While hard disk makers are currently unleashing drives with maximum capacities of 320, 400 or even 500 GB, Hitachi is taking a different approach, introducing a new line of models that tops out at a relatively modest 250 GB. As Samsung has proven very recently, the "less is more" approach is not as backward as it may appear at first glance.
The new drive carries the model number DeskStar T7K250 and, as the name implies, offers a maximum formatted capacity of 250 GB - a 160 GB model is also available. The previous model, the DeskStar 7K250 (sans T), is still available in the market. It uses a three platter design, while the new T7K250 uses two higher-density platters with a capacity of about 125 GB each.
The data transfer rate benefits the most from the increased data density. However, in the past we repeatedly saw lower seek times on various drives as part of the transition as well. The greater precision required for positioning the read/write heads of the drive on devices with higher data density can only partly explain this phenomenon, though. The rest of the story is that the pleas of users asking for quieter drives finally seem to have been heard by the disk makers. Ensuring that the arm carrying the drive's read/write heads has to start and stop less often results in a less pronounced clicking under heavy load. In this context, most hard drive companies have chosen to dispense with so-called acoustic management, which let the drives switch between a quieter mode and one optimized for faster access.
In any case, Hitachi's DeskStar T7K250 aims to offer buyers looking for an upgrade in the very popular 200 GB segment the best possible cost/performance ratio. Our interest piqued, we wanted to find out how successful the endeavor was.