இ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Summary:
ѾѾѾѾѾ Highly recommended with warm fuzzies!
I previously added two of these 5400-RPM Western Digital Scorpio Blue drives in the 1-TB size on a laptop that is often used for the editing of photos, images, and very large video files. I liked them so much that I added this 750-GB to a four-year old Windows laptop. My older laptop has a weaker battery and 90-watt AC adapter, so I choose this Scorpio Blue instead of the Scorpio Black because I do not need maximum performance, and I prefer the lower-power, cooler, and quieter operation of this hard drive.
The 9.5mm-height form factor of this drive means that it can fit inside most laptops. There are four threaded inserts on the two longer sides of the drive for use with standard mounting screws; no mounting screws or hard drive bracket/caddy are provided with this hard drive. This drive is rated at a very quiet 22 dBA sound level when idle, and 25 dBA when the drive is seeking/reading/writing. With this drive installed inside my laptop, I can only barely hear the drive's operations in a very quiet room when my ears are about one to two feet away from the drive's location inside the laptop and the drive is actively reading/writing. When the laptop is idle, I do not hear the drive at all. And even if this hard drive is actively seeking/reading/writing, its tiny sound is masked by my laptop's fan noise even if the fan starts running from its slowest speed.
When tested using the "HD Tune" hard drive performance benchmarking tool, it turns out that this 5400-RPM Scorpio Blue drive compares favorably to the 7200-RPM Scorpio Black drives, even though the faster Black drives also have a 16-MB cache compared to the smaller 8-MB cache on the Blue drives. On my installed 750-GB drive, HD Tune reported a minimum/maximum/average read speed of 53, 110, and 85 MB/sec, and a minimum/maximum/average write speed of 40, 108, and 84 MB/sec. This is only about 15% to 18% slower than the performance of the 750-GB 7200-RPM Scorpio Black drive, which runs faster and hotter, and uses more power. This 5400-RPM drive is slightly faster than Seagate's 7200-RPM Momentus drive, and it even compares favorably to Seagate's Momentus XT Hybrid Drive. This drive's random access read and write times are also comparable to both the 7200-RPM Scorpio Black and Seagate's 7200-RPM Momentus drives. If you are trying to decide between the 7200-RPM Scorpio Black drive (or some other faster 7200-RPM mobile-form-factor drive), the Black drive will be about 15% to 18% faster than this drive. However, this 750-GB drive is slightly slower than the WD Blue 1 TB Mobile Hard Drive: 2.5 Inch, 5400 RPM, SATA II, 8 MB Cache - WD10JPVT. So if you can spend about $20 more for 250-GB of extra space on the 1-TB version of this drive, you get a slightly faster read/write speed compared to this 750-GB drive.
Western Digital offers an "Acronis TrueImage" that can be downloaded from their Web site to let you copy all your data from an old drive to a new drive so you do not have to reinstall your operating system to get all the benefits of a new drive. If you do replace your main system drive, you can either use cloning software such as "Acronis True Image" to mirror all your system files and applications back onto the new drive, or you can perform a fresh OS install and reinstall all applications that you were using. The advantage of cloning your system files and applications is that it is much faster to put everything back onto the new drive. The advantage of performing fresh installs of the OS and applications is that it can often declutter your files and free up hundreds of megabytes of space (which is like totally cleaning out a basement that has accumulated years of stuff).
If you are trying to decide between the 7200-RPM Scorpio Black drive (or some other faster 7200-RPM mobile-form-factor drive), the "Black" drive will be about 10% to 15% faster than this "Blue" drive. This drive has pretty good performance for a 5400-RPM drive and it does not use as much energy or generate as much heat as a 7200-RPM drive. If you frequently use your laptop unplugged and you want to maximize the number of hours that you can run on battery power, 5400-RPM drives drain the battery less than 7200-RPM drives. The Scorpio Black drives already use less power than many 7200-RPM laptop drives. But these Scorpio Blue drives use 20% less power when reading/writing and 25% less power when idling than the Scorpio Black drives. I can dream about the day that it becomes affordable to equip a laptop with two 1-TB SSD drives, but for now, this 5400-RPM drive is really not that much slower compared to most 7200-RPM drives.
I rely both on my own research and the opinions of others to help me make informed buying decisions. I hope that this review helped you to be a wise shopper! :)