Western Digital Scorpio vs. Hitachi Travelstar 7k200

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Roadster, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Roadster macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    London, UK
    I want to replace the stock 80GB HD on my first-gen 2.0ghz Macbook, and I'm in a bit of a dilemma... any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I originally decided on a 250GB WD Scorpio - decent reviews + prices. However, I then read that these drives often seem to emit 'clicking' sounds during use... and having read a few more user reports, it seems they are also prone to S.M.A.R.T failures.

    So then I looked at the Hitachi 7k200, which, according to the reviews I've read, seem to be the fastest and best-performing of all 2.5 SATA drives. Only problem is they're also quite a bit more expensive, and come in slightly lower capacity.

    So now I can't decide which one to go for. The Hitachi is much faster, yes, but the speed isn't essential for me (not that it wouldn't be nice, of course) - plus I'm concerned about the noise and heat that the 7200RPM drive may generate. The WD Scorpio seems great, but having read about the problems it seems to have, I'll always worry about the HD's reliability.

    So, anyone here installed these drives on their laptop? I'm more keen on hearing how the Hitachi fares. Lower heat + noise and battery life is much more important to me than speed or even capacity (200GB is enough for me). Or is there another, more reliable HD out there that would be a better option for me?

    Edit: Hmm, I seem to have posted two threads, my mistake. Could a mod delete the other thread please?
  2. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    Have a similar dilemma but between the WD 5400 320 and the Hitachi 7K200 - for the same price essentially you have to choose:
    200 Gb 7200 RPM drive or a 320 GB 5400 RPM drive.

    I know from reading that the difference in speed in the 2.5" drives from the new 5400 with higher density and the 7200 RPM ones in marginal so the decision comes to a heat and battery life issue in a portable - the 5400 will use less power and provide much more capacity at the same price while sacrificing a small amount of performance. The choice is yours to make - marginally faster speed with relatively less batter life and storage versus the larger 5400 drive. Look on xBench for scores and you will see that the ones with the 7200 rpms are not head and shoulders above the 5400 rpm ones.

    What do you need more of speed or storage?
  3. Roadster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    London, UK
    I think speed would be more important to me. I've looked at the WD 320GB, but I can get the Hitachi cheaper than that... plus I'm not too convinced about the reliability of WD hard drives. Hitachi user (not professional) reviews are thin on the ground, but most I've read say it's brilliant.

    Like I said, if it really is the best in the market - in terms of speed, quietness and reliability - then I really don't mind paying extra for it.
  4. charlies8282 macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    Same problem here ;D

    For everyone I suggest the comp charts on tom's Hardware website. Good information on real transfer speed, and power consumption ( = battery life).
    Important: it seems that last generation 5400rpm are more or less as speedy as 7200 rpms, with lower power consumption and better reliability.


    For myself I think I am deciding for samsung's 320gb 5400 rpm. It is perfect for my exigences: great speed, and not too high power requirements.
    But I have some doubts:
    I always heard voices on samsung's bad quality and failure problems. Is it true? Even today?

    It seems that the best brands for 2.5 hds should be: Seagate and Fujitsu.
    The worst ones: Toshiba, Hitachi, and Samsung.
    Am I wrong?
    Or today more or less all the brands are equivalent?
    What about WD?
  5. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    I have the 320GB WD, and I've had no problems. Its also very quick, due to the data density.
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The second link shows an interesting chart how the speed of the drives changes as they get full, so you get "maximum", "minimum" and "average" values. The important thing here is that with 199 GB stored, the 200 GB drive is almost full and will run at "minimum" speed, while the 320 GB drive is just over half full and still runs close to "average" speed.
  7. timish macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    I went with a Samsung Spinpoint 320GB drive as well.

    8MB cache, 5400RPM, shock sensor and whisper quiet.

    Drive is way faster than the 4200RPM 200GB drive that came BTO in this MBP.
  8. Roadster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    London, UK
    That first link is interesting - according to the tests, the Hitachi 7200 actually draws less power than the WD Scorpio 5400, both in use and when idle.

    The Samsung Spinpoint seems an interesting choice... I'll have to read some reviews.
  9. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004

    First post I have ever seen praising Fujitsu as a laptop HD of choice. Usually, it is the one you swap out for something better.

    I think your choices are screwy. Hitachi regularly gets good reviews in the 2.5" sector. At least for performance.

