Feature Set: Hitachi 7K1000

The external design of the Hitachi 7K1000 is the same as the majority of the TK or K series drives. The drive is based on the industry standard 3.5" form factor platform and would normally have the pertinent part number and warranty information embossed on a white sticker on the top of the casing. However, our O.E.M. sample was graciously provided by Dell and does not include this information. The only other differences between the O.E.M. and retail units will be the inclusion of an accessory kit, HD Feature Tool software (that can be downloaded separately), and the obligatory retail packaging.

The Deskstar 7K1000 ships with the Serial ATA data and power connector along with a space for a 4-pin Molex power connector designed for use with older ATX power supplies. Our early press photos included the 4-pin Molex connector but it appears the inclusion of it will be at the discretion of the O.E.M. or distribution locality. The 32MB of cache memory and controller logic is located on the outer side of the PCB.

Hitachi offers their excellent DOS based HD Feature Tool that allows the user to view the specifics of the drive and change certain options such as S.M.A.R.T., AAM, Power Management, and read and write optimizations. Our drive arrived with Automatic Acoustic Management turned on and set to the quietest level. We were able to easily set different levels or turn off AAM altogether. We found in our limited acoustical testing there was not a real difference between the 128 and 256 setting. Performance was slightly affected with AAM implemented but we felt the benefits of having it turned on outweighed any performance impact.

Hard Disk Test Comparison and Features

Hard Drive Specifications
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1000GB HDS721010KLA330 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB ST3750640AS Western Digital Raptor 150GB WD1500ADFD
Manufacturer's Stated Capacity: 1000.2GB (1 Terabyte) 750GB 150GB
Operating System Stated Capacity: 931.5 GB 698.6 GB 139.73 GB
Interface: SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s SATA 1.5Gb/s
Rotational Speed: 7,200 RPM 7,200 RPM 10,000 RPM
Cache Size: 32 MB 16 MB 16 MB
Average Latency: 4.17 ms (nominal) 4.16 ms (nominal) 2.99 ms (nominal)
Read Seek Time: 8.5 ms / 14ms Silent 11 ms 4.6 ms
Number of Heads: 10 8 4
Number of Platters: 5 4 2
Power Draw Idle / Load: 8.1W / 12.8W 9.3W / 12.6W 9.19W / 10.02W
Power Draw Silent I / L: 4.3W / 9.9W - -
Command Queuing: Native Command Queuing Native Command Queuing Native Command Queuing
Warranty: 3 Year - Retail or OEM 5 Year - Retail or OEM 5 Year - Retail or OEM

The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 is the first 1TB drive to ship based upon manufacturer's specifications with a 750 GB offering scheduled for availability next quarter. Of course the actual capacity of the drive is 931.5 GB, but due to the way manufacturers report capacity the drive is considered to be a 1TB offering. This drive is also Hitachi's first 3.5-inch hard drive to use PMR technology. Additional 1TB versions for the Enterprise and DVR/Set-Top markets will be released later this year.

The 7K1000 features a 5-platter 10-head perpendicular magnetic recording design with rotational speeds at 7200rpm. The cache size has been increased to 32MB from the previous 16MB on the TK series. Hitachi includes their ramp load/unload, advanced low-power idle modes, and thermal-fly height control technologies. This drive series also supports Native Command Queuing and hot-swap capabilities. The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 drives ship with a three year warranty and additional specifications can be found here.

The Hitachi 7K1000 drive we are reviewing today will be compared directly against the Seagate ST3750640AS 750GB and WD WD1500AHFD 150GB drives in our limited benchmark test suite. We have also included the results of drives from our previous articles and will provide additional results of the 7K1000 in our upcoming 500GB roundup.

