Print 22 comment(s) - last by RMSe17.. on Jul 4 at 11:16 PM

Fujitsu's new drive features a 300GB storage capacity, but only a 4200RPM spindle speed

The mobile storage wars are on and all of the top hard drive manufacturers are looking to one-up each other. Fujitsu fired the latest shot yesterday with the introduction of its new 300GB external HDD.

The 2.5"-based drive features a SATA interface internally and a USB 2.0 interface for connecting to a notebook computer. The drive also features a 16-point omnidirectional shock mounting design to protect the drive for rough handling.

"We are proud to launch the world’s highest capacity 2.5" External HDD product into the marketplace at a time when consumers are demanding more storage, compact designs, and features that advance the level of data security," said Fujitsu's Lorne Wilson. "Fujitsu has almost forty years of experience in the hard disk drive industry, and we have successfully expanded our 2.5" HDD business over the last fourteen years. As a result of our focus and commitment to R&D, we have been able to leverage our expertise in this field to create an ideal solution for portable backup and storage solutions."

While Fujitsu may now hold the storage crown with its new drive, the spindle speed is a disappointing 4200RPM. The latest 250GB drives announced feature 5400RPM spindle speeds while 200GB units are spinning at 7200RPM.

The MSRP for Fujitsu's new drive is $229 and it will be available during the third quarter.

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USB Interface?
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 11:05:09 AM , Rating: 1
Is the inclusing of a USB interface, intead of PATA/SATA, a new design trend in mobile HDDs and laptops?

Or is this drive designed more for extenal plug-in HDDs? The native USB interface would be convenient and cost effective for that purpose.

RE: USB Interface?
By Flunk on 7/3/2007 11:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
It says it's an external hard drive, I'm sure the drive uses a SATA or IDE interface internally. USB won't be replacing SATA any time soon because of bandwith limitations (SATA2 = 3000Mbps, USB2 = 480Mbps).

RE: USB Interface?
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 11:27:02 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks, the edits Brandon made to the article have made it clear now.

RE: USB Interface?
By RMSe17 on 7/4/2007 11:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
Here is an interesting read as far as SATA2 = 3000Mbps

RE: USB Interface?
By Aprime on 7/3/2007 11:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, so what if it's only 4200RPM? I stuck a 4200RPM drive in my last laptop just to get more battery life out of it.

The difference between 5.4K and 4.2K isn't that big, seriously.

I'd rather stick with 4.2K drives for notebooks until SSDs become somewhat of a commodity.

RE: USB Interface?
By Screwballl on 7/3/2007 12:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
I am the type that would rather use a 7200 over a 5400 or 4200 anyday... I would take speed over storage anyday...
heck my main Core2 desktop has a 320GB 7200.10 SATA3.0Gb drive...
I am one that prefers speed over storage (to a point... the Raptors are a bit overboard)

RE: USB Interface?
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 12:22:00 PM , Rating: 3
There's nothing overboard about Raptors, IMO. I've got a pair in my desktop computer.

I would put "overboard" at the 15K Cheetah level, since they're kind of hot and noisy. But I'm sure for some people, the performance is worth it!

RE: USB Interface?
By kkwst2 on 7/3/2007 12:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
You're welcome to do what you want, but for a mobile drive it probably doesn't make sense. If this thing is designed so that it will run off a single regular USB cable, then it will probably be a better option for most people.

A lot of the newer large 2.5" mobile drives draw too much power to be run off a single USB connector. I'm not sure if going to 4200RPM would solve this, but it might.

RE: USB Interface?
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 1:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
I would guess it is designed so that it can be powered across USB. Its operating power consumption is 1.9W which is less than the approx. 2.5W available to a bus-powered USB device.

RE: USB Interface?
By Dug on 7/3/2007 2:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
Across USB? It doesn't make any difference.
If this was eSata then yes it would make a difference to go to a faster drive.
4200 is perfect because of power and space provided.

RE: USB Interface?
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 12:13:18 PM , Rating: 4
I'd like to have a drive that rotates at 4200RPM when its running on batteries, and 7200RPM when running off AC power. Now is that too much to ask?

