Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 Terabyte Hard Drive Page: 1
Introduction 
 
Hitachi LOGOFor many years, hard disk drives were large, cumbersome devices, more suited to use in the protected environment of data centres or large offices than in a harsh industrial environment (due to their delicacy), or small office or home (due to their size and power consumption).

The capacity of hard drives has grown exponentially over time. With early personal computers, a drive with a 20 megabyte capacity was considered large. During the mid to late 1990s, when PCs were capable of storing not just text files and documents but pictures, music, and video, internal drives were made with 8 to 20 GB capacities. As of mid 2008, desktop hard disk drives typically have a capacity of 500 to 750 gigabytes, while the largest-capacity drives are 1.5 terabytes.
 
Today we have have the pleasure of testing one of the largest capacity HDD's available on the market - the Hitachi Deskstar™ 7K1000 1TB hard drive. Interestingly, Hitachi were the first to market with a 1TB HDD and the DeskStar 7K1000 is the direct result of Hitachi's dedication to pushing the technological envelope. Let's begin the review by taking a look at the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 1TB's specifications...
 
 
Specifications
 
The specifications were copied directly and unashamedly from Hitachi's product page
 
 
Model(s) HDS721075KLA330
               HDS721010KLA330

Interface Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s

Capacity 750GB 1TB

Sector size 512 bytes

Disks/heads 4/8 5/10

Performance
Data buffer 32MB

Rotational speed 7200 RPM

Media transfer rate (max) 1070Mb/s

Interface transfer rate (max) 300Mb/s

Latency 4.17ms (average, 7200 RPM)

Seek time 3 8.2ms read (typical), 9.2ms write (typical)

Silent-seek time 3 14ms read (typical), 15ms write (typical)

Reliability
Error rate (non-recoverable) 1 per 1.0 E15 bits transferred

Load/unload cycles (at 40°C) 50,000

Availability 4 (hrs/day x days/wk) 24x7

Warranty 3 years

Power
Supply +5 VDC (+/- 5%), +12 VDC (+10% / -8%)

Start up current (max) 2.0A (+12V), 1.2A (+5V)

Random read/write (average) 11.5W 12.3W

Silent read/write (average) 9.2W 10.2W

Idle (average) 7.6W 8.4W

Unload idle 5.5W 6.1W

Low RPM idle 3.5W 3.7W

Acoustics
(A-weighted sound power) Idle 2.9bels (typical)

Silent seek, Seek 3.0bels (typical), 3.2bels (typical)

Physical
Dimensions H (26.1mm) x W (101.6mm) x D (147mm)

Weight (max) 700g

Environmental
Temperature 5 to 60 °C operating, -40 to 70 °C non-operating

Relative humidity (non-condensing) 8 to 90% operating, 5 to 95% non-operating

Shock (half sine wave) 70 G/2 ms pulse operating, 300 G/1 ms pulse non-operating

Vibration (random) (RMS) 0.67G horizontal, 0.56G vertical operating, 1.04G XYZ non-operating

RoHS 5 compliant yes
 
Hitachi has always been one of my favourite HDD manufacturers'. They are renowned for producing solid, quiet drives that provide more than acceptable read/write performance. The Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000, according to its specifications anyway, appears to continue the trend. Let's take a look at the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 in a little more detail over the page...


Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 Terabyte Hard Drive Page: 2
A Closer Look
 
I'm not going to bother going into detail about Hitachi's OEM packaging for their HDD's as they are pretty much the same for all manufacturers'.
 
 Hitachi packaging
 
Releasing the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 from the confines of its plastic packing shroud, we can see that there isn't really anything particularly different here from any other regular HDD - other than the increased thickness to accommodate those extra disk platters and heads.
 
 Hitachi 1TB top view Hitachi 1TB side view
 
Continuing our quick trip around the outside of the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 we can see the familiar 4-pin power connector, SATA power connector and SATA cable plug. The Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 is also missing the jumper pins for SATA 1.5 - 3.0 GB/s operation.
 
