Toshiba 1TB 2.5″ SATA HDD Review – Model MQ01ABD100


  • Fits a standard 9.5mm height bay unlike
    many 1TB 2.5” hard disks that require a 12.5mm bay height.
  • Fast sequential read & write performance,
    maintains over 100MB/s over the first 400GB.
  • Excellent multitasking performance,
    especially with simultaneous read operations; better everyday performance
    during scheduled virus scans and backups.
  • Good simultaneous read and write
    performance (e.g. copying to self.)
  • Pretty good performance with file
    fragmentation, even when combined with writing.
  • Very good random 4K write performance,
    especially with a single queue depth in our IOMeter tests.


  • Very slow write performance of small
    files, especially with files smaller than 1MB.
  • Slow with software installations and
    updates when used as an OS drive.




Up until recently, 1TB 2.5” hard disks were
only available in a 12.5mm height. Here, Toshiba has managed to fit 1TB in a 9.5mm
drive height due its use of 2 higher density platters.

Sequential performance is fast for a 2.5”
hard disk and from our testing, it is capable of delivering over 110MB/s at the
start of the drive and maintaining 100MB/s until about the 400GB mark. In some
of our tests, particularly the read-only tests, at the 50% (500GB) mark, it was
outperforming our comparison Samsung M7 320GB 2.5” hard disk even at the start.
This makes this Toshiba hard disk a good upgrade over a typical 320GB hard disk
for those who need both additional storage capacity and high throughput over as
much of the drive’s capacity as possible. For example, for a video editing
laptop, a small partition could be created for the OS, then a 500GB partition
for video editing, and the remaining capacity in the slower region of the drive
for storing completed projects.

Hard disks generally do not perform well
with simultaneous read and write operations such as copying files back to the
same drive, however, this Toshiba hard disk handles such activity very well.
For a copy test, it takes just over the total time of reading and writing the
data as two separate stages. 


When faced with fragmentation, the Toshiba hard
disk performed better than the comparison Samsung M7 by a reasonable margin
with small fragments, which we simulated in our review by storing small &
large files in a completely random order within a 128GB partition.  With heavy
fragmentation (8247 fragments per 1GB), it took a 90% hit in performance, but
still came out head of the Samsung M7 by about 13 seconds when reading this 1GB
worth of randomly placed files.  With moderate fragmentation (200 per 1GB), the
hard disk took about a 25% hit in performance.

When it came to multitasking, such as when a
virus scan, disk backup or a file set is being burned to disc in the
background, the Toshiba hard disk performed exceptionally well unlike the two comparison
drives, which struggled in our multitasking tests. For example, when we had a
script reading files non-stop in the background, the Toshiba took as little as
under a quarter of the time to read a file set as the comparison Samsung M7
2.5" 320GB. It also performed quicker than the Samsung F3 1TB desktop HDD
in all the multitasking tests by a significant margin. This makes the hard disk
ideal for those who regularly write data to disc or who want a hard disk for a
home theatre PC that can reliably play HD movies without being interrupted by a
disk intensive process such as a scheduled virus scan taking place.

While the Toshiba hard disk did pretty well
in all the random 4K write tests in our synthetic tests, particularly the
IOMeter random 4K write test with a single queue depth, it behaved completely differently
in the real world, falling well behind our comparison drives when writing small
files. When we wrote 1GB worth of small pictures, it took over 4 times longer
than even the comparison Samsung M7 2.5” 320GB, along with similarly poor
results when writing music files and even when making copies of these folders
on the Toshiba disk. 


This small file write performance issue
continued into the VirtualBox testing, resulting in lengthy Windows 7 and Office
2010 installation times. As result, this hard disk will likely result in
lengthy waiting times when installing other software packages, including Windows
and software updates. 

While it takes longer than usual for
software installations and updates, it should still do very well in the vast
majority of everyday tasks, particularly with its impressive multitasking
performance that we experienced in our tests. 


At the time of writing this article, I
found this hard disk priced at £76.55
on Amazon UK
, sold by This works out at nearly €96 based on
the current Euro exchange rate.

For US readers, this hard disk is priced at
on NewEgg

To sum it up, this is what we would say for the Toshiba
1TB 2.5” 9.5mm hard disk:

“The Toshiba 1TB 2.5” hard disk is ideal
for anyone looking for maximum storage in a 2.5” 9.5mm height drive, while also
capable of delivering fast sequential read and write speeds and multitasking

You can comment on this review below.

Thanks to:

for providing the fully licensed versions of HD Tune Pro

for HD Tach



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