Hitachi’s portfolio of internal 2.5” hard disks is split into two subcategories: mobile drives and high-performance mobile drives. Hard disks belonging to the former category rotate at 5400 RPM, while those in the latter segment spin at 7200 RPM, enabling higher performance.
The $115 Hitachi 750 GB Travelstar 7K750 is one of those high-performance drives aimed at notebooks, compact desktop PCs, all-in-ones, and multimedia devices. Of course, you could always toss it into an external USB- or eSATA-based enclosure and use it as an external repository, too.
As older models are slowly phased out and newer versions are introduced, Hitachi’s line-up contains a mixture of drives with 3 Gb/s and 6 Gb/s SATA interfaces, and even a few products that still employ 512-byte sectors.
The new 2.5“ Travelstar 7K750 model features 16 MB of cache, a 3 Gb/s SATA interface, and AF sectors (the physical sector size is 4 KB, but 512-byte sectors are emulated). Data is stored on two 375 GB platters with 502 Gb per square inch data density. Since the disk holds just two platters, it's able to fit within a 9.5 mm Z-height, and should consequently slide into any notebook.
The Travelstar 7K750 is a very fast mobile disk, averaging 98 MB/s sequential read and write rates, putting it on a par with Western Digital's Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT (the chart leader). Western Digital's drive only wins by a slim margin after averaging the maximum, average, and minimum data rates of the two competitors. Other 7200 RPM specimens, such as the Seagate Momentus and Momentus XT, trail the 7K750 and Scorpio Black by 6 MB/s.
Hampered by 5400 RPM spindles, the three other disks in our update, Hitachi's Travelstar 5K1000, Toshiba's MQ010A, and Western Digital's Scorpio Blue, naturally trail the 7200 RPM 7K750 by a significant margin.
With average access times of 16.4 ms (read) and 15.5 ms (write), the Hitachi disk lands in the middle of the pack. Occasionally, though, its power draw is slightly higher than average. For example, idle power sits at 0.8 W, while the maximum value among its competitors is 0.6 W. But average power use seems pretty normal, and a 59.6-point performance-per-watt rating is better than the other three drives. Western Digital's Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT tops the performance-per-watt chart with an outstanding score of 78.1.
Other Travelstar 7K750 Models
Apart from the model we tested, Hitachi offers two other variants. One model has hardware encryption support, called BDE (Bulk Data Encryption), and another model boasting enhanced availability (EA) is rated for for 24/7 operation.
The EA models are intended for mission-critical systems, such as blade servers, routers, RAID configurations, and surveillance systems. Unfortunately, MTBF data is not available for any of the three drives.
For reference, though, the standard model number ends in 4, while the BDE-enabled disk's model number ends in 1. The EA variant has the letter E instead of S as the third character in the model sequence (S for standard and E for enhanced).
- Four New 2.5" Hard Drives, Benchmarked
- Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 (HTS727575A9E364)
- Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000 (HTS541010A9E680)
- Toshiba MQ01ABDxxx (MQ01ABD100)
- Western Digital Scorpio Blue (WD5000LPVT)
- Comparison Table And Test Configuration
- Benchmark Results: Throughput And Interface Bandwidth
- Benchmark Results: Streaming Reads/Writes And 4 KB Random Reads/Writes
- Benchmark Results: Access Times And I/O Performance
- Benchmark Results: PCMark 7
- Power And Performance Per Watt
- Three 5400 RPM Drives Serve Up Solid Results