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Appeared on: Monday, February 16, 2009
WD Scorpio WD3200BEKT


1. Features, specs

Notebook computers are becoming very popular as they are conveniently offer portability and performance. Many users have even replaced their desktops with their favorite mobile computer for their everyday tasks. This everywhere and anywhere computing concept requires reliable and fast storage options, which should be offering everything a desktop solution offers. Western Digital released the "Black Scorpio" series of 2.5" hard disk drives promising to offer desktop=class performance for notebooks.

The disks offer 7200 RPM spin speed, 16 MB cache, and capacities up to 320 GB. With technologies like IntelliSeek, which calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption and SecurePark, which reduces power by parking the heads during low power idle mode, these drives deliver 5400 RPM equivalent power consumption in a 7200 RPM drive.

WD’s exclusive WhisperDrive is also features and combines advanced seeking algorithms to yield one of the quietest 2.5-inch hard drives on the market.

WD's ShockGuard technology protects the drive mechanics and platter surfaces from shocks during shipping and handling and in daily operation. WD’s SecurePark parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down, and when the drive is off. This ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface, resulting in improved long-term reliability due to less head wear and improved non-operational shock tolerance.

As an added layer of protection, if the drive (or the system it’s in) is dropped while in use, WD’s free-fall sensor detects that the drive is falling and, in less than 200 milliseconds, parks the head to help prevent damage and data loss. (Available on WDxxxxBJKT models only.)

Today we are testing the WD Black Scorpio 320GB (WD3200BEKT) that offers a capacity of 320GB using two platters.


2. The drive

The WD Black Scorpio 320GB (WD3200BEKT) is priced at € 75 (including VAT) and probably its one of the most expensive 2.5" HDD drive you can buy. Western Digital offers this product in two variations. The one includes the free fall sensor (WD3200BJKT) and the other one (WD3200BEKT) does not. The first one would cost you some additional €5 and perhaps is a good idea to get the BJKT model, if it is available in your area.

The product is packed into the usual antistatic plastic packet:.

Product information is included on the disc's label:

The drive has the same SATAI/II & power connectors you will find in desktop drives, mening that you may also install it in your notebook or even in your PC.


3. Benchmarks

We ran the tests in the following PC:

The drive is recognized as WD3200BEKT, as the HDTach benchmarking software reports:

A Full Bench test (sequential read/write) showed that the drive started read/writing at 80MB/sec and ended at 40MB/sec, so the reading and writing average performance was similar. The reported random access time was14.4ms.

The HD TunePro software confirmed the previous results:

Finally, the ATTO Disk Benchmark offers more test results for your pleasure.


4. Summary

The WD Scorpio series offers a massive storage combined with 7200rpm speed and 16MB cache for the fastest possible results. The WD3200BEKT we tested today performed pretty well, considering that we are talking about a HDD with a dual platter design. The drive starts reading/writing at 80MB/sec and ends at 40MB/sec with a 14.5ms access time. Of course, you cannot really compare those figures with those coming of the latest desktop models.

The drive's temperature in an open environment was around 42 degrees Celsius, and hopefully won't get much higher inside a laptop case.

Lastly, the WD3200BEKT should be among the quietest HDD's we have ever tested.

So we have to do here with a 7200rpm 2.5" HDD drive which combines increased storage capacity with quiet operation, while it is adequately fast and for its category. If your single hard disk found in your notebook is small and slow, WD's implementation is a wise choice, although it would require you to pay something extra for it. The drive is also backed by a 5-year warranty.



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