 Hitach 1TB end view Hitachi 1TB end view_2
 
Flipping the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 over we can see the Logic Board and the brains behind the brawn. The Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 uses an Infineon UAB-M3064-S V2.0 Controller. The Controller is in charge of everything: exchanging data between the hard drive and the computer, controlling the motors on the hard drive and commanding the heads to read or write data, etc.
 
Hitach 1TB underside
Hitachi 1TB controller Hitachi 1TB cache memory
 
The Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 features 32MB of cache memory courtesy of the MT 48LC16M16A2 memory IC. Also known as the buffer, these chips have an ultimate role in the hard drive performance. The higher its capacity, the faster the data transfer between the drive and the computer should be.
 
Let's head over the page to see what features the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 offers...
 


Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 Terabyte Hard Drive Page: 3
Features
 
An industry first, the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 hard disk drive delivers up to one terabyte of storage capacity for demanding consumer and commercial computing products. It leverages the industry’s most reliable perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) techniques and the latest advancements in silent acoustics, shock protection, and head technology to maximize capacity, performance and fi eld reliability. Best-in-class power management and thermal emissions help manufacturers meet energy compliance targets and extend drive life.
 
Perpendicular recordingPerpendicualr Magnetic Recording (PMR)
 
Hitachi’s PMR implementation continues to demonstrate reliability equal to or exceeding conventional longitudinal technology. The Deskstar 7K1000’s second-generation PMR head and media technology improves noise characteristics and thermal stability.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Serial ATA TopologySerial ATA Topology
 
The DeskStar line is available with a 3GB/s interface to achieve the highest data throughput required for performance computing requirements.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RAMP Load Dynamics RAMP Load Dynamics
 
Hitachi's patented ramp load/unload design increases shock protection and power savings by moving the heads away from the disk when it's not in use.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thermal Fly-height ControlThermal Fly-Height Control (TFC)
 
An integrated thermal sensor monitors operating temperature, enabling the host processor to intelligently adjust airfl ow as needed for cooling. Sensor integration reduces component cost and increases reliability. Deskstar 7K1000’s thermal fl y-height control (TFC) uses an integrated heating element to precisely maintain a constant fl y-height throughout read and write operations. This reduces raw soft error rate and, in turn, improves overall data integrity, drive performance and reliability.

Deskstar 7K1000’s iridium-manganese-chromium (IrMnCr) read head sensor technology offers better performance and reliability in harsh conditions.
 
 
 
 
 
Low Power Modes Low Power Modes
 
Unique to Hitachi drives, the Deskstar 7K1000 features three advanced low-power idle modes—active, unload and low-power. Together, they reduce power consumption at the drive level up to 20%, optimize non-operational latency and lower drive temperature for cooler system operation.
 
 
 
 
 
Read the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 White Paper here
 
Let's head over the page to see how we're going to test the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 HDD....


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Test Setup
 
To ensure that no part of our test system would be a bottleneck to the disk drives, an Intel X48/ICH9R based motherboard was used along with a Quad Core Q6600 Intel CPU overclocked to 3.6GHZ. Intel's latest "Inf" drivers and all Windows updates were also installed to ensure optimum performance and stability. The full system configuration can be seen below:
 
System configuration
 
While synthetic benchmarks such as HD Tune offer a good insight into the performance of a disk drive, these figures do not always translate directly into real world performance. For this reason we selected to perform several day-to-day operations (such as file transfer and Windows startup) in addition to synthetic benchmarks. The full set of tests can be seen below:
 
 
Synthetic Benchmarks
HDTACH 3.0.4

File Read and Write
Dummy file transfer (2GB)

OS & Gaming
Windows Vista Start-up time.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare map load time.
 
Now that we've got the formalities out of the way, let's check out the results...


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HD TACH
 
 
 
 
HDTach is a free hard disk benchmarking program from SimpliSoftware. This benchmark is not only capable of producing results on hard disk access times but also CPU usage required during disk access. The "Long bench" was run a total of 5 times with the highest and lowest results being omitted and an average calculated from the remaining 3 results.
 
