My Blog List

Western Digital Blue VS Samsung 2.5 Hard Drive : Review And Comparison

Western Digital is a major player in the world of storage; from DDR and flash memory to hard drives and solid state drives. The WD Blue quickly became a popular hard drive when it was announced because it was the first 1TB hard drive with a Slim and Powerful profile . Previously if you wanted a 1TB internal hard drive, you had to buy a large desktop replacement notebook that supports larger hard drives that are 12.5mm thick. The arrival of the WD Blue 2.5 means that almost any current laptop can be packed with 1TB of storage.

Some of our readers already know that Western Digital had another 1TB Scorpio Blue hard drive … only it wasn’t really designed for notebooks. The “old” 1TB Scorpio Blue was a 2.5-inch hard drive with a thickness of 12.5mm (rather than the 9.5mm needed for most laptops). That thicker drive was used mostly inside portable USB hard drive enclosures and storage-hungry devices like the WD TV Live Hub. Now, the new Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT model makes it possible to upgrade the majority of notebooks with 1TB of storage.

Even when you look beyond the surface specs, both the Western Digital and the Samsung are remarkably similar hard drives. Both the WD10JPVT and the Samsung Spinpoint M8 utilize a 500GB dual-platter design, both use 8MB of Samsung DDR memory for cache and both use Marvell controllers (the Scorpio Blue uses the Marvell 88i9346-TFJ2 while the Samsung Spinpoint M8 uses the Marvell 88i9322-TFJ2). Heck, even the warranty coverage is essentially the same: both drives are protected under an industry-standard three-year limited warranty from each of their respective manufacturers.


Samsung Spinpoint M8 HN-M101MBB            Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT

When you search online to find out the speed of a hard drive most manufacturers and review sites provide the synthetic results from a freshly formatted drive. These results reflect the best possible speed of the drive with nothing on it (except a few test files). These results are relevant if you’re using the hard drive as a second storage drive in your notebook. We used CrystalDiskMark to test both the sequential and random read and write speeds of both drives:

These test results show two things: both drives deliver extremely fast performance for being 5400rpm hard drives and both drives deliver similar performance. The Western Digital hard drive is slightly faster in terms of sequential read and write speeds (the speed at which the drive can read or write a single large file) but the Samsung Spinpoint M8 has the edge with smaller files and random reads and writes (relevant for background processes in Windows or speed of applications or games while they are in use).

Samsung Spinpoint M8 (HN-M101MBB) Specifications:

Interface: SATA 3.0Gb/s
Capacity: 1TB
Cache: 8MB
Average Seek Time: 12ms
Average Latency: 5.6ms
RPM: 5400 RPM
Form Factor: 2.5″
Height (maximum): 9.5mm
Width (maximum): 69.75mm
Length (maximum): 100.3mm

Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT Specifications:
Interface: SATA 3.0Gb/s
Capacity: 1TB
Cache: 8MB
Average Latency: 5.5ms
RPM: 5400 RPM
Form Factor: 2.5″
Height (maximum): 9.5mm
Width (maximum): 69.85mm
Length (maximum): 100.2mm

Windows 7 Boot Drive Comparison

Although the speed of a freshly formatted hard drive is important, most notebook users don’t have laptops that can hold multiple hard drives. In that case, one of these 1TB hard drives is going to be your new primary hard drive or boot drive. The reason we’re pointing this out is that when you run an operating system (in this case, Windows 7) on a hard drive that operating system is actively using part of the hard drive at various times … which results in slower data transfer speeds.

We performed a clean install of Windows 7 on our test laptop (Sony TBook), installed all drivers and updates and then disabled all background processes and automatic updates that might interfere with our test results. We used CrystalDiskMark again to measure the sequential and random read and write speeds:

Impact on Battery LifeIn terms of Windows 7 boot speed, the Samsung Spinpoint M8 booted Windows 7 (measured with the Windows utility BootTimer) in 29 seconds. The Western Digital WD10JPVT booted Windows 7 in 30 seconds. Again, these hard drives deliver strikingly similar performance.

Your storage drive (or drives) can make a huge difference in terms of your laptop’s battery life. Hard drives from various manufacturers have all sorts of different names for the various power states that a hard drive uses, but for our purposes there are basically three hard drive power states that laptop owners need to care about: Active power draw, idle power draw, and Windows boot/startup power draw.

A typical hard drive consumes the most amount of power during Windows startup, then the drive switches back and forth between a low-wattage idle state and a higher-wattage active state depending on what you’re doing. We measured a spike of just over 3.5 watts during Windows 7 startup with the Samsung Spinpoint M8 but the drive only consumed about 0.5 watts while idle and 2.5 watts while active. The Western Digital Scorpio Blue only spiked at 2.8 watts during Windows startup but the idle power draw was 0.75 watts and the active power draw was 2.8 watts.

To measure impact in real-world use we took our test laptop with a 65W battery and ran our standard battery life test (screen set to 70 percent brightness, Windows 7 set to a “balanced” power profile, Wi-Fi on and refreshing a website at a regular interval of 60 seconds). This means the hard drive is spending most of the time in an idle power state with only occasional activity spikes. Battery life of the test laptop with the original 160GB 5400rpm Seagate hard drive was 6 hours and 53 minutes. The same laptop with the Samsung Spinpoint M8 delivered 6 hours and 59 minutes while the Western Digital Scorpio Blue lowered the battery life to 6 hours and 31 minutes.

It’s important to keep in mind there are many potential variables involved with measuring notebook battery life. We can’t say with absolute certainty that one of these drives will “always” deliver better or worse power consumption, but our test results suggest that the Samsung has the edge in drawing less power from the battery.But we liked the overall performance of western digital disk as it is a all rounder.

Spend Your Cache Wisely

The ability to stick one terabyte of storage inside your notebook is very appealing, but if you’re thinking about replacing your current hard drive with one of these drives, consider how much “cache” you currently have on hand. Hard drive cache (sometimes referred to as the “buffer”) is a memory module that can potentially increase the speed of the hard drive. Cache basically stores files that you have recently used and when you need to use those files again the computer can just grab them from the cache instead of having to spin the hard drive and locate the files on the disk. The reason I said cache can “potentially” make a hard drive faster is that cache doesn’t help that much unless you’re doing repetitive tasks with files that can be stored in the cache.

Both the Samsung Spinpoint M8 and the Western Digital Scorpio Blue use 8MB of Samsung DDR memory for cache. If your current laptop hard drive only has 8MB of cache then you’ll appreciate the added storage space that these hard drives provide. However, most lower capacity 7200rpm hard drives use 16MB of cache and this can make a noticeable difference in the overall speed of your laptop if you’re constantly accessing the same files.

In short, if your current laptop hard drive is a low-capacity 7200rpm drive with 16MB of cache then you “might” notice slower overall performance with these 1TB hard drives.


At the end of the day it’s tough to pick a clear winner between the Samsung Spinpoint M8 and the Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT. If you’re laptop has room for two hard drives then the Western Digital has the edge in terms of raw speed for a second storage drive. That said, the Samsung Spinpoint M8 gave us slightly faster results as a dual boot drive and seems to be less power hungry except for a nasty power spike during Windows startup.

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

Theme images by merrymoonmary. Powered by Blogger.