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Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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twolegged
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Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#1 Post by twolegged » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:35 pm

I have had an R61i for three years, and it's brilliant ... so I decided to buy a used Thinkpad as a spare machine. I just got a ThinkPad T500 model 2242, but it came without a HD, so I need to buy one. (No OS included, but I'll be using OpenSUSE anyway)

Having not bought a bare HD for many years (back in EIDE days), I did some research, and think that my choice will be between a Western Digital Scorpio Blue or a Western Digital Scorpio Black. (The Blue is 5400RPM/8MB cache, the Black is 7200RPM/16MB cache)

Both are described variously as having either a "SATA II" interface, or a "SATA-3GB", depending on the retailer, and the WD website says that the Blue is either "SATA 3 Gb/s" or
"SATA 1.5 Gb/s", whereas the Black is only "SATA 3 Gb/s".

I have read up a bit on SATA, and checked on the Lenovo and WD websites, but so far I haven't satisfied myself that either drive is compatible with the T500. Can anyone help me on this? Is either or both of these drives usable in my T500? Or do I need to go for a SATA 1 drive?

If both are usable, how should I decide which to go for? The WD website says that the Black uses no more power than a 5400RPM drive, but is this true? Naturally I'd prefer the faster speed of a 7200RPM drive, but it depends how much it would dent my battery life.

I would prefer if possible to use a WD drive, because I have had good experience with WD drives for nearly 20 years and disasters when I have used other brands, so pls don't try talking me out of Western Digital unless neither of these HDs is compatible. :)

I did read previous discussions on this forum, and I note the very good arguments in favour of SSD drives, but on this cheapo machine I can't justify the cost, so I'll stick with a spinning Winchester drive for now.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Colonel O'Neill
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#2 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:30 pm

Both should work, except for the 12.5mm height drives.

My parents' X61 has a 120GB Scorpio Blue in it. My T400 has a 500GB Scorpio Black in it.
If you want performance, go Scorpio Black.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

ctkelly
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#3 Post by ctkelly » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:34 pm

Go for the black, the performance of the blue isnt great. Another option would be the seagate momentus xt, a hybrid ssd/hdd drive. 500gb for around 100.

Colonel O'Neill
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#4 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Eh... The XT's platter part isn't too phenomenal.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

ctkelly
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#5 Post by ctkelly » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:14 pm


Colonel O'Neill
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#6 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:45 pm

I meant the platter half of it specifically. Having the read cache just masks it.

If you want a hybrid drive, I'd recommend 'building' one yourself using eBoostr, a Scorpio Black, a large (removable, replaceable, expandable, customizable, 8-16GB?) SD card in the SD card reader, and a little portion (256-512MB?) of system RAM.

I have a 500GB Scorpio Black, 4GB SD Card (only Class 6, works okay, but not super great), and 1.5GB of system RAM (running 32-bit, so leaves me with 2.5GB usable on 4GB, and therefore I allocate the excess 1.5GB). Works like a charm; I can exclude files, by path or by mask, promote often used apps specifically, and still defrag my platter drive normally without screwing it up. RAM cache is also infinitely faster than a NAND cache (Can you say 2GB/s random read?).
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

ctkelly
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#7 Post by ctkelly » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:48 pm

I'd still take the momentus XT over that setup. SD cards are not faster than hard drives let alone USB 2.0 and you're relying on a third party software which currently does not have a working website. Then theres cost, if you go with a 500GB WD black your at 70 dollars, cost of the program you mentioned which I have no idea since the website is unavailable, and the cost of a SD card just about guarantees you're over the price of the seagate momentus XT.

Show me a wesbite where testing has be done and your type of setup is better than the seagate momentus xt and I'll agree its the better choice. Until then I say if you want one of the fastest options out there without getting into a SSD then the original poster should look at the seagate momentus XT. If he has a brand preference and wants to stick with WD only, thats his choice and the Black scorpio is his best bet in the WD line.

And a huge note....he said he would be using OpenSUSE anyways....is eboostr (if its even available anymore) compatible with linux?

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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#8 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:33 pm

With OpenSUSE, the whole argument is moot; eBoostr is Windows only.

The lack of ability to defrag the drive is a major flaw though, but with Linux filesystems, it's not really possible at the software level anyway. The fact that it's a single NAND chip means there's virtually no wear levelling, and probably won't last too long because of the way it adaptively swaps sectors in and out of the cache, leading to extra wear. (EDIT: It's an SLC chip, which mitigates the lifespan issue somewhat.)

There is a thread on NBR where a member provided evidence that a Scorpio Blue + eBoostr was better than a full-on SSD. However, the SSD he used was of questionable quality and performance. The built in SD reader isn't hooked up via USB, AFAICT.

eBoostr's site works fine for me. The version with everything runs $40.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#9 Post by Brian10161 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:59 pm

If I may, I have another HDD recommendation.

I have a Hitachi 7K320 in my T60 at the moment and it's quite fast. 108mb/sec read/write speed at SATA I speeds.

I am running Windows on it, but I find it performs quickly. The 320GB was 54.99, they have a 5400 RPM drive and it's $44.99. Nice thing is too, it's only 7MM thick. I am finding it runs a little cooler than my Seagate 320GB 7200RPM drive.

