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Toshiba 200GB 4200RPM 2.5" Hard Drive
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by Rob Williams on October 18, 2006 in Hard Drives

It has been a while since we’ve seen a capture of the top spot in the mobile storage market, but Toshiba has come along and delivered a 200GB 2.5″ drive. What the drive adds in extra storage though, it takes away in speed.

Introduction


One thing is for certain. The mobile storage market is one that’s constantly moving, but has yet to catch up to it’s desktop counterparts. Earlier this year, Seagate released their Momentus 160GB mobile drive, based on PMR technologies. Thanks to PMR, new heights can be reached. It’s responsible also for Seagates top desktop drive, the Barracuda 750GB.

While the top desktop drive is a staggering size though, the highest end mobile drive up to this point has been the 160GB. That’s quite a step down, but is still cream of the crop when it comes to your laptop storage. With the great density, performance is held back when comparing to a standard 7200RPM drive. However, most who use laptops would appreciate the extra storage space more than a few extra MB/s.

Nobody thought that anyone would touch Seagate for a while, but a few months ago Toshiba first announced their 200GB mobile drive… a full 40GB over Seagates best offering. As mentioned in the intro though, more does not always mean better.

Closer Look

The drive arrived in a very secure package… the drive really had no chance to move around during shipment. The antistatic bag of course contains the hard drive, and has a packet of silica salt for added “freshness”. The exact model number for this drive is MK2035GSS, and at first glance it’s difficult to make out what density it actually is. However, below the serial number you will find just that, in addition to it’s sector count.

The drive looks identical to most other 2.5″ drives you have seen, although one thing threw me for a loop. I had not realized until actually looking at the drive, that it is S-ATA II (ATA-7) based, so it could not be used in my two and a half year old laptop. Luckily enough, it’s connections are identical to the S-ATA drives you have in your rig, so testing on my desktop proved to be no problem.

You may immediately think that due to it’s S-ATA II status, it should prove to be a far smoother, and speedier ride over the Seagate 160GB. That’s not the case. This drive is 4200RPM, as opposed to Seagates 160GB which is 5400RPM. So before even testing, the speed differences are going to be clear. 4200RPM is slow, any way you look at it. It’s this slow due to the fact that they had to slam 200GB into it’s ultra-thin frame. This is also likely why we did not see a 7200RPM version of Seagates 160GB model. You win some, or lose some. Depending on how you look at this drive and what you plan to use it for, the speed may not be a huge concern.

Here are the official specs given to us by Toshiba:

  • 200GB capacity
  • Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) combined with Tunnel Magneto-resistive Recording (TMR) Head Technology
  • Rotational Speed of 4,200rpm
  • 9.5mm High
  • 12ms Average Seek Time
  • ATA-7 Interface
  • 150MB/sec Transfer Rate
  • 8MB Buffer
  • 300,000 MTTF Hours

This feature-list seems to be a tad dishonest, in the sense that 150MB/s is hardly expected from a 4200RPM. 150MB/s however, is the spec for S-ATA 2.

If those features were not enough information for you, perhaps you’d enjoy some specification action.

    Data Storage Physical

  • Per drive, formatted – 200.050GB
  • Data Heads – 4
  • Number of Disks – 2
    Logical Configuration

  • Heads – 16
  • Cylinders – 16,383
  • User Sectors/Track at zone 0 – 63
  • Logical Blocks (LBA) – 390,721,968
    Data Transfer Rate

  • Max transfer rate to host – 150MB/sec
    Seek Time

  • Track-to-track – 2ms
  • Average – 12ms
  • Maximum – 22ms
    Nominal Power Requirements

  • Logic – +5V(5%)
  • Start – 4.5watts (max)
  • Seeking – 2.4watts (typ)
  • Reading/Writing – 1.85watts (typ)
  • Idle – 0.85watts (typ)
  • Standby – 0.25watts (typ)
  • Sleep – 0.15watts (typ)
    Other

  • Rotational Speed – 4,200rpm
  • Average Latency – 5.55ms
  • Interface – ATA-7
  • Buffer – 8MB
    Dimensions/Weight

  • Height – 0.37″ (9.5mm)
  • Width – 2.75″ (69.85mm)
  • Depth – 3.94″ (100mm)
  • Weight – 3.46 oz (98g)
    Ambient Temperature

  • Operating – 41 – 131F (5 to 55C)
  • Non-Operating – -4 – 140F (-20 to 60C)
  • Shipping – -40 – 158F (-40 to 70C)
    Vibration and Shock

  • Operating Vibration – 9.8 m/s2 (1.0G), 5 – 500 Hz
  • Operating Shock – 325g/2ms
  • Non-Operating Shock – 850g/1ms
    Error Rates

  • Non-recoverable – 1 in 1013 bits
  • Seek – 1 in 106 seeks
    Other

  • Preventive Maintenance – None
  • MTTF (Power on hours) – 300,000
  • Product Life – 5 years or 20,000 power ON hours

On to some testing to see how the drive compares to others we have recently tested.