WD Scorpio Blue 1TB 2.5-inch HDD

If you own a desktop computer you have the ability to purchase a 3TB 3.5" SATA hard drive, which is amazing when you think about it. This is a massive amount of storage and has opened new doors for what you can store at home on your PC or in a home NAS server. It feels like just yesterday that 1TB desktop drives were all the rage, but those drives are now considered 'small' to many consumers for a desktop PC! What is considered 'small' now to desktop users sounds massive to notebook users as most would kill for that much storage space! Now that notebook sales have passed up desktop sales, more and more people only have a laptop now and they need storage space!  Notebook hard drives have always been slightly behind desktop drives and that makes sense as they need to be smaller, lighter, able to handle drops and use less power due to power constraints. The design work that goes into a notebook hard drive has always been impressive, but we were a bit shocked when we heard that Western Digital was releasing a 1TB 2.5" notebook drive that uses the standard 9.5mm height. Storage capacity continues to increase at a rapid pace!

You can never have enough storage and if your notebook is the only PC that you use, you more than likely know that storage space is a precious commodity. Most pre-configured mainstream notebooks that are available at brick and mortar stores come with 320GB to 640GB hard drives. That may sound like a bunch of space when you are standing in the store, but after you put all your programs, games and digital media on the drive it usually doesn't leave you with much space for future growth. If you have reached or are nearing full capacity on your storage drive then you might want to consider upgrading to a larger drive and if you want the most space possible a 1TB 2.5" notebook hard drive is your best, and well only, choice available.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Hard Drive

Today, we'll be looking at a the WD Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT 1TB 5400 RPM 2.5" SATA II notebook hard drive. With a 5400 RPM drive speed, 8MB cache, and 3 GB/s SATA interface speed, the 1TB Western Digital Scorpio Blue hard drive is the largest capacity drive offered by Western Digital in the 2.5" SATA notebook standard. If you want to massive amounts of storage space in a laptop this is the drive for you! Before we dive into the specifics we should point out that WD has two Scorpio Blue 1TB notebook drives and you need to know what the differences are as they are two very different products.

 Model
 Capacity
RPM
 Height
Performance
 Acoustics Price
 WD10JPVT  1TB  5400  9.5mm  150 MB/s
 22dBA Idle
 $127.00
 WD10TPVT  1TB  5200  12.5mm  124 MB/s  24dBA Idle
 $99.95

When WD first announced a 1TB notebook hard drive it was the WD10TPVT, which is has a height or thickness of 12.5mm.  This drive won't fit in the vast majority of notebooks on the market today, but it will fit in some notebooks and can also be used for DIY external cases and some NAS servers. For the vast majority of our readers you'll want to stick with the WD10JPVT, which is 9.5mm and will easily fit inside most notebooks.  The drive also happens to be faster, use less power and makes less noise.  The bad news is that it costs more than than it's older and slower sibling.

How much will the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB WD10JPVT hard drive set you back? The lowest price that we could find for the drive online was for $127.00 shipped, which makes it $0.127 per Gigabyte. For comparison sake the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400 RPM 750GB notebook hard drive can be purchased online for $94.00 shipped, which comes out being $0.125 per Gigabyte. As you can tell the cost per Gigabyte is roughly the same, so be sure to get the drive that best suits your own unique storage needs. 

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Hard Drive

The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB SATA hard drive that we are looking at today is part number WD10JPVT, and is obviously part of the Blue series as the label on the drive is accented in blue. WD has color coded their products, which makes is easy to see who they are aimed at. Their mainstream products are called “Blue,” power-efficient drives are named “Green,” and high-performance drives are called “Black.” All of the WD Black drives spin at 7,200 RPM, utilize a SATA/300 interface with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) support, and have 16 MB of cache memory. Those not needing performance like this should look at the Scorpio Blue series as they feature 5,400 RPM drive speeds (5,200 RPM on some), 8 MB of cache memory and a slightly lower price.

WD Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT Hard Drive Features:

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Hard Drive PCB

The back of this 2.5" notebook hard drive is pictured above and gives a better look at the SATA power connector and the SATA NCQ interface. The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB WD10JPVT uses two 500GB platters to reach the full capacity rating of the drive, which is impressive for a drive that is just 9.5mm in height. If you want to talk about how areal density has improved over the years, this is the drive to brag about! Since this drive uses the standard 9.5mm standard it should fit in the fast majority of notebooks another devices like 2.5-inch NAS servers that use notebook HDDs.

WD Scorpio Blue 1TB SATA Hard Drive Connectors

The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB 2.5-inch hard drive uses WD 'Advanced Format' technology. For years now most hard drives have written data blocks in traditional 512 byte sectors. Over the past three years the industry have been moving to a larger sector size of 4 kilobytes (4,096B) for obvious reasons. The Advanced Format (AF) nomenclature that WD is using is just their way to ID what drives are using 4KB sectors. If you purchase this hard drive and install a brand new operating system on it from scratch then you won't even notice the changes, but if you are cloning an older storage drive to any WD Scorpio hard drive using WD AF technology you must run the WD Advanced Format Hard Drive Download Utility to properly align the drive after the cloning is done. If you don't do this you won't be getting the most performance from the drive! 