Hitachi 1TB
 
Straight away the differences between the two drives become very apparent, with the sequential read speed being considerably higher for the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000. Almost 10MB/s higher in fact at the start of the test.
 
Seagate 80GB
 
Burst speed
 
Average read speed
 
Random Access
 
All bar the first chart show significant performance gains to the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 which is more than likely attributed to its increased buffer size. The Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 also exhibits decreased latencies when compared to the Seagate Barracuda 80GB HDD


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Read and Write Speed
 
When performing manual "file copy" benchmarks, the performance of the drive that the files are being copied from can directly and negatively affect the results of the drive they are being copied to. This is something that needs to be taken into consideration when benchmarking hard disks such as the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000. Therefore, to test the read/write performance of each storage device a 2GB dummy file of both small and large files (jpeg,txt, .pdf etc) was used and the time taken for the file transfer was recorded.

The results below show how long each of the drives took to read and write a 2GB dummy file.
 
 
2GB File Transfer (read)
 
2GB File Transfer (write)
 
The Hitachi DeskStar really usurped the Seagate Barracuda here as is evident by the read and write charts above. For such a large hard drive the Hitachi DeskStar is blisteringly fast, making short work of transferring the 2GB dummy file.
 
Windows Bootup Time

Quite a simple and self explanatory test. We took each of the three disks, installed a fresh copy of Windows Vista SP1 on to them and measured the time each took to boot into the Windows desktop and display the Welcome page. To ensure that the tests were fair and that Windows has fully completed installing all devices, the results were recorded after three initial reboots.
 
 Vista startup Time
 
In all honesty we was expecting each of the both disks to come out with exactly the same results. However, as we can see from above, the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 managed to boot into Windows and display the welcome screen a full 3 seconds faster than the Seagate Barracuda 80GB.


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Game Level Loading

With a fresh copy of Vista installed on each hard disk, the final test was to find out if the Windows loading times seen above would also be applicable to the map loading time of a popular PC game. Once again, the test procedure was quite simple: Install Call of Duty 4: Modern Warefare, load the game, select a map to play and measure the time taken from pressing the "Begin" button to the time the map is fully loaded. This procedure was repeated a total of three times on each of the hard disks, with a reboot in between each test to clear system memory.
 
CoD4 Map Load Time
 
Interestingly, the performance difference here is quite marginal. I was actually expecting more significant  performance gains over the Seagate Barracuda 80GB.
 
Let's head over the page to see what conclusions we can draw on the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000...


Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 Terabyte Hard Drive Page: 8
Conclusion Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000
 
So how well did the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 perform in today's testing?
 
Although I would have liked to have had a similarly spec'd hard drive from Western Digital or Seagate to compare the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 against I wasn't able to get my hands on one in time. But make no bones about it, the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 is big,fat and fast thanks to its increased density and cache. The WD Velociraptor and Samsung Spin Point F1 1TB would more than likely be the only two drives that offer better performance.
 
The Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 would also have to be the quietest drive that I have ever used. During testing the tell tale clicks and spin-up noise during hard drive activity was only just audible - something that I was also very impressed by.
 
The cheapest price I could find for the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 was £93.80 inc vat from dabs.com. That equates to just under £0.09 a Gigabyte. Again this could only be bettered by the Samsung Spin Point F1 1TB. Well done Hitachi on making such a large and fast hard drive extremely affordable.
 
For our Australian readers, Altech Computers has the Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000 1TB Hard Drive available for AUD$295.00 (inc GST)
 
On that note I am extremely hard pressed to fault the Hitachi DeskStar. The only issue that I could highlight is that of the three year warranty, where Seagate offers five years.
 
The Good
+ Fast
+ Massive amounts of storage
+ Extremely quiet
+ Build quality
+ Price
+ Increased density due to perpendicular recording
 
The Mediocre
* 3 year warranty
 
 
The Bad
- Absolutely nothing
 
Recommended Award  OC3D Value For Money Award 
 
Overclock3D would like to thank Altech Computers for making this review possible
 
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