It's another contender to look into.
Thinkpad T450s - Everyday ( i5-5300u, 8gb, 240gb ssd, 1600x900 )
Thinkpad T430s - Home ( i5-3320m, 8gb, 500gb ssd, 1600x900 )
Thinkpad T410s - Work ( i5-520m, 4gb, 120gb ssd, 1440x800 )

ctkelly
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#10 Post by ctkelly » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:06 pm

You can defrag the XT, its just not recommended to do it often as it has to relearn your habits to provide the performance boost. However one member in the seagate forums did a simple test and showed a 10% improvement in performance by defragging once a month

The SD reader may not be hooked up to USB 2.0 but that was not my point. A class 10 SD is roughly 10mbps, USB 2.0 is 480mbps....a usb flash stick should be faster than a SD card. What might be more beneficial if you have plenty of memory is setting up a ram disk. And as such, some members of the ocz forums were actually setting up ram flash disks with their SSD drives....the reason was to offload disk caching to slow down the number of writes to the SSD which is inevitably what wears down a SSD.

Dataram offers a freeware product that enables you to have up to a 4GB ramdisk, if you need more you have to fork up some money.

twolegged
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#11 Post by twolegged » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:46 am

Thanks very much for the replies. As some posters noted, eBoostr is not an option since I'm using Linux.

Since the WD Scorpios are usable, I'll go for a 500GB Scorpio Black, which I can get for £50 from my local bits supplier. The 500GB Seagate Momentus XD costs nearly £90, and since the difference is enough to buy me a spare 9-cell battery on Fleabay, I reckon I'm better off getting that combo than chasing the last edge on HD performance.

In any case, this StorageReview.com comparison suggests that the Seagate is only faster in some situations, and never by more than 20%. Their methodology may be a bit flawed, because I presume that the performance of hybrid drives depends heavily on setup and the type of usage, but it still doesn't look to me like enough of a gain to justify the extra cost for a cheapie machine. When I win the Lotto and can splash out on a brand-new T520, I'll go for a monster SSD drive, but at this point the price/performance ratio clearly favours the spinning disc for this machine. In any case, Linux boots so much faster than Vista that bootup time isn't a real worry.

Thanks to those who suggested the Hitachi drive. I haven't used a Hitachi, but AFAICR they took over IBM's storage division, and having had two IBM Deskstars which died sudden and painful deaths in a desktop, I'm not minded to try anything from that stable. They may have upped their game since the takeover, but twice bitten ...

ctkelly
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#12 Post by ctkelly » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:34 am

Good choice, cant fault you when theres that much of a price difference in your neck of the woods.

I hear you on the hitachi drives...I had three of the infamous deathstar 60 GXP drives....yeah they all died too. I do have a 750GB enterprise class drive from hitachi as a storage drive thats lived fine now for a few years. But I was a bit leery like you.

But have no fear, Western Digital bought out Hitachi GST (disk division). :lol:

twolegged
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#13 Post by twolegged » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:33 am

@ctkelly, sorry you hear you had the Deathstars too. Mine were also 60GXPs.

I'm probably being a little unfair on Hitachi, because the Deathstars were before their watch, and it was all quite a long time ago. Hitachi usually produce good quality products, so I'm sure they've taken more care than seems to have applied the last days of IBM ownership.

As to WD taking over Hitachi, I hadn't spotted that, and it turns out that's just happened since I started this thread. :roll: Sadly, it seems that the effect will be to reduce price competition, so maybe this is not a bad time to buy.

twolegged
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#14 Post by twolegged » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:41 am

I just won another fleabay auction, this time for a Thinkpad R61i model 7650. (A twin of my existing R61i)

It also comes without a hard drive, so I need to get one for it ... so does anyone know whether a WD Scorpio Black will work in the R61i? :?:

(I know that there is also an R-series board here, but I thought it would be simpler to tag this followup question onto this thread. Sorry if I have done the wrong thing)

Colonel O'Neill
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#15 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:20 am

It should.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

twolegged
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#16 Post by twolegged » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:18 am

I have installed a 500GB Scorpio Black in the T500, and another one in the new-to-me R61i. Both installed easily and run much faster than any HD I have used before, so I am very pleased with my choice.

Thanks very much to everyone who helped me here.

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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#17 Post by Garfed » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:32 pm

I still take the installer's Momentus XT's. SD card is not to mention faster than USB 2.0 hard drive and you are using a third-party software that currently does not have a valid Web site support...

Colonel O'Neill
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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#18 Post by Colonel O'Neill » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:15 am

Momentus XT's come with their own bag of issues such as freezing, crashing, BSoDs, kernelpanics, etc.

I get 13MB/s random 4k reads off of a low-grade SD card at the moment. Coupled with 1.5GB of RAM cache (what, 2GB/s random reads?), it's blazing fast. Plus the platters are faster with the Scorpio Black than the platters in the Seagate. What happens when your NAND media fails in the XT? Do you replace the entire drive? Sounds like you get the pitfalls of solid-state without all the benefits. Granted, it is Windows only.

eBoostr.com has always worked for me. Dunno why it doesn't for other people. It's also one of the better designed sites I've encountered in the past while.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/688/1376, 21GB RAM, 500GB + 750GB HDD, FHD screen & MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
Y3P: 5Y70, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, QHD+ screen

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Re: Which new HD can I use in a T500? WD Scoprio Blue/Black?

#19 Post by DenverBrian » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:54 pm

I upgraded my T60p to a 500GB Scorpio Black and it worked flawlessly.

My T500 came from the factory with a Hitachi 500GB/7200 rpm drive; it failed at about 9 months. Lenovo promptly sent a replacement, also a Hitachi. So far it's working.

Both the WD and Hitachis are quiet in their respective 'puters.

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