Let's take a look at the test system and then get into performance testing!

The Test System

Before we look at the numbers, here is a brief glance at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.

Intel Z68 Platform

Intel Z68 Test System

The Intel Z68 platform that we used to test the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB hard was running an Intel Core i3-2120 processor on the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard with BIOS F8 that came out on 7/26/2011. We used one of the white SATA III 6Gbps ports on the board to test the hard drives performance with the drive as a secondary. The Kingston HyperX T1 8GB 1866MHz memory kit was set to 1866MHz with 1.5v and 9-10-9-28 1T memory timings.

Intel P55 Test Settings


Intel Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i3-2120

Motherboard

Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3
Click Here

Memory

8GB Kingston HyperX 1866
Click Here

Video Card

n/a

Click Here

Hard Drive

Crucial C300 256GB SSD

Click Here

Cooling

Intel Retail Boxed

Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair HX850W

Click Here

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Click Here

Detailed Drive Information on the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB:

WD Scorpio Blue 1TB Drive Info

HD Tach v3.0.4.0

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

Western Digital Scorpio Black 1TB:

HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB had an average read speed of 93.3MB/s and an average write speed of 70.6MB/s!  The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB also had a burst speed of 215.2MB/s and a random access time of 16.6ms. Not bad for a drive that boasts its storage capacity more than anything else!

Comparison Performance Chart:

HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Compared to a 5400RPM hard drive like the Hitachi K5K500 320GB the WD Scorpio Blue performs much better, but it was slightly slower than the WD Scorpio Black 750GB drive. This was expected as the WD Scorpio Black 750GB drive is designed for performance and has a faster 7200RPM spindle speed.

HD Tune v4.61

HD Tune Pro 4.61 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

Read Performance Testing

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Hitachi K5K500 320GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Write Performance Testing

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Hitachi K5K500 320GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Benchmark Results: The Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB had average read speed was found to be 88.5MB/s with an average write speed of 86.8MB/s with the latest version of HD Tune Pro.The Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB had average read/write speeds of 100.7/98.4 MB/s and the Hitachi 5K500 320GB drive scored 55.7/55.1MB/s.

HD Tune 64MB File Test

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Hitachi K5K500 320GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Benchmark Results: Running the built-in file benchmark test in HD Tune 4.61 shows how the drive performs with various file sizes. This test shows the WD Scorpio Blue topped out at around 100MB/s in this test.

HD Tune v4.61 - Random Access

The random access read and write test is a very important performance area to look at on solid state drives and hard drives as some controllers have problems with random writes. In recent years the controllers have improved and the firmware has been better optimized for random read and write performance.

Random Access Read Test Results

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Hitachi K5K500 320GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Benchmark Results: When it comes to the random access read performance test the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1Tb scored 62 IOPS in the 4KB read test, which was better than the 48 IOPS seen on the Hitachi drive and just behind the 64 IOPS scored on the WD Scorpio Black 750GB.

Random Access Write Test Results:

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Hitachi K5K500 320GB:

HD Tune File Benchmark

Benchmark Results: The write performance test results of the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB was seeing better performance numbers at some of the file sizes than even the WD Scorpio Black 1TB! 

SiSoftware Sandra 2011 SP4a

SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. Sandra provides most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software. In order to test the hard drive, SiSoftware Sandra 2010c was used as part of the test suite. The graphical results that Sandra gives you after the test is completed nicely shows how drives perform over time and where on the drive the performance is seen.

READ Performance Testing

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

HD Tach Benchmark Results

WRITE Performance Testing

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TBB HDD has solid performance in Sandra 2011 and was found to have an average read score of 89MB/s with a write score of 90MB/s. The read and write access times also looked good, at 12.51ms read and 8.46ms write.

HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB HDD was only about 11MB/s behind the Scorpio Black 750GB, which is impressive for a blue series drive with some major capacity! 

CrystalDiskMark v3.0.1

CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random read/write speeds.

Western Digital Scorpio Black 1TB:

CrystalDiskMark v3.0 Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: With Crystal Mark v3.0.1 run with a file size of 1000MB the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB had pretty respectable performance numbers of 119.0MB/s read and 117.6MB/s write!

Comparison Performance Chart:

CrystalDiskMark v3.0 Benchmark Chart

Benchmark Results: The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB laptop hard drive performs very well in CrystalDiskMark and was found to be less than 10MB/s slower than the WD Scorpio Black 750GB drive in the sequential read/write test.

