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Three New Desktop Hard Drives For 2010

Three New Desktop Hard Drives For 2010
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One of the benefits of boosting areal density is that it allows hard drive manufacturers to pack more data onto fewer rotating platters. Not only are they able to achieve higher total capacities, but the most popular capacity points--500GB and 1TB, for example--can be achieved with simpler drives.

Thanks to higher per-platter capacities, the current barrier of 2TB per drive will fall in 2010. However, speed, cost, capacity, and power consumption have to be in mixed in a way that users will accept. We looked at three new premium desktop hard drives from Hitachi, Samsung, and Seagate to see if they strike the right balance.

Up to Five Platters

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has enjoyed a bit of success its high-capacity hard drives, which typically employ more platters than the competition. The recent Deskstar 5K2000, as well as the first-generation Deskstar 7K1000 at 1TB, are both based on five platters, as was the 7K500. Hitachi believes that a higher platter count with less storage density per platter offers the most robustness, despite the fact that more platters generally means increased heat, higher power consumption, and one more mechanical component that could go bad. Fortunately, while we don’t have specific failure rates, we know that the last Hitachi five-platter drive generations didn’t receive much negative press.

As always, there is no perfect approach. Most drive makers typically try to reduce platter counts as quickly as possible. The main reason is the so-called sweet spot in the hard drive market, where you have high capacity with an ideal cost-per-capacity ratio. Obviously, using only a single platter provides the lowest overall cost, and whomever can offer the highest capacity on only one platter has a competitive advantage. Also consider each drive's rotation speed, which has a noticeable influence on performance, power consumption, and storage density.

New Drives

This review includes three very different 3.5” desktop hard drives. Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K2000 is the firm’s new 2TB flagship, featuring five platters. Samsung sent us its Spinpoint F3 at a rather modest 1TB capacity point. Lastly, Seagate provided a Barracuda XT 2TB, one of the company's latest high-performance drives. As always, we looked at performance, power consumption, noise, and overall efficiency.

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  • 1 Hide
    HansVonOhain , February 19, 2010 5:13 AM
    Thanks for the article. Very informative. I will upgrade my HDD as a stopgap until SSDs will become cheaper.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , February 19, 2010 5:54 AM
    I have several 500GB 7200.10 drives and a 1TB F1.
    I want to drop all of those and go for a 2TB F3 for storage and a 256GB G3 x25-m as a boot drive (when released).

    I find that typically, my 7200.10 drives are very loud, while I've never heard a sound from my Samsung. Samsung is really making great drives these days, and at their price point, I view them as the most attractive.

    Though something I want to know is the failure on all of these drives, which unfortunately, may be information that may be hard to get for a while (accurately).

    =)
  • 3 Hide
    saran008 , February 19, 2010 7:33 AM
    I love Samsung Drive! Good VFM!
    Going to buy a Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB soon!
    One more milestone for Samsung!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2010 8:35 AM
    I have got 1TB samsung f3 on board since October 2009 and this thing is a blast. But this is probably ma last mechanical drive. In 2 years time SSD will be my choice
  • 2 Hide
    killerclick , February 19, 2010 9:08 AM
    I only buy single platter drives. Until recently I didn't know how loud hard drives are, I always assumed that noise was the GPU or PSU fan but it turns out it's my hard drive. Apparently disks being spun at 7200 RPM make some noise.
  • -1 Hide
    Reynod , February 19, 2010 9:27 AM
    Great review.

    From my interpretation the Western Digital drives are still great performance for the price, and I have certainly had few (if any) problems with the 15 or so I have on my machines over the past few years.

    At a pinch I will buy the large volume Seagates if I can't get a WD.

  • -2 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 19, 2010 10:44 AM
    Another great article. The benchmarks were interesting. Looks like hard disk drives will be with us a while longer.
  • -3 Hide
    warezme , February 19, 2010 12:46 PM
    Don't trust Seagate drives unless you don't mind losing your data.
  • -2 Hide
    bustapr , February 19, 2010 1:29 PM
    I like WD Caviar Black. Its a monster HD, great performance and price isnt that bad either. Looking forward to buying one soon, my Hitachi drive already let me down by destroying vital OS info during a memory check.

    Samsung is also great, I had one for three years and replaced it just because it was old(80gb). Spinpoint F3 is certainly a drive to watch close.
  • 4 Hide
    eyemaster , February 19, 2010 1:45 PM
    warezmeDon't trust Seagate drives unless you don't mind losing your data.

    Seagate wouldn't still be in business if that was the case.

    All drive companies have had failing drives. At one point, Seagate WAS the comany and WD was crap.
  • 1 Hide
    thackstonns , February 19, 2010 1:48 PM
    I have the f3 and was a little leary buying it. I have had nothing but problems with wd. Have had 3 out of 4 drives die on me. Seagate was going through the whole terrible drive issue, and so I bought the Samsung. More than happy with it. It is quiet, cool, and fast. I got it for 79bucks on the egg. I will be buying more as soon as they are back in stock. Need to raid them.
  • 0 Hide
    warezme , February 19, 2010 2:51 PM
    thackstonnsI have the f3 and was a little leary buying it. I have had nothing but problems with wd. Have had 3 out of 4 drives die on me. Seagate was going through the whole terrible drive issue, and so I bought the Samsung. More than happy with it. It is quiet, cool, and fast. I got it for 79bucks on the egg. I will be buying more as soon as they are back in stock. Need to raid them.


    thats little comfort to the thousands of folks with 250GB, 500GB, 750GB and 1TB Seagate drives that suddenly had their firmware lock up, essentially bricking the drive, even though the data was still there the firmware was locked in a loop and no longer seen by the bios. Now who's fault could that be? hmmmm Did Seagate offer to recover the data? Sure if you forked over $2,000.
  • -1 Hide
    lothdk , February 19, 2010 3:14 PM
    You have the WD Caviar Green WD20EADS listed at 48.8 dBA idle, is this really true? From my own experience, this is a low-noise HDD.
  • 0 Hide
    cjl , February 19, 2010 4:06 PM
    anamaniacI have several 500GB 7200.10 drives and a 1TB F1.I want to drop all of those and go for a 2TB F3 for storage and a 256GB G3 x25-m as a boot drive (when released).I find that typically, my 7200.10 drives are very loud, while I've never heard a sound from my Samsung. Samsung is really making great drives these days, and at their price point, I view them as the most attractive. Though something I want to know is the failure on all of these drives, which unfortunately, may be information that may be hard to get for a while (accurately).=)

    I own both a Barracuda XT and several 7200.10s, and believe me, the XT is MUCH quieter than the .10s were. Newer drives have come a long way in reducing noise.
  • -2 Hide
    falchard , February 19, 2010 4:51 PM
    Where is the perfectly reasonable low budget consumer hard-drive known as the OCZ Z-Drive?
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2010 6:39 PM
    personally we should see the 3tb to 6tb by years end.
  • -3 Hide
    Dirtman73 , February 19, 2010 7:41 PM
    slmpersonally we should see the 3tb to 6tb by years end.


    I'm betting they'll hit at least 8Tb by then, and then 10Tb right after the new year starts. At least I'm hoping.
  • 1 Hide
    chechak , February 19, 2010 7:46 PM
    i think velociraptor is awesome
  • 0 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , February 19, 2010 7:52 PM
    I used to only use WD. Since the F3 series from samsung came out now I use only samsung and WD.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2010 10:24 PM
    Since when does Seagate offer a 5 year warranty on its desktop drives again? Last time I checked they reduced their desktop drives' warranty to 3 years...
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