Solid state drives are becoming more and more popular these days, and with the speed and performance increases they can bring, it’s no wonder more and more people are installing SSD’s in their laptops, trading performance for storage space.
Sometimes, however, you need a big hard drive. Those who have large movie collections, massive music libraries, or who like to install a lot of games and other large applications often find that they need a bigger hard drive, and as such an SSD alone won’t do the trick. That’s where Western Digital’s new Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT 9.5mm 1TB laptop hard drive ($122.33, Amazon) comes into play.
WD’s latest laptop drive boasts that, while it spins at 5400RPM, it can outperform most 7200RPM hard drives, and is one of the fastest traditional hard drives available for portable computers. Many SSD users opt to install a second larger hard drive (or keep their old hard drive) in their machines after installing an SSD. The MacBook Pro makes this a simple task, and the Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT is an excellent candidate for a second drive.
Before I go into how well the drive performs, I feel that it would be useful to explain the process of installing multiple hard drives in a MacBook Pro. Installing or replacing a hard drive is a simple as removing the back case of your MacBook Pro, unscrewing the hard drive bracket, and lifting the hard drive out using the attached pull tab.
Once the drive is out, replacing it with an SSD or replacement hard drive is just as simple – just remove the four Torx screws in the side of the hard drive, transfer them to your new drive, plug in the SATA cable, and screw the hard drive bracket back in.
Installing the second hard drive is a little bit more involved, but is still a simple process. Simply remove the optical drive by disconnecting its cables from the logic board, unscrewing the drive from it’s mount, and lifting it out. To install a second drive, you’ll need a device such as an Optibay or OWC’s DataDoubler, which fill the space previously taken up by the optical drive and allow you to mount a hard drive inside of them.
I won’t go into detail on how to install the drives or remove the optical drive, but if you need more guidance, iFixit has an excellent set of guides that can help you.
Now that the installation is out of the way, many of you are likely wondering how well this drive performs, and whether it lives up to its speed claims. I performed several benchmarks on the new drive, and compared it to a Seagate 7200RMP 500GB drive that I used to use to illustrate the difference.
I first benchmarked the drives using BlackMagic’s Disk Speed Test (Free, Mac App Store Link). The below images show my results, with the WD10JPVT’s results on the top, and the 500GB 7200RPM drive’s results on the bottom.
As you can see, the Western Digital 1TB drive outperformed my 7200RPM Seagate drive, despite the fact that it has a slower rotational speed. This is particularly notable, as it indicates strong drive performance, and shows that Western Digital was able to engineer this new drive to very high standards.
To verify my results, I used a second benchmarking tool called AJA System Test. AJA reported similar results – while the 7200RPM Seagate drive achieved speeds of between 102-103 Mb/s for both reading and writing data, the WD10JPVT achieved slightly faster speeds of between 112-114 Mbps for both reading and writing.
While the WD10JPVT didn’t outperform my Seagate drive by a large margin, it still outperformed it significantly enough to prove its point – that even though it’s a 5400RPM drive, it is easily capable of beating out 7200RPM drives (and my 7200RPM Seagate Momentus drive is still one of the higher-ranked drives on the market).
The WD10JPVT is an impressive drive, and at a retail cost of just $130, it’s affordable enough to add to your machine as a companion for your SSD.
Rating & Conclusion
Considering the WD10JPVT’s high performance, affordable price point, and impressive storage capacity (all in a 9.5mm hard drive), I award this drive a full five out of five, leaving nothing to desire in terms of speed, performance, or affordability.
The Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT is currently the highest capacity 9.5mm laptop hard drive available, and with speeds exceeding those of a quality 7200RPM drive, I can fully recommended it to anyone looking to add some extra storage to their MacBook Pro, or as a companion for an SSD.
For more information, or to purchase the Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT, head on over to Western Digital’s product page on the web. The drive is also available for as little as $122.33 on Amazon.com (Amazon Link).