is just too high. Last year the difference between buying a 80gb HD and a 100gb HD was almost double. That kind of markup makes no sense. When buying desktop hard drives the $:gb ratio goes down, why should it go up for laptops?

I want an upgrade (2, Informative)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132101)

I've been wanting to upgrade my IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T43 with either a Hitachi 7K100 or Seagate Momentus 7200.1.

Problem is this laptop has a SATA->IDE bridge chip (apparantly made by Intel). So you can use an IDE drive.

Problem this gives is that most drives (with rare exception) generate a BIOS error on startup, that IBM/Lenovo has so far failed to fix.

I'm really hoping they get it fixed. With that drive, this would be the top performing laptop on the market. It really is a nice laptop. It does have a little thermal problem, causing the fan to stay somewhat loud, even when thermals cool, but I suspect that's a BIOS upgrade at some point in the future. Sounds like the settings are a little to harsh. IMHO not a big deal.

I'm really hoping this doesn't become a trend for Laptop HD's. I really want to upgrade. This thing is a real great example of what makes IBM/Lenovo laptops so good. Sturdy, fast, reliable. Just need that HD upgrade now ;-).

What good is a hard drive that is not reliable. (2, Insightful)

plebeian (910665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132264)

The one thing this review is lacking is a durability study. As someone who has been repairing laptops for the past 10 years the hard drive is the weakest link(unless you count the battery). As long as people are screaming about I/O per second or data transfer rates we are not likely to see that change. Reviews such as this are shameful in that they leave out the most important metric.

Re:What good is a hard drive that is not reliable. (1)

greed (112493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132933)

Yeah. I had a Toshiba 80 gig laptop drive fail on me after a couple of years use.

It wasn't even on as much as the laptop; I had never bothered opening up the laptop to swap the drive in, so it just lived in the external aluminum enclosure that I originally planned to put the laptop's old drive in.

If the drive is stone-cold, I get about an hour or two runtime out of it. Any longer and it stops working. And the bearings sound really, really bad.

I guess it would take a lot longer for them to test longevity, though. Hate to wait 3 years to find out what would have been a good choice....

Re:What good is a hard drive that is not reliable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14133031)

That's why I picked the WD Scorpio :
- more rigid steel cover
- higher ambiant heat specifications (up to 60 degrees Celsius max versus 55 for the competition)
- immediate unloading of heads after seek
I don't know if all these features will make my new hard drive more reliable than the previous one (that failed after 2 years), but WD seems to trust their stuff enough to offer a warranty.of 5 years.

IBM laptop (1)

frankcow (925500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132410)

I have an IBM t23, and let the record show that the hard drive SUCKS. It is constantly the bottleneck of the system

Re:IBM laptop (2, Informative)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132560)

Put a 7k60 or similar in it. I did that, and it's MUCH MUCH faster. Also, it doesn't seem to run any hotter than the stock 4200rpm drive.

Make sure you've got 512 meg memory in the system though, not much point in replacing the hard drive if it's still going to swap to disk constantly.

Re:IBM laptop (3, Informative)

don_bear_wilkinson (934537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133601)

Don't forget, if you're using Windows, a significant portion of your performance bottleneck comes from Windows' heavy reliance on the disk for Virtual Memory (swapfile). Even when abundant RAM memory is available, most Windows OSes will swap out to disk - causing significant performance degradation. Disk I/O is much slower than RAM.

To help improve matters (assuming, of course, that you have copious amounts of RAM installed) you can 'tune' Windows to reduce its use of the Paging File, thereby speeding things up. This requires modifying the Registry. The usual caveats about Registry editing being potentially dangerous, etc., apply...

For Windows 2000 and XP; "HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive"; Set to '1' decimal.

There are other memory tweaks that involve changing Disk I/O buffering and System Cache. You may want to do your own research. :)


A question. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132705)

I'm not really surprised that this wasn't in the article, as it's a bit specialized, but can anyone recommend a 30-40G notebook hard drive that can be used to replace the one in my Zen Xtra? It's not dead yet, but it has started grinding a bit.

Another missing.... (1)

wiresquire (457486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14132816)

I've been following the laptop hard disks for a little while looking for an upgrade.
For those interested another review is at Tom's hardware [] .

At any rate, as well as missing the Toshiba drives, I noticed they were using the Samsung Spinpoint M40 80GB for review. I'd discounted that previously because of it's lacklustre performance (also highlighted in the Tom's Hardware review).