CrystalDiskMark v3.0 4K Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The performance differences remained with a file size of 4K and the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB drive performed right how we thought it would.

ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46

ATTO is one of the oldest hard drive benchmarks that is still used today. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that you can easily interpret. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB:

ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46 Results

Benchmark Results:  The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB 2.5-inch laptop hard drive was able to reach 119MBps on the read test and 119MBps on the write test in the Overlapped I/O benchmark. This was much faster than the 73MB/s read and 74MB/s write speeds sen on the Hitachi 5K500 320GB drive.

Comparison Performance Chart:

ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46 Benchmark Chart

4MB File Size Benchmark Results:  The WD Scorpio Black 750GB notebook drive was able to reach 129MBps on the read test and 124MBps on the write test in the Overlapped I/O benchmark , so the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB drive wasn't too far behind with solid 119MBps read and write result. Both of these drives showed the apparent weakness of the Hitachi 5K500 320GB 5400RPM drive with just 71MB/s read and 74MB/s write speeds.

PCMark 7

PCMark 7 Benchmarking

This is our first use of Futuremark PCMark 7 for a processor review. PCMark 7 which is specifically designed for Windows 7. It measures the performance of the latest PC hardware across a variety of common scenarios. PCMark Vantage 7 supports both system level and component level benchmarking and comprises several different test suites but for the purposes of this review, we employed the secondary storage suite. The nice thing about it is that you can submit your scores online and compare against others.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Results:

PCMark Vantage Benchmarking

Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB Results:

PCMark Vantage Benchmarking

Hitachi K5K500 320GB:

PCMark Vantage Benchmarking

Benchmark Results: Looking at the PCMark 7 secondary storage test the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB drive scored 1573 points versus the 1911 points scored on the WD Scorpio Black 750GB and the 1357 points seen on the Hitachi 5K500 hard drive.

Comparison Performance Chart:

HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Compared to a 5400RPM hard drive like the Hitachi K5K500 320GB the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB performs much better, but was slightly slower than the WD Scorpio Black 750GB drive. This was expected as the WD Scorpio Black 750GB drive is designed for performance and has a faster 7200RPM spindle speed.

Free Capacity and Final Thoughts

Capacity

WD Scorpio Black 750GB Hard Drive Actual Capacity

When it comes to storage capacity, the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB Notebook hard drive has a free capacity of 931GB as shown above.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Hard Drive

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB (WD10JPVT) is ideal for those looking to get the most storage capacity possible from a notebook hard drive. This drive is no performance slouch though as it was capable of delivering file transfer rates as high as 119 MB/s in tests like ATTO Disk Benchmark. That is flying for a 5400 RPM drive and performance numbers that are far greater than what you could get from 5400RPM drives in past years. The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB drive would make for a good primary drive and a killer secondary drive if you are lucky enough to own a laptop that has space for two drives. This drive is also ideal for compact NAS servers that use 2.5-inch laptop drives as you could get a 1TB RAID1 array in 2-bay devices.

When it comes to pricing the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB hard drive costs $127.00 shipped! This might sound like a bunch of money to some people, but that is under 13 cents per Gigabyte. The closest competitor to the WD Scorpio Blue is the Samsung Spinpoint M8 1TB, which has identical specifications (5400RPM, 8MB Cache, 2 x 500GB Platters, 3-year warranty) and costs $116.28 shipped. We don't have this drive available in our lab for testing, but these are the only two 1TB consumer notebook drives on the market today. If you are wanting an SSD with a large storage capacity, you better start saving as the largest 2.5" SSD is the Intel 320 Series 600GB drive and it costs $1,082.11 shipped or $1.80 per Gigabyte! As you can see there is a huge price difference and storage capacity difference between traditional hard drives and the newer Solid-State Drives. Hard drives are proven to be reliable and are very cost effect ways to store large amounts of data and will continue to be the leader here for many years to come.

When it comes to rotational storage drives like hard drives noise is always a concern with people, but the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB drive is very quiet with an average acoustics rating of 22dBA at idle and 25dBA during a seek operation. These are levels that are low enough to where we couldn't hear the drive when in an enclosure. It also runs rather cool as when we we had it on the test bench the drive would idle at 27C and then peak around 34C during use.

The entire Western Digital Scorpio Blue notebook hard drive series comes with a 3-year warranty. Having a three year warranty is fairly standard for mainstream drives, so nothing is lacking on this front either.

At the end of the day the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB SATA 2.5" laptop hard drive impressed us when it came to storage capacity and performance. If you want to get the most storage as possible for your notebook then a 1TB notebook drive is the drive for you. Just remember to backup that 1TB of data as if your laptop ever gets stolen or the data gets lost you have a backup!

Legit Reviews Editor's Choice Award

Legit Bottom Line: The WD Scorpio Blue 1TB SATA notebook hard drive leads the way when it comes to storage capacity and does so with the standard 9.5mm form factor.