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Test: 14 Notebook HDDs

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Jens Wrede

Page 19: Benchmarks: Windows 7 start up time, temperature, noise level

To obtain information about the suitability of the disks as a potential system drive, we cloned the original Windows 7 test system to the tested drives, then restarting the system several times in a row. We measured the time from turning on the PC up to the moment the login screen of Windows 7 was displayed; accordingly, the entire boot-up process of the BIOS is included in the measurements:

Benchmark Windows 7 Startzeit

As expected, the three drives with high rotational speed provided for the fastest boot-up behavior. The Momentus XT was way on top, though the Adaptive Memory algorithms are likely to have contributed their part in it. The performance of the other SSHDs drives from Seagate and Toshiba was far from good in this test. With almost 63 seconds, the MQ01ABF050H even set a new negative record.

In order to determine the maximum operating temperature of the hard drives under load, each drive has been completely overwritten after completion of the respective benchmarks using the Erase function of HDTune. This allowed us to make sure that the drives are exposed to a constant high load and release a great deal of heat because of permanent write operations. The temperatures of the disks was recorded by reading the corresponding SMART value immediately after the erase operation, and adjusted to the ambient temperature at the time of measurement in order to ensure comparability.

Benchmark Temperatur

The measurements for heat generation in high load writing operations put the two Momentus XT, MQ01ABF050H and WD10JPVX at the (negative) top, whereas the Travelstar 7K1000 and Z7K500 did quite well, just as Toshiba's MQ01ABF050 and the WD10SPCX from Western Digital.

We have also taken a look at the power consumption of hard drives, in standby mode (idle) and under load:

Benchmark Stromverbrauch

Benchmark Stromverbrauch

As expected, at the top of the power consumption scale we find the WD7500BPKX by WD, since its performance has to be payed up with an appropriate ammount of energy. Due to its four-disk design, the WD20NPVT's consumption is also quite high, both when idle as well as under load. Then again, Toshiba's MQ01ABF050 was quite frugal.

We also compared the development of the operating noise, in standby mode (idle) and during the seek phase of accesses:

Benchmark Lautstärke

Benchmark Lautstärke

Needless to say, the drives rotating at 7200 rpm are particularly loud: HGST's Travelstar 7K100, Seagate's Momentus XT and Western Digital's Black are at the top of this test. The two SSHD series from Seagate and Toshiba turned out to be quite sneaky. These three drives show the lowest overall values in this category.