New Cool & Quiet Laptop Harddrives from Western Digital
Western Digital has launched the Scorpio line of mobile hard disks. They come in the standard versions of 40gb, 60gb and 80gb with 5,400 rpm. The good news is that they claim to have fixed noise, heat, power consumtion and shock problems:
To keep sound levels low, Western Digital teams its SoftSeek algorithms (which quiet the clicking typical in drive seeks) with its WhisperDrive technology (which includes fluid dynamic bearings and a specially dampened top cover). The company claims that models in the Scorpio line are the quietest mobile hard drives on the market. Heat won't be a problem either, according to spokesman Darrin Bulik. "Scorpio has run cooler in our tests than the competing 4,200-rpm and 5,400-rpm models we've compared it to," he said.
Aside from heat issues, power consumption is perhaps the biggest concern for notebook computer users. Western Digital reported that Scorpio drives should be very miserly in their use of energy, taking roughly the same amount of power as 4,200-rpm drives while running far faster.
The Scorpios should be hard to squash as well. Each drive comes with a strengthened cover that stands up better to top-down pressure (as might happen if someone were to lean heavily against the notebook's palm rest). Mobile hard-drive shock resistance has generally improved in recent years, and Scorpio drives are rated to withstand 250 Gs while operating and 900 Gs of nonoperating shock. The company expects its DuraStep Ramp technology to enable the drive to perform at least 600,000 load/unload cycles without contaminating the drive's clean internal atmosphere.