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A Well-Balanced Drive We Can't Wait To Compare To Seagate's SSHD

HGST Travelstar 7K1000 Review: A 1 TB Notebook Drive At 7200 RPM
By , Achim Roos

By adding the Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 to its model range, HGST delivers a very fast 2.5" drive, which helps address the perpetual problem facing mobile user with just one bay for storage: do you drop in a smaller, pricier SSD, or stick with a conventional disk? By no means is this 1 TB repository a stand-in for flash. However, its 7200 RPM spindle at least brings down access times compared to the field of 5400 RPM, 1TB contenders. Of course, it also helps that this large repository is selling in the $80 range.

What are the Travelstar 7K1000's specific strengths? Based on what we saw in a field of 14 hard drives, the disk achieved the highest throughput, the lowest access time, and a very high interface bandwidth, which is only matched by its older sibling, Hitachi's Travelstar 5K1000. Given that it's aimed at general-purpose applications, the drive isn't as adept in, say, database applications or specifically low-power environments. Our benchmarks reflect this. Although it isn't a slouch in the 4 GB random read or write tests, it doesn't stand out either. Nor does it overwhelm us with its power consumption numbers.

Based on the standard benchmark suite we ran, HGST's Travelstar 7K1000 earns a thumbs-up. If you're in the market for a 2.5" disk that's balanced to take capacity, performance, and price into equal consideration, this one seems like a perfect candidate.

We'd say that the ball is on Seagate's and Toshiba's court to come up with something to go up against this 1 TB, 7200 RPM notebook-oriented hard drive. However, you're probably wondering about the new 1 TB Laptop SSHD from Seagate, formerly referred to as the Momentus XT, right? Well, the newest model sports a 64 MB data cache and 8 GB of NAND flash. But it spins at 5400 RPM. So, in applications where data isn't yet cached, the Travelstar is likely faster. Information stored in the solid-state space should be gobs faster than HGST's mechanical disk, though. Although the 1 TB model currently sells for about $40 more than the 7K1000 we reviewed today, the addition of flash could make the Laptop SSHD worthwhile, and we look forward to finding out.

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  • 0 Hide
    stevenrix , July 29, 2013 10:34 PM
    I have 5 of these hard-drives, they have been on the market for a while now, at least for the last 7 months, and the lowest price i found in the US was $64 for the 7200 rpm which is ridiculously cheap (p/n 0J22423).
  • 0 Hide
    acktionhank , July 29, 2013 11:17 PM
    Great review.

    I can't wait to see a review of one of the newer 5400 RPM Hybrid drives from Seagate as well as the 7200RPM 3.5" Hybrid drives when they arrive.

    I just installed a 1TB 2.5" "Superspeed" SSHD into my fathers HTPC and it seems to work great.

    I'm thinking about buying the 2TB 3.5" SSHD when Seagate releases it.
  • 1 Hide
    TimThrill , July 30, 2013 4:22 AM
    I think the cache of this disk is 32MB but not 16MB.
  • 2 Hide
    Traciatim , July 30, 2013 5:00 AM
    Please be fair to the Hybrid disks when you test them. They benchmark in synthetics pretty poorly because it's essentially just a spinning disk in that case. Do some tests like boot time, shut down time, launch the 4 most used applications at the exact same time . . . It's hard to capture it, but the main advantage of the Hybrid drives is that the stuff you use day to day just feels snappy. It's the same with Intel SRT, which I use on my main machine. It was really hard to tell if SRT was even working or doing anything, and then one day I had to turn it off as a troubleshooting step for an issue I was having and holy crap I hated using my computer cause everything takes so long to respond.
  • 3 Hide
    typicalGeek , July 30, 2013 8:02 AM
    In the last paragraph, I'm quite sure that the cache size of the Seagate 1TB SSHD is NOT 64 GB. Without looking up the specifications myself, I'd assume that the cache size is much more likely 64 MB. (Only off by a factor of 1000. But who needs accuracy on a technology forum anyway?)
  • 0 Hide
    master9716 , July 30, 2013 8:56 AM
    The Momentus XT has been replaced with the Much faster Momentus SSHD wich are 2x faster in some cases
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , July 30, 2013 9:26 AM
    @master9716, the Momentus XT is a 7200RPM laptop hybrid drive, the SSHD is 5400RPM. Slower mechanicals, faster flash.

    Typos in article: last page, not 64GB cache but probably 64MB.

