Articles: Storage

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After the manufacturers of notebook’s hard drives have overcome the psychological barrier of 100 gigabytes, the further growth of storage capacity is now regarded with more calm. The announcement of 200GB hard drives of 2.5” form-factor has not caused a big sensation and such devices are not selling freely yet. So, we’d better talk about drives with a smaller, yet still impressive, capacity.

This time we are going to discuss a large hard disk drive, too, even though its 120GB of storage is not a record today. This drive has one important advantage. You can buy it if you want. It is the MHV2120BH model from Fujitsu, and we will compare its performance with a few 120GB drives from other manufacturers and with a 160GB drive from Seagate that we have tested in our labs earlier (see our reviews entitled High-Capacity 2.5-Inch Hard Disk Drives: Chasing the Leader and Seagate Momentus 5400.3 160GB Hard Disk Drive with Perpendicular Recording Technology). These drives all have the same spindle rotation speed of 5400rpm and 8 megabytes of cache memory (for the detailed specifications follow this link).

Closer Look


This device has a Serial ATA interface which is steadily and inexorably forcing the classic IDE out from our computers. The drive supports the NCQ command set. This model has a storage capacity of 120GB, but the series includes models with capacities of 40, 60, 80, and 100GB, too. The spindle rotation speed is 5400rpm; the average seek time is 12 milliseconds. The cache buffer is 8MB big. The drive produces little noise at work thanks to its electric motor running on fluid dynamic bearings. The dimensions of the device are 9.5x70x100mm; its average retail price is $200 US.

Testbed and Methods

The following testing utilities were used:

  • WinBench 99 2.0
  • FC-Test 1.0
  • IOMeter 2003.02.15
  • PCMark04

Testbed configuration:

  • Albatron PX865PE Pro mainboard
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU
  • IBM DTLA-307015 hard disk drive, 15GB
  • Radeon 7000 32MB graphics card
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2

We installed the generic OS drivers for the drives and formatted them in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. I connected the Fujitsu MHV2120BH to a Promise SATA150-TX2 controller in Write Through mode.

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