Index Test Setup
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  • phusg - Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - link

    I think you are right, but don't forget that in this post you are only looking at it from a performance viewpoint. Drive longevity and acoustics are major factors to me, and I think for you too from the article. I think these are the metrics worth looking at and tend to agree that subjective performance doesn't really differentiate that much (although I haven't had half as much experience with different vendors/models as you have).
  • gramboh - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    I read the review earlier this morning but don't recall seeing anything about retail channel availability. Did Hitachi or Dell comment to AT about this?

    I'm actually interested in 500GB 7200.10's and hoping this release will push the price of those down a lot.
  • Gary Key - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    We do not have an exact date. Hitachi committed to having product into the retail channel by the end of Q1. We should have an answer from Dell tomorrow on when they will offer it outside of their systems. Hitachi is saying the drive will launch at $399, just waiting to see $550 price tags when the first drives show up... ;)
  • Jeff7181 - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    This might find it's way into my computer later this year. :)
  • BUL - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    Interesting that perpendicular technology was chosen given the R&D costs (with the tiny return of ~5 years before obsolescence--the article mentions that perpendicular can ONLY go 5x denser with existing techology & figure we'll see 5TB perpendicular drives in 2 years), etc... So why don't manufacturers offer 5 1/4" drives? Not to invoke memories of the MFM drives of long-ago (the original XT had a double-size 5 1/4" MFM drive of 10MB), but they have potentially 50-60% more surface area per platter, and with a possibility of 7(?) platters, isn't that a better solution? True, you wouldn't put them in SFFs or notebooks, but how many of us have towers with empty 5 1/4" bays??? And I assume that a 1TB 5 1/4" drive would be more energy-efficient than two 500GB 3 1/2" drives...

    Also, has anyone REALLY tested to see if perpendicular is truly a reliable technology? Seems like manufacturers have 50 years of experience with parallel storage, and only 1-2 years using perpendicular storage...
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - link

    Bulkier, slower, less energy efficient and more moving parts that reduce reliability all in the name of increased capacity is not the way to the future. I think the biggest problem at the moment is NOT storage capacity, they're mostly increasing capacity to keep HDs evolving and not drop in price, as it's one of the only competitive advantages. If you can increase capacity with the same material cost and some extra R&D, it would be stupid not to do it, and a better way than increasing the material cost.

    In fact, regular folk have way too much capacity at the moment. A Seagate CEO worded it nicely a while back "Face it, we're not changing the world. All we do is enable people to store more crap/porn."

    The future lies in the direction of flash based hard drives: smaller, less/no moving parts instead of more, faster access times, lower energy consumption/heat. Or other alternative technologies that offer the same advantages. The densities and cost are the only reasons we're not all buying them at the moment, something that should be fixed over time.

    If you're worried about unused case slots, buy one of those things that enable you to install normal hard drives in it, or convince the case designers to include more 3 1/2" slots and less 5 1/4" slots.
  • misuspita - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    Have you ever seen a slow motion filming of a cd-rom disk wobbling? Same thing here! I think the platters got smaller because the vibrations produced by them grew with the speed. Since today's r/w heads need to be extremely close to the surface, that would be utterly impossible to control at that speed and diameter. They changed also from an aluminum based disk to an glass based one also, because the roughness of the surface on the Al platter.
  • tygrus - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    It's harder to spin a large diametter platter at high speed. More weight, more wobble, slower access times. I saw once a 5.25" 4x2.5" SATA drive array. Quantum used to do a large format BigFoot for cheap, slow large capacity but it wasn't continued. We have plenty of capacity per platter but limited perf/GB (worse every year) so why decrease performance to increase capacity ?
  • piroroadkill - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    All of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 drives have been perpendicular for some time..

    It seems like a perfectly reliable tech to me
  • Olaf van der Spek - Monday, March 19, 2007 - link

    How smart is it to use temperatures from SMART?
    Did you verify all HDDs use good quality unbiased temperature sensors?

    > Our thermal tests utilize sensor readings via the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) capability of the drives and are reported by utilizing the Active SMART 2.42 utility.

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