  • 0 Hide
    AcemanX , July 30, 2013 9:31 AM
    @stevenrix where did you find it for 64, the lowest I bought mine for, and Ive been waiting for months looking slickdeals.net, newegg, shopper etcc.. was 69.99 at B & h Audio and Video, currently 74.99, and yea this is the best 1tb notebook drive you can buy
  • 0 Hide
    AcemanX , July 30, 2013 9:32 AM
    also this drive has 32MB cache, not 16...
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , July 30, 2013 10:27 AM
    Quote:
    @master9716, the Momentus XT is a 7200RPM laptop hybrid drive, the SSHD is 5400RPM. Slower mechanicals, faster flash.

    Typos in article: last page, not 64GB cache but probably 64MB.



    He is right though as it is replacing the Momentus XT and thus makes this comparison a bit old.

    If I remember correctly, Seagate is replacing almost all of their HDDs with the SSHD tech, even desktop variants.

    Quote:
    @stevenrix where did you find it for 64, the lowest I bought mine for, and Ive been waiting for months looking slickdeals.net, newegg, shopper etcc.. was 69.99 at B & h Audio and Video, currently 74.99, and yea this is the best 1tb notebook drive you can buy


    I would be able to agree with it being the best. I have had a lot of systems coming in with the newer Hitatchi AF laptop HDDs at work and almost every one of them are bad. I haven't seen that many bad from one brand/model for a long time. Might just be the 7mm versions of the drive but its still odd.

    I guess I will have to wait and see if a lot of these die off too early before I can decide if they are good or bad drives to have. I know I wont suggest the 7mm Hitatchi laptop HDDs for now.
  • 1 Hide
    laststop311 , July 30, 2013 1:06 PM
    too bad the largest mobile hdd's are 1.5tb now, and of course the 1.5tb drives are 5400 rpm. I hate how the highest capacity is always 5400 rpm but im not willing to give up 500gb for 7200 rpm
  • 1 Hide
    g-unit1111 , July 30, 2013 1:14 PM
    Oh if only the 1TB Samsung 840 Evo would drop in price... would make this thing look like an antique by comparison. :lol: 
  • 0 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , July 30, 2013 2:11 PM
    The IOMeter Streaming Writes graph is mislabeled - it says streaming reads at the top.
  • -2 Hide
    grandleaf , July 30, 2013 2:42 PM
    Quite impressive.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , July 30, 2013 4:45 PM
    Quote:
    Please be fair to the Hybrid disks when you test them. They benchmark in synthetics pretty poorly because it's essentially just a spinning disk in that case. Do some tests like boot time, shut down time, launch the 4 most used applications at the exact same time . . . It's hard to capture it, but the main advantage of the Hybrid drives is that the stuff you use day to day just feels snappy. It's the same with Intel SRT, which I use on my main machine. It was really hard to tell if SRT was even working or doing anything, and then one day I had to turn it off as a troubleshooting step for an issue I was having and holy crap I hated using my computer cause everything takes so long to respond.


    This isn't a hybrid drive, nor an SSD. It's a regular, run of the mill mechanical HD with a large capacity and a faster RPM.
  • 0 Hide
    10tacle , July 30, 2013 6:26 PM
    I'll likely be upgrading my future PS4 now on backorder - which likely will be a 500GB version, with a 1TB drive. This would suit it just fine as the current WD Black 500GB 7200RPM currently residing in my PS3 is approaching 80% full (upgraded from the factory 250GB two years ago).
  • 0 Hide
    hero1 , July 31, 2013 4:37 AM
    Great review. Now it's time to get one of these for my sister-in-laws laptop. She will surely love it even though I am trying to push for a SSD. And get one for myself for backup on my PC as I have grown tired of having just one backup source.
  • 0 Hide
    Traciatim , July 31, 2013 4:52 AM
    Quote:

    This isn't a hybrid drive, nor an SSD. It's a regular, run of the mill mechanical HD with a large capacity and a faster RPM.


    Maybe you should read the article where they can't wait to test this 7200RPM drive up against the new 5400RPM Seagate Hybrid drives. I was just pointing out where hybrid drives will look pretty terrible on synthetics like random read tests, they will excel at usability so the benchmark suite used should reflect that.

  • 0 Hide
    wallyb132 , October 31, 2013 9:22 AM
    In the second paragraph of this article it states that the Travelstar 7k1000 has a 16mb cache, that is incorrect, it has a 32mb cache.

    See the specifications tab on this HGST web page:

    http://www.hgst.com/hard-drives/mobile-drives/9.5mm-mobile-hard-drives/travelstar-7k1000