For people who like to store a lot of data on their laptops, but don’t have piles of cash to throw at a large SSD, Western Digital’s Scorpio Black series of 7200RPM 2.5” hard drives have been a popular choice over the past few years. This is because they are generally reasonably priced and perform a bit better than their competitors (mainly the Momentus range from Seagate). Up until recently, 500GB was the largest capacity available – here in our hands and stores nationwide now is the 750GB version. Not a whole lot has changed compared to previous Scorpio Black drives other than platter size, which has gone from 250GB up to 375GB (both drives use two platters housed in a slim 9.5mm form factor). This results in an increased maximum transfer rate advertised as 180MB/s, up from 154MB/s on the 500GB drive.
In real-world testing I could only squeeze 126MB/s out of it, however that’s as fast as the WD Blue 640GB 3.5” drive in my desktop, and about three times faster than the 100GB Seagate Momentus 5400.3 in my old notebook. One minor feature that has been added is Advanced Format. This is simply the technique of organising data on the drive into 4096B chunks rather than 512B – Western Digital says a drive’s useful storage capacity can be increased by 7 percent to 11 percent by using this format. Given that the Scorpio Black 750GB drive has 50 percent more capacity than the 500GB and also costs roughly 50 percent more, there is absolutely no reason for us not to recommend this drive for your laptop.