Western Digital Scorpio Black, the none-SSD Laptop HDD Upgrade

Storage/HDD by jmke @ 2009-01-02

We take a closer look at a speedy laptop 2.5inch hard drive from Western Digital. Spinning at 7200rpm and with 16mb cache onboard it promises to be quite speedy. While not very cheap it does beat new SSD devices by a large margin, 320Gb of fast compact storage for your laptop? Let us put it to the test.

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Vista Sysprep, Vista System Score, PCMark Vantage

Vista Sysprep

We used Windows Vista as our operating system for these benchmarks; after a clean install we ran Microsoft’s System Preparation Utility which resets the user defined options of the OS, leaving a clean copy ready for deployment. We took an image of this Vista Sysprep and dumped it on our three test drives. During the initial bootup of Vista it will go through the setup process, detecting hardware and so on… we preconfigured the PC name and other settings in a special .ini file, so the installation is completely unattended. We measured the time it took from first boot with the Vista Sysprep, until the system was ready and desktop loaded.

The time mentioned in the chart below is in minutes:seconds:

Madshrimps (c)

With the Seagate drive installation took almost 11 minutes, with the WD Scorpio the total time doesn’t differ much, despite its 5400rpm. The Scorpio Black does it one minute faster, which is quite impressive and noticeable in this test.

Vista System Score

Next up we launched Vista’s integrated system rating benchmark which does a quick check to see how your computer rates. The HDD scores were:

Madshrimps (c)

This does mimic the Sysprep test, so this tool gives you a real-world indicator of the performance difference.

PCMark Vantage

Futuremark’s PCMark Vantage include 6 different HDD tests, ranging from application loading times, to Vista bootup time, as well as import, video editing etc. Here are the results:

Madshrimps (c)

Application loading times was the only test where there hardly any impact from the HDD upgrade, all the other tests show a very noticeable difference when you swap the Seagate with a WD Scorpio Black. The 250Gb Scorpio 5400rpm switches places with the Seagate drive depending on the test.

Let’s delve deeper into the benchmarks with a series of synthetic tests ->
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