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New: Hitachi Travelstar 7K500

Upgrading Your Notebook Hard Drive: Does It Make Sense?

Hitachi’s Travelstar 7K500 is flagship in the company's high-performance lineup today. It's still a 7,200 RPM drive based on the standard 9.5mm z-height. It still has only a 16MB buffer and a SATA 3.0 Gb/s interface. However, the drive's insides are entirely different. Hitachi increased the maximum capacity from 200GB to 320GB (Travelstar 7K320) to 500GB. If you don’t need that much storage on the road, you can still select 320, 250, 160, or 120GB capacities.

While the 7K200 had two model families that differed only in their interface type, the Travelstar 7K500 is available in three different varieties. I just mentioned the standard models, but these are also available with an optional bulk disk encryption (BDE) feature. BDE utilizes on-drive, hardware-based encryption of all disk contents, as per the Trusted Computing Group’s Opal specification. In addition, there's the "Enhanced Availability" family, modified to withstand continuous 24x7 operation. Note that the EA series lacks a 120GB offering, and there are presently no EA drives with BDE.

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  • 0 Hide
    goozaymunanos , 31 January 2010 23:17
    stick an SSD in there, whadda you NUTS?!
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    goozaymunanos , 31 January 2010 23:22
    less weight, less noise, less heat, less power draw (uh-huh!), 10 times the shock resistance, double the read bandwidth of normal HD's..

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 3 February 2010 01:04
    You forgot 10 times the price. I hope they manage to perfect racetrack memory soon, if you'll excuse the cliche that would give us the best of both worlds.
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    ik242 , 4 February 2010 04:51
    certainly numbers speak for the new drive but i wonder if the recorded performance improvements could be (at least in part) due to better organization of files (not fragmented and possible some redundant junk not included). i would not mind to see same setup restored back onto original hdd (maybe after format).
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    MrToady , 6 February 2010 20:24
    What about us guys out there with old 2.5" IDE laptop drives? Is it worth splashing out on a new drive and more RAM for Windows 7? We can,t all afford SSD,s. It would be pointless anyway with an IDE interface, right?
  • 0 Hide
    njoy , 9 February 2010 03:25
    I'd be a lot more interested to see an article about benefits of stepping up from 5400rpm to 7200 rather than this. Seriously, who in their right mind would want to spend money on a similar (read "same") drive for such little gains? On the flip side, I'm sure there are many people with 320 and 500GB 5400rpm drives who would like to know exactly what the benefits are and whether it worth the money or not...