High-capacity replacement disk for laptops
The poor old mechanical hard disk has been taking quite a pounding lately as solid-state disks get ever bigger capacities and even faster performance.
The whole thing is apparently driving the nails firmly into the coffin of the standard hard disk.
But truth be told, the old mechanical disk has a lot of life left in it yet, simply because when it comes to cost per gigabyte it can't be beaten. For example Toshiba's latest flagship disk in the MKXXGSYN family, the MK6461GSYN, has 640GB of storage space and costs £69 whereas a 600GB SSD will cost in the region of £800-850. That's a whopping £1.41 per gigabyte compared with 10p per gigabyte for the Toshiba.
The MK6461GSYN is a 2.5in-sized disk and is ideal if you are thinking about increasing the storage capacity of a laptop. But it's not just a notebook disk: it also works as well as a main disk in a small home entertainment computer or media centre PC, which are becoming evermore popular.
The MK6461GSYN packs in two 320GB platters (physical disks) inside its 9.5mm-tall enclosure, which allow it to get to its 640GB capacity. They have a spinning speed of 7,200rpm and a 16MB cache, both of which put the disk into the high-end performance category for laptop-sized models. It comes with a Serial-ATA (SATA) 3Gbits/sec interface. It's pretty miserly in terms of power demands too, Toshiba quotes figures of just 5.5W while the disk is spinning up, 2.13W in seek mode and 2.1W in read/write mode.
We tested it with the usual barrage of hard disk benchmarks but perhaps the two most important test results were the real-world ones. We loaded a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate onto the disk and then timed it from a cold start (hitting the power button) until it finished loading Windows, which took 67 seconds.
We also timed how long it took to copy a 5GB folder with a mixture of files, which took 240 seconds.
Those timings would be positively pedestrian for even a low-end SSD but for a hard disk they are pretty good.
Read more reviews
Good replacement disk for laptops, especially for those who value capacity over pure performance
Large capacity; great value
Not the fastest drive in its class
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