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Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000 (HTS541010A9E680)

Four 2.5" Hard Drives From 500 GB To 1 TB, Benchmarked
By , Achim Roos

Contrary to the Travelstar 7K750, the 5K1000 is not deemed a high-performance drive, but merely a mobile drive. A data cache only 8 MB large and a comparatively slow 5400 RPM spindle speed reflect this categorization. Modest power consumption and quiet operation are where this disk is supposed to excel, not performance. Fittingly, Hitachi is targeting the 5K1000 at notebooks, gaming consoles, DVRs, and external drive enclosures.

The Travelstar 5K1000's specs are still fairly modern, though. The disk features a 6 Gb/s SATA interface, which the “high-performance" 7K750 lacks (not that it matters; neither drive comes anywhere close to even saturating a 3 Gb/s connection). It also boasts 1 TB of capacity.

A street price of $110 seems fair, even though the 1 TB Toshiba MQ01ABD100 is slightly less expensive at $94. The two disks are priced competitively enough for customers to make a choice based on merit, not just price. Just remember that there are several other 1 TB 2.5” disks available, such as Samsung's Spinpoint M8 HN-M101MBB, Toshiba's M1059GSM, and Western Digital's Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT.

The Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000's 1 TB of storage is divided between two 500 GB platters, resulting in a data density of 694 Gb per square inch. Those two platters enable a Z-height of 9.5 mm, paving the way for a wide range of viable applications since it should fit into any 2.5” drive bay.


The Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000’s focus on capacity and energy savings is evident in our benchmarks, where it places last among the four new candidates. Given that it's only narrowly beaten by Toshiba's MQ01ABD100, we still consider the 5K1000's 88 MB/s read and write performance fairly good. Let us be clear, this is not at all a slow disk; it even beats the Seagate Momentus XT and Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 (both 7200 RPM-based products) in the h2benchw benchmark.

While all four 2.5” hard disks in today's update present similar read access times, we clocked the Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000 at a better-than-average 16.8 ms, with an average write access time of 18.4 ms. Hitachi specifies the 5K1000 as an energy-saver, and testing shows that it only draws 0.6 W at idle, while consuming just 2.2 W in a write stress test. Those are both excellent numbers.

Other Travelstar 5K1000 Models

Like the Hitachi 7K750, the Hitachi 5K1000 also comes in two other versions: BDE (Bulk Data Encryption), and enhanced availability (EA). Again, though, MTBF ratings for any of the models are not available from Hitachi.

The standard model number of this disk ends in 0. The BDE-enabled model number still ends in 1, while the EA variant again has the letter E instead of the letter S as the third character in its model sequence. An EA model with BDE does not appear to be available for the 5K1000, either.

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