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Toshiba 120GB MK1234GSX SATA Hard Drive Review
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Toshiba 120GB MK1234GSX SATA Hard Drive

The petite size of the Toshiba MK1234GSX SATA hard drive certainly belies its amazing capacity. Its compact 2.5" form factor packs in 120GB of storage space!

That may not be a lot when compared to desktop hard drives, but those 3.5" drives are significantly larger, heavier and more power-hungry. As far as notebooks are concerned, this drive is a monster in disguise!

Thanks to its higher areal density and spindle speed, the Toshiba MK1234GSX is much faster than small capacity 4200 RPM hard drives like the Fujitsu MHT2040AT. Our tests showed that the Toshiba hard drive had a 33% faster read speed and a 14% faster random access time than the Fujitsu hard drive.

Unlike most notebook drives, the Toshiba MK1234GSX hard drive comes with a large 8MB SDRAM buffer. Such a large buffer is usually found only in desktop drives. This certainly helped it achieve more than twice the burst speed of the Fujitsu MHT2040AT which only has 2MB of buffer memory.

However, even though it uses a faster Serial ATA interface, this hard drive is actually slower than IDE hard drives like the Seagate Momentus 5400.2 and the Seagate Momentus 5400.3. This goes to show that the interface doesn't matter as much as the actual mechanics of the drive itself.

If you are looking for the large capacity Serial ATA hard drive for your notebook, the Toshiba MK1234GSX is worth considering, particularly if you can get a good price for it. Although it does not perform as well as drives from Seagate, it is still much faster than the 4200 RPM hard drives that come bundled with most notebooks.

For more details, read our Comprehensive Review!


• NA

Lowest PriceGrabber Price


Comprehensive Review


• MK1234GSX

Formatted Capacity

• 120 GB

Bytes Per Sector

• 512 bytes

Sectors Per Track



• 79,056



Read/Write Heads


Recording Method

• NA

Spindle Speed

• 5,400 RPM

Average Latency

• NA

Average Seek

• 12 msec.

Internal Data Transfer Rate

244.7 to 474.7 Mbits/s
30.6 to 59.3 MB/s

Maximum I/O Data Transfer Rate

• 150 MB/s

Spin Up Time

• 3.5 s (Typical)
• 9.5 s (Maximum)

Recovery Time (from Standby)

• 3.5 s (Typical)
• 9.5 s (Maximum)

Supported Interfaces

• ATA-7
• Serial ATA 1.0a
• Serial ATA II 1.2

Cache Buffer


Maximum Height

• 9.5 mm
• 0.374 inches

Maximum Width

• 69.85 mm
• 2.75 inches

Maximum Length

• 100 mm
• 3.945 inches

Maximum Weight

• 102 g
• 0.22 lb

Typical Startup Power (peak)

• 4.5 W

Seek Power (Typical)

• 2.5 W

Operating Power (Typical)

• Read : 2.0 W
• Write : 2.0 W

Idle Mode (Typical)

• 0.8 W

Standby Mode (Typical)

• 0.25 W

Ambient Temperature

• 5 °C to 55 °C (Operating)
• -20 °C to 60 °C (Non-Operating)

Maximum Operating Shock
(@ 2 msec.)

• 325 G

Maximum Non-Operating Shock
(@ 1 msec.)

• 850 G

Idle Drive Acoustics

• 25 dB (Maximum)

Random Seek Drive Acoustics

• 27 dB (Maximum)

Head Rest Method

• Ramp Load

Load/Unload Cycles

• NA

Non-Recoverable Read Errors

• 1 error per 1013 bits read


• Unknown


* Our New Review System

ARP is committed to developing new ways to improve your experience with us. As part of our continuous efforts to improve the value of our reviews to you, we are implementing a new review system.

This new review system is designed to allow you to quickly receive information on the latest hardware. This new system also allows you to quickly get the gist of the review without reading through it. This can be very useful, especially in situations where you need to make a quick purchase decision.

In this new system, we start with a Product Overview whenever a company sends us a press release about their latest product. We shift through extraneous PR-talk to create a straightforward summary of the product's features as well as its specifications. This allows you to quickly find out all the pertinent details about the product, without reading through official press releases.

When we receive the product for review, we will quickly take photos of it and create a Pictorial Review. The purpose of a pictorial review is to allow you, the reader, to quickly examine the product visually. It may help you make better purchase decisions, especially if you cannot wait for the full review.

After thorough testing, we will post a Comprehensive Review of the product. This adds on to the pictorial review with comprehensive test results and our final conclusion on the product.

But no matter whether you are reading a Pictorial Review or a Comprehensive Review, you can always read the summary of the review as well as examine the product's specifications right on the first page. In all our new reviews, we will maintain the first page as a Product Overview page. If the product is listed in PriceGrabber, you can also check out the lowest price online.

We hope this new review system will make your experience a lot more enjoyable and informative!


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