Articles: Storage

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Western Digital was among the last ones to join the competition in the compact 2.5-inch hard disk drives market. The devices of this kind sell better and better, and the demand for them is growing significantly. These HDDs have every chance to oust their 3.5-inch fellows from the desktop segment, not to mention their active invasion into the laptop and other portable platforms. These facts and tendencies do not allow us to disregard the products like that from any player in the HDD market.

Western Digital’s adequate reaction to this market growth was the announcement of their new Scorpio drive, which we are going to take a closer look at today.

Closer Look: WD Scorpio 80GB (WD800VE)

What should a 2.5” hard disk drive be like in order to survive the cut-throat competition and win its niche in the promising and growing market? As we see, it has already got a great sounding name. Of course, a good name matter a lot for successful marketing, but this is not all you need. The first “exterior” impression is important, but without worthy technical specifications, it will hardly last long. Let’s see what they are by our today’s hero.

The storage capacity is pretty common, no records here. The models we had in our lab features 40GB and 80GB storage capacities. Besides that there is also a 60GB model. The manufacturer claims that they are trying to meet the demand for the most widely spread capacities. The standard drives from this product line will feature a 2MB buffer (UE letters in the model name stand for that), however, all three models can also feature an 8MB buffer (in this case the model name will include letters VE).


The spindle rotation speed is quite typical of this HDD form-factor: 5,400rpm. Although Western Digital claims that the power consumption corresponds to the rate of a model with 4,200rpm spindle rotation speed, which is very important if the drive is powered autonomously. For example, if you work in read/write mode, you need 2.5W of power. The drives supports 12ms average seek time, and 2ms track-to-track seek time. The average latency equals 5.5ms. These drives support Ultra ATA5 interface providing up to 10MB/s data transfer rate.

Scorpio product family drives are designed with WhisperDrive technology. Besides, these drives also support special heads working mode aka SoftSeek, which reduces significantly the level of noise they produce during operation. ShockGuard technology implemented in these drives reduces to the minimum the effect of physical shocks on the HDD mechanism and especially on the platters surface. The HDDs can stand the operational shock of up to 250G (2ms), and the non-operational shock of up to 900G (1ms). Special DualStep Ramp technology locks the heads off the platter work surface to ensure additional protection against physical shocks. Enhanced anti-shock robustness of the drive is achieved due to the stainless steel casing. According to the manufacturer, this allows the drives to handle 1.5 times higher direct pressure than any other drive in the market without harming their functionality and performance.

The drive is 9.5mm x 100.2mm x 69.85mm in size and weighs 117g (for dual-platter models).

The approximate price for an 80GB model is around $130.

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