On Tuesday, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies introduced new Ultrastar drives designed for