Today I shall write a short intro to the 3 different generation drives from Seagate
They are all mainstream drive 5400 RPM 2.5″ Notebook drive they have a max capacity of 160G, 250G and 320G respectively.
Attached are the benchmark result of the 3 drives, first is the 5400.3
Following is the 5400.4 250G drive
And finally the latest 5400.5 320G drive
As we see from the result the improvement in speed is great
Added to the mix is a 7200 drive from Hitachi 7200 200G. Note that this drive is launch at around the same time as 5400.3 drives which is the oldest drive in the test
7200RPM 200G Hitachi
As could be seen from the graph great achievement have made since from the 3 to the 4 generation drive. While the 5th generation drive is able to surpass the top of the line 7200 drive from Hitachi in term of media reading speed. But in term of access time 7200 still wins. It have to be said that the 7200 RPM drive being compared belong to the 5400.3 era. Point to note is the slow access speed of the 5400.5 drive after 40% mark of the drive. It is really great to see and experience faster drive especially in the face of SSD.
From a usage perspective I would say that you could feel the speed difference moving from a .3 to a .4 drive, but moving from a .4 to a .5 drive is not that significant.
From the spec is the power saving of the latest 5400.5 drive that consume a max of 1.3W from the usual 2-2.2W, but in real life usage I do not experience a longer battery drive. likely because it is not always that the drive is operating at the maximum power.
Currently the latest 7200 RPM drive is not available for testing. Both Seagate and Hitachi have a newer generation of drive which according to spec if about 25% faster than the 5400 equivalent. 7200.3 drive from Seagate is already available for sale. and Hitachi have announce their equivalent.
The newer generation of drive does have the advantage of being faster. so if you want to buy a drive make sure it is oh the latest generation. As I last check all 3 generation is on sale at the shop at the time of writing.
I feel the harddisk company is definitely worried of the challenges that SSD would bring, It is if users would want to store HD movies on their Hard drives. As with the current capacities of Harddisk, the main reason to want a bigger drive is to store movies in High resolution. As fast SSD drive of 128G and above start appearing, there are less and less reason why users would want a hard drive apart from the price consideration. There isn’t so much data a user would need to bring on the road. If you do not believe me, try filling up a modern harddisk WITHOUT movies. The reason for getting a newer drive is for the speed not the capacity. With SSD the speed issue is solved.
Note that if you have a 320G drive, to fill it up with data using a 100BT Ethernet connection at max speed is 7 hours plus. In reality even 20 hours is insufficient. Worst if you use Vista.