9.5 Versus 12.5 mm: Which Notebook HDD Is Right For You?

12.5 mm: MK1059GSM, 1,000GB

This is the new, three-platter, 1TB, 2.5” beast, available at 750GB and 1TB. It shares most other characteristics with the GSX series: 8MB of cache memory, SATA 3Gb/s interface, a 5,400 RPM spindle speed, and the same operating temperature range. Even the vibration and shock specs are identical. Toshiba says that both output 23 dB(A) at idle and when seeking. In fact, we couldn’t reliably measure any noise differences between the two.

I already mentioned that this drive wins on throughput. At 99 MB/s, it just misses the 100 MB/s line, but it remains one of the fastest 2.5” hard drives. Because the drive seems optimized for throughput, rather than for concurrent operations, access time and application performance lag.

The power requirements for HD video playback are higher than on the 640GB, two-platter drive. But idle and peak power are very similar. This drive offers better performance per watt on throughput-intensive applications, while the 640GB model is superior in I/O performance per watt.