Hitachi Deskstar Desktop Hard Drive

This is a review of the Hitachi Deskstar 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive.  I have the 1TB and 2TB versions, but I will be reviewing the 1TB model here.

Basic specs are included in the product description. It is a 1TB 7200 rpm drive with 32 MB Cache. It comes in a retail packaging. The drive is in an anti-static bag, and suspended by plastic holders for protection during delivery and handling. It comes with 4 drive screws, and does not come with a SATA cable.

I purchased this drive when it went for $45 on one of those online deals (a price you won’t see for a while due to the recent flooding in Asia).  I need to increase the disk storage space for my workstation, so I am playing with a few different ones to see which ones suit my needs best.

What I need are disks for:

1. I need a drive for file storage; require immediate access to these files. I work with a lot of different file types, which include word processing, picture files (JPG, TIF, RAW), video files (SD, HD, mp4, VOB) for text, picture, and video editing.
2. I need a backup of this drive (manual backup) onto another drive (in the same computer); I run it almost like RAID1, but I manually backup these drives.
3. Automatic backup of this drive onto NAS box running RAID1.

This is a very quiet drive. I think this may be a different model than my other Hitachi drives, which are relatively louder than this one (I have to verify it later). It also runs relatively cool at 33 C during these testings, which means that it is less susceptible to heat damage from use over time (one of the primary causes of hard drive failure is overheating).

Firstly, as a single partition, this drive will come out as 931 GB. (You can skip this paragraph if you understand why a 1TB drive is now just over 900GB after installation.) This is due mainly to the ambiguity of the nomenclature. Briefly (and without going too much into the science), electronic memory circuits such as hard drives and memory chip sizes use a binary architecture, and this means that the number of addressable storage locations is based on the power of 2. Therefore, memory sizes are NOT integer multiples of 1000 (or 10^3), but of 1024. This magic number 1024 is based on 2^10 (read as “two to the power of 10,” which is equal to 1024), and because this is approximately 1000, the prefix symbol K (or kilo) was used for convenience. Bottom line is that this drive has 10^9 Bytes (or 1,000,000,000 Bytes, which can be termed as one “Giga” Byte), which is 977 x 10^6 KB, which is 954 x 10^3 MB, which is 931 GB. So if you were wondering where the 69 GB of data storage went, it got lost in the math of ambiguous nomenclature.

Bottom line is that this drive is cheap, fast, and quiet (for a 7200rpm drive). If you need to upgrade your desktop computer’s hard drive, I highly recommend this drive.

If you would like to see some benchmark results, read on (warning: geek alert):

I formatted the drive into two separate NTFS partitions for speed testing. 

Using a disk benchmark utility, I got a pretty linear transfer rate up to 60% of the drive, with an average transfer rate of 99 MB/s. It started to decline down to 65 MB/s near the inside of the platters.
Read – 92.9 MB/s
Burst Read – 176 MB/s
Write – 90.5 MB/s
Burst Write – 179 MB/s
Temp: 36-39 C in operation

Using CDM
Outer Half of Platter
Sequential Read – 120 MB/s
Sequential Write – 106 MB/s
Random Read – 55 MB/s
Random Write – 58 MB/s

Inner Half of Platter
Sequential Read – 99 MB/s
Sequential Write – 97 MB/s
Random Read – 50 MB/s
Random Write – 49 MB/s

Using transfer of real files (large files), I was able to get about 43 MB/s write speeds. A 92GB folder took 36 minutes to transfer to this drive. For read speeds, I was able to get 58 MB/s for the same file folder. Though this is fast, it is not the fastest I’ve seen. For example, I’ve seen over 80 MB/s read speeds with a Seagate 1TB 7200.11 drive and a WD Caviar Black 1TB. I’m planning on testing this drive under various applications (various RAID configurations, in a NAS box).

Overall, for the price, this Hitachi is a very good drive. It can serve as a very nice drive for primary storage and for backups. For the price, (about 50 each) these are excellent drives. Only time will tell how reliable they are.

From the Manufacturer

The Hitachi Deskstar IDK series of internal hard drives delivers colossal storage capacity and 7200 RPM performance in a standard 3.5-inch form factor. Available in a range of sizes up to 3TB and featuring the first 6Gbit/sec SATA interface in a Hitachi desktop drive (3TB version only), the Deskstar series is designed to allow you to leverage the benefits of the latest components and operating systems to deliver high-performance, high-capacity, power-efficient systems.

Collosal storage capacity and 7200 RPM performace in a 3.5″ form factor.Hitchai
Colossal Add-On Storage for your PC, Mac, or Linux System

Hitachi Desktop hard drives are designed to the highest quality standards and contain field-proven components. The Hitachi Deskstar internal hard drive kit delivers colossal add-on storage with high performing 7200 RPM speed in a standard 3.5-inch desktop form factor. With the Hitachi GPT Disk Manager, no additional hardware is required to overcome the 2.2TB limitations of Windows systems when you’re adding a 3TB drive.

Robust Design for Reliable Performance

The Hitachi Deskstar features a robust mechanical design that exceeds the industry standard for quality and reliability. Through a patented ramp load/unload design, the risk of shock damage is minimized by eliminating direct contact between the heads and disks, reducing wear and heat while improving overall drive reliability and power efficiency.

SATA Connections for Fast Data Transfer

Deskstar drives use SATA connections, providing up to 6Gbit/sec data transfer rates for the 3TB model–a first for Hitachi desktop drives. Combined with award-winning 7200 RPM performance, moving your huge collections of photos, music, and more happens quickly and hassle-free.

Hitachi GPT Disk Manager for 3TB Deskstar Drives

The 3TB version of the Hitachi Deskstar internal hard drive kit includes access to the Hitachi GPT Disk Manager, an easy to use software application designed to overcome the 2.2TB limitation of Windows systems. GPT Disk Manager works with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. GPT Disk Manager is not required for Mac OSX and Linux systems. The Hitachi GPT Disk Manager software does not support RAID configurations and volumes that are managed by this software cannot be used as boot volumes.

Technical Specifications

  • RPM: 7200
  • Performance: Up to 3Gbit/sec for models up to 2TB; Up to 6Gbit/sec for 3TB
  • Interface: SATA
  • Weight: 0.2lbs (0.74Kg)
  • Power: VDC (5%) VDC (10%)
  • Dimensions: 3.9-inch (L) x 5.7-inch (W) x 1-inch (H)
  • System Requirements: Computer system running Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OSX 10.3 or newer, or Linux with an available SATA port

Product Description

The Deskstar 7K2000 hard drive delivers a colossal two terabytes of storage capacity and 7200 RPM performance in a standard 3.5-inch form factor. Now in its fourth-generation, the 7K2000 is based on a robust mechanical design that continues to set the industry standard for quality and reliability. Through a patented ramp load/unload design, data heads are moved to a ramp away from the disk where they rest during periods of inactivity. This greatly minimizes the risk of shock damage by eliminating direct contact between the heads and disks, reducing wear and heat while improving overall drive reliability and power efficiency. Highlights, 2TB capacity, 7200 RPM performance, Up to 10% idle power savings over previous generation product, Halogen-free design for footprint, Built on award-winning proven design.

About Ask Conrad
I am a University Professor. A Neuroscientist by trade, and a technophile/geek on the side. My work and research is heavily dependent on computers and state-of-the-art technology. I like Jazz and Bossa Nova. I play the piano, guitar, and ukulele.

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