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Western Digital 1TB mobile drive: much ado about nothing?

by Parm Mann on 27 July 2009, 11:56

Tags: WD (NYSE:WDC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qas7w

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We're still a long way from seeing solid-state drives compete with traditional hard-disk drives in terms of price per gigabyte, but the launch of Western Digital's Scorpio Blue 1TB - the world's largest 2.5in drive - raises a few interesting questions.

First and foremost, the drive itself measures 12.5mm in height due to its capacity, and finds itself too thick for the majority of existing notebooks - many of which use the traditional 69.85mm x 100mm x 9.5mm form factor. Consequently, the drive is being initially marketed as an external mobile storage solution and has first surfaced as the 1TB My Passport Essential SE, priced at €205 (approximately £177).

And it's that price tag that has caught our eye. Although expectedly pricey, Western Digital's 1TB 2.5in drive is priced in the same bracket as Intel's all-new 34nm SSD - that's currently available from SCAN.co.uk at a cost of £171.12.

Looking ahead at upcoming notebooks, and observing that the cost per gigabyte for an SSD is falling, are you more likely to opt for the high capacity of say a 1TB hard drive, or would you opt for the benefits of an SSD despite its relatively tiny storage room?

Let us know what you think in the HEXUS.community forums. Is overall capacity still vital in a portable device, or does performance matter most?



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Completely depends on the application of the drive. If you using it as backup then speed isnt necessarily as important as capacity however if you are using it for video work or something then maybe bandwidth is more valuable to you. Durability comes into it aswell i guess, if the drive is liekly to take a few bumps then maybe SSD is a bit more suited.

Personally i would like a couple of SSDs as system drives at the moment but im happy to wait for them to drop in price.
seems about the right size - in both senses of the word - for a very small HTPC.
a couple of these in my laptop would be great. the price isn't bad either, considering the 500gb drives were £150 initially. they just need to get 1tb in a 9mm height drive first
For a mini-ITX htpc a 1TB 2.5" drive would be ideal, and I've got to wonder if this is the market WD are after - people wanting to upgrade ION boxes. I'd certainly consider it on that basis. Certainly it also make a lot of sense for a portable backup drive too - given I've just filled a 250GB one at work I'd consider this a reasonable option.

For a laptop I'd probably prefer an SSD, but at the current £ / GB they're just a little bit pricey. A 64GB at < £80, or a 120GB at < £150, and I'd start considering it seriously. Once they reach £1 / GB, it'll be a no brainer.

The rise of 2.5" SSDs means we're likely to see a steady shift towards 2.5" as the industry standard for storage on the desktop as well as the laptop, so it makes sense for HDD manufacturers to start positioning themselves to take advantage of more people moving to the smaller form factor in their desktop PCs as well as their laptops - I can see a lot of people using an SSD for the system and a 2.5" mechnical drive for mass storage...
No point comparing it with the new Intel to be honest. Similar price, sure, but the capacity is incomparable. Question is, do you need 1TB of bus powered external storage. If I need a drive for pictures, movies and music, then sure I'd pick it over an SSD. Price per GB is actually not that bad, the premium over a 500GB MyPassport is not that big (&#163;80 seem to be the going rate, twice that is &#163;160).

Having said that, it would only be if I had to pick between the two. &#163;170 for storage is just too dear for me. I can't justify it unless it is something that's not yet available (say, maybe a 3TB desktop HD, or the a 250GB version of that Intel - actually even that I'd have to think twice).

Push come to shove, capacity is king for me. If I can only have one system, and only HD storage for that system (no external ones), than I would rather have a 1TB of conventional HD, than 80GB of SSD.