We are not affiliated in any way with hard drive manufacturers. All the information below is based solely on our experience and we do not make any claims regarding reliability of the specific model. Voltage spike blew chip on motherboard. WD drives are very vulnerable to overheating, power surges and streaks. Quite often bad power supply unit combined with power streak is usually enough to fry spindle driver chip on the electronics and make the data inaccessible. Should this occur the computer would reboot or shut down completely, you would normally notice acrid smell of smoke coming from your PC and when powered on the drive would not spin up at all and appear to be completely dead.

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Both drives share the same inside-facing circuit board layout with all components tightly pressed against the drive body. This allows the drive to act as its own heatsink for heat-generating components like the controller and memory. The PCB is insulated with a thin sheet of foam which acts as a mini shock absorber and prevents some pieces from shorting out against the metal case. The board itself is held onto the body with small Torx screws. Cross referencing the Winbond site the memory module is indeed a Mb or 32MB module, much larger than the 8MB cache Western Digital claims on their website.

Benchmarks Using our controlled test environment, we ran a variety of benchmarks on the Scorpio Blue GB for this review. As this drive supported the newer Advanced Format with a 4K sector size we tested the drive with 4K-sector alignment and legacy byte sector alignment. When unaligned for the Advanced Format 4K sector size the GB drive performs quite poor, but when adjusted for the larger sector sizes it actually does very well.

The GB Scorpio Blue still has an edge on it but as you can see average latency is more than cut in half. When properly aligned it gains back a lot of ground but still performs slower than the lower capacity model. At this time our current traces are optimized for hard drives and SSDs with byte sector alignment. We will update this area soon when our 4K-compatible traces are completed.

The observed differences are unlikely to make a noticeable impact on battery life. It is worthwhile to note that during our tests when running as a secondary drive the power management seemed overactive in that it would frequently initiate its sleep mode.

When this happened the drive would park its head and spin down after only a few seconds. Warranty Western Digital provides a three-year limited warranty on the Scorpio Blue GB, which is on par with most competitors including Seagate. The company offers standard and advanced RMA replacements; the advanced replacement is free of charge with a credit card hold. In our tests sequential performance was in-line with the previous generation drive but with increased random activity it fell behind even with 4K-alignment.

In circumstances where the operating system supports Advanced Format, the capacity boost of the Scorpio Blue GB comes as a welcome reprieve from the maximum capacity of GB to this point. Pros Highest capacity 9.


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