    As far as reliability goes, it's a wash. HDs only come with 1 year's guarantee these days. They are virtually consumables.
  10. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    Personal experience with 3 Hitachi Travelstar drives makes me never want to buy another Hitachi. Maybe they've improved since I've used them, but every Hitachi I've had has not lasted long.
  11. Roadster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    London, UK
    I was under the impression that both WD and Hitachi drives came with 3 years.
  12. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    and actually, the seagates come with 5 yr warranties.

    Edit: I should mention that my 'tar is the inner workings of a seagate momentus (5400.2, as I recall) that lasted just over a year in a macbook. :)
  13. jvette macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2007
    I installed the Hitachi 7K200 in my Macbook and there is no difference in the heat at all. The drive is very quiet and the battery life is the same as before. This drive really made a difference in the speed of the laptop. It does only come with the 3 year warranty but is cheaper than the 5 year Seagate drive. It was a good choice for me.
  14. Roadster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    London, UK
    I'd be interested to hear about the problems you had, and with which model (and how long ago), before I take the plunge and order the Travelstar 7k200... just to make sure it's not something that would completely put me off that drive.
  15. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    First drive I ordered was in the process of failing when I installed it (brand new). Hitachi took it back right away. That was a 40 GB Travelstar 5K80 (I believe one of the first models to use IBM's "pixie dust"). I used it about half a year in my ibook until I upgraded to a Powerbook. I then very rarely used it as a portable backup until late 2006, when my roommate used it to replace a dead 20 GB Hitachi in his laptop. He then ordered a replacement Hitachi (same model, I believe), which he gave to me when it arrived. The Hitachi I gave to my roommate died summer of 2006. And the drive my roommate bought for me is now in the process of dying, having only been used lightly as an external backup.

    Now, granted, hd's are not expected to last forever, but these drives were not used heavily, so I'm a little concerned about their quality. And again, these are not from the new line of drives, so my experience may not be applicable. And to be fair, I have seen both a Toshiba and Seagate fail a year after purchasing an Apple laptop (both were oem from Apple). Again, this is from personal experience, so of course ymmv.

    There are many sites that list all the drive benchmarks to help decide which drive is the best, but what I would like to see is a website devoted hard drive durability info driven by user experience. That way I can have a good idea of which drives, lines, and manufacturers are prone to early failure, without polling everybody for their experiences when I'm in the market for a drive.
  16. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I really, really, want to see a head-to-head benchmark (including real-life tests) between the 7k200 and the 320GB WD.

    I personally just ordered the 320GB WD because of the size (hoping the performance would be almost equal due to the higher density).
  17. freitas macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Ohio, USA
    Xbench 1.3 Disk Test

    Just installed the 320GB Scorpio in my C2D 2.2G MBP. The benchmarks from XBench are below. Can someone post benchmarks for 7200rpm drives for comparison?
    Disk Test 45.09

    Sequential 62.27
    Uncached Write 99.81 61.28 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 106.12 60.04 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 27.14 7.94 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 125.81 63.23 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Random 35.34
    Uncached Write 13.15 1.39 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 73.61 23.57 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 66.86 0.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 116.12 21.55 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  18. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    Scorpio 320GB results for Quickbench vs 7K200

    We were pleasantly surprised with the test results of the 320GB Scorpio notebook drive using our test tool, QuickBench:

    Small Random Read/Write
    Hitachi 7K200 7200rpm 200GB =16/18MB/s
    WD Scorpio 5400rpm 320GB = 15/19MB/s

    Large Sustained Read/Write
    Hitachi 7K200 7200rpm 200GB =69/66MB/s
    WD Scorpio 5400rpm 320GB = 71/67MB/s

    Based on those numbers, we would rate the Scorpio the best combo of speed and space.
  19. Roadster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    London, UK
    Not sure if I'm reading that right, but according to those results the 5400 320GB WD is actually slightly faster overall than the 7200 Hitachi? So in other words, if I'm going to be spending that much on the Hitachi (around £115) than I might as well get the 320GB WD (around £120 in some places).

    Unless there's something else I'm missing... anyone know how the 250GB WD compares?
  20. kopesani macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2008
  21. Hunted Charlie macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2008

    Wait, can anybody confirm that the Scorpio is faster than the Travelstar? Is there any advantage then to the Travelstar at all?

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