RE: USB Interface?
By Justin Case on 7/3/2007 3:51:57 PM , Rating: 3
Yes. Different spindle speeds require different head designs. The head "flies" above the platter at a distance that depends on the speed of the air cushion being dragged by the platter. Change the spindle speed and you change that distance. Basically you'd need two sets of heads, one for each speed, and a very critical "parking" mechanism when going from high to low speed, to avoid head crashes. All this would make the drives significantly more expensive.

RE: USB Interface?
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 4:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
Knowing it is hard to do just makes me want it more. :o)

RE: USB Interface?
By Treckin on 7/3/2007 4:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
Im glad someone else here understands that... Also, most people think that the head can contact the platter... Which is not possible for 2 reasons - 1. The platter and head are charged intentionally while powered to have a like charge -- thus repelling each other. 2. there is a 'bump stop' in the actuator that prevents the head from traveling outside its alloted vertical movement plane.

mechanical damage results most commonly from the rotating platter being inertially shocked when the casing is jolted - the platter is essentially warped -. The other most common damage is simple mechanical failure.

I thought the article on the laser-headed HDD's was intriguing. Its a similar concept the the prevailing theory on particle weapons -- using a laser beam as a conducting medium through air. In the weapon system, the laser essentially heats the surrounding air to plasmatic levels, and a high amperage charge is applied along the beam. The HDD version is similar, except its a micro charge/pulse that alters the ferro-magnetic state of the platter. I would be curious to know why this is "100x faster". The only reasoning I can figure is that the incident area of the beam/head is significantly smaller than a traditional magnetic head can allow. I could be far off base there though.

RE: USB Interface?
By Aprime on 7/4/2007 12:19:26 AM , Rating: 2
You have a point, they're doing it for processors, so why not hard drives?

RE: USB Interface?
By gescom on 7/3/2007 3:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
From my experiences the difference between 7.2k, 5.4k, 4.2k RPMs is quite obvious, especially if you work with video or large files.
And there's really small difference in watt consuming [+-1W idle,2W load]

RE: USB Interface?
By Black Rainbow on 7/4/2007 5:54:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but we're talking about an external hdd here, not one to go in your laptop..

Mounting height
By plewis00 on 7/3/2007 3:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think the one thing everyone has (or might have ignored) is that this is probably a 12.7mm drive so it won't fit just about any modern laptop. 9.5mm has become the industry standard but Fujitsu have made drives with 12.7mm before, I found out the hard way when I almost ordered a MHV2160BT which looked particularly cheap but read customer reviews which pointed out it's 12.7mm. It's not something we look at these days taking it for granted. I guess someone will open the external casing and find out for sure, but it would make sense - 3 platters of 100Gb each, and 3 platters makes for a thicker drive. Just speculation for now, it would be nice if I were wrong.

Another side note, Tomshardware (a name you probably all dislike) investigated the power differences across a generation of drives using 4200, 5400 and 7200rpm units with little to no difference in battery life, I think it was 3-5 minutes maybe and they concluded it was offset by the ability to get things done faster which I would agree with.

RE: Mounting height
By Treckin on 7/3/2007 4:27:29 PM , Rating: 1
Unless its using the perpendicular recording method... density goes up to 135-145/platter I believe.

Still SATA
By vgermax on 7/3/2007 11:10:22 AM , Rating: 2
The USB interface is specifically with reference to the external enclosure. The drive interface itself remains SATA, as is the standard for current generation 2.5" drives.

To help speed up this drive
By dnkypnch on 7/3/2007 2:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
get fancy with the partitioning. The system, page file, and whatever partition will have the heaviest use partition these on the outer portion of the physical drive.

I would make a 4gb page file partition and have it on the very edge of the spindles. I would then make a 30GB 'C' partition just inside that. Then my 100ish gb 'D' drive for most used apps, games, most used storage. Then have one final partition for raw storage on the inner most portion of the disk.

performance would be acceptable fr a laptop.

160GB 2 platter?
By waya on 7/4/2007 7:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
Hi, I'm Japanese student.
I knew that Showa Denkoh(Japanese Company) roll out 2.5inch 160GB-platter disk.
I think that Fujitsu use this disk and make 2-160GB-platter drive.(2 by 160 = nearly 300)
But I also think that 3 100GB-platter disk is rational.

Someone know which 2-160GB-platter or 3-100GB-platter?

Bellow is link to Japanese news sight(japanese only)
ttp:// tm
(add "h" to top of URL "")

Sorry to incorrect English

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