Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB 2.5" Hard Drive Review
With the current PC market moving towards portable and small form factor solutions, the demand for smaller, more versatile components has ballooned. In late 2009 things were much different and when Western Digital announced their first 1TB, 2.5” hard drive, it was targeted straight at enterprise solutions. So while most consumers shrugged their shoulders at that release, the brand new Scorpio Blue 1TB will likely turn a few heads.
This newest addition to the Western Digital’s Blue series fit into a segment dominated by notebooks that demands high capacity and low power consumption for a reasonable cost. That’s to say it won’t be hitting the Scorpio Black’s performance numbers anytime soon but a price of $110 could make for a great upgrade path. Regardless of the fact it is currently one of the more expensive 2.5" hard drives on the market.
On first blush, this new Scorpio Blue doesn't appear to be all that special or technologically advanced. It is marketed as a moderate performance, 5200rpm 2.5” hard drive but there is more here than what first meets the eye. There is a pair of high density 500GB platters housed within its confines which actually makes the Blue 1TB one of the most cutting edge 2.5” drives on the market. If past experience is any indication, the denser platters of the Scorpio Blue 1TB should result in performance that could approach 7200rpm levels in some tests without increasing heat, power or noise envelopes. We should also mention that there is a 5200RPM version of this drive (with a product number of WD10TPVT) which pairs slightly lower performance with increased efficiency.
Even with the drive flipped over the Scorpio Blue 1TB it looks very similar every other standard height 2.5” hard drive. It has a full length PCB with no exposed chips which affords a good level protection and allows the metal chassis of the drive itself to act as a large heat sink.
Removing the PCB we can see that the architecture is also fairly typical with all the various chips laid out in a neat, rational manner with plenty of room between each of them.
The controller which is the heart of this device is the Marvell 88i9346-TFJ2.
The external RAM cache chip Western Digital has chosen to pair with the Marvell controller is a Winbond W9412G6JH-5 module. While this DDR400 CL3 chip rated capacity is 128Mb (or 16MB), the Western Digital Blue 1TB only takes advantage of 8 megabytes worth of it.
Interestingly enough, and unlike previous Western Digital drives, the motor controller chip is not a Smooth branded chip; rather it is a WD Nautilus.
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