But (you knew there would be one!) there's the newer M60 series that was released recently. The HM100JC [] looks interesting. Better transfer rate as well as lower power consumption, which is always handy for the laptop users.

Anyways, if anyone has one of these baby's pls post your impressions.

Just got mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14132835)

I bought a Fujitsu two weeks back and I installed it today. A previous poster talked about the great difference he saw in performance by going from the factory standard 4200 rpm to a 7200 rpm. While in the review they give pretty bad marks to the Fijitsu drive, in real life, the performance improvement is good enough, considering the money difference between the top drive and this one.

I think it`s a question of balance. It`s hard to justify spending that much more when new hybrid drive will make these technologies obsolete pretty soon. I can only hope that my next upgrade will happen when my drive fails due to overuse. That is the only good way for a drive to fail.

Acer Ferrari 4005wlmi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14133184)

Picked up one of these in early July, swapped out the 100GB 5400rpm for a 80GB 7200 RPM, Boot time went from 17 seconds to 14, 3dmarks from 12k range to 15k range. Battery life from 1hr 46mins at 100% CPU/HDD/MEM utilization to 1hr 37mins at 100% CPU/HDD/MEM. Later swapped out the 1GB of DDR333 (2x512) at 3-4-4-12 for 2GB of DDR400 (2x1024) at 2-3-3-8, updated the BIOS to recognize DDR400, boot from 14 seconds to 12, 3dMarks from 15k range to 19k range. Battery Life from 1hr 36mins (lost a minute from battery fade, damn!) to 1hr 45mins. Most of the gained battery life was probably thanks to BIOS Update changing CPU/GPU temperature threshholds / fan speed. You be the judge, playing Quake4 at 1280x1024/16*aa/4*asf topping 45 minimum fps, average 71fps. All for around $2,500, and only weighs 6.4lbs (including charger)

Not Just For Notebooks (1)

theManInTheYellowHat (451261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133314)

I am looking at these drives for my Mac Mini and a firewire enclosure. I always thought that a raid system made out of 2.5" drives would be cool too, some nice small box that sat there looking cool holding a terabyte in very little space..... Now they can be small, quiet, energy efficient and fast.

Notebook HDD's should default @ 7200rpm!! (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14133498)

who the hell wants a 5400rpm hdd anyhow, even my (92yo) grampa knows better!

Nice to see 5 minutes AFTER my powerbook order... (1)

aclarke (307017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134060)

I just ordered a new 15" Powerbook this evening. After spending a couple hours agonizing over whether to get the 5400rpm 120GB drive or the 7200rpm 100GB drive, and searching for objective reviews on the actual merits of the faster drive, I decided to go with the 100GB 7200rpm drive. Then 5 minutes later I looked on /. and saw this review. It looks like I made a good decision anyway.

From TFA: Those in the market for an upgraded notebook hard drive seek more capacity and/or speed. At a rather steep price ($230 at the time of this writing), Hitachi's Travelstar 7K100 offers gobs of both. Though it overall remains a far cry from that of the typical desktop unit, the 7K100 nonetheless delivers the best performance around when it comes both to office/productivity applications and games.

Hopefully it will be a step up from the 4200rpm 40GB drive in my current 12" Powerbook!

Server performance of 2.5" drives - look out! (2, Informative)

jlseagull (106472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134093)

Don't use these for servers. The 10KRPM SAS 2.5" drives are the only ones in the 2.5" form factor that don't crawl into a hole and die under enterprise loads. All of these drives are meant to function on a 30% or less duty cycle in a laptop. Sure, a nice inexpensive 2.5" SATA/ATA drive may be the best in terms of energy/IOP, energy/GB transferred, and $/IOP, but performance declines at .7% a week when running enterprise loads of short random seeks. This was the rule across all mfrs. and drives I tested, from 4200 RPM to 7200 RPM. Drives begin to die after three weeks - even with adequate cooling. All three drive designers and both system designers I talked to said that they're simply not meant to be run in a server.

Oh, and want killer IOPS with microsecond seek times? Try the Adtron SATA flash drive [] . 40GB will only set you back $18,000. :)

IBM/Hitachi is my top pick (1)

electronerdz (838825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14134217)

For the past few years, the only drives I will buy are IBM/Hitachi. I haven't had major problems with bad hard drives since I have been using them, and have always noticed them to perform a little better. I used to like Fujitsu, but then they had a bad batch of 40GB drives, and since then, I won't touch them. I've been wondering about a runner-up in case I am in a bind, and need to buy one at a local store, and I guess Seagate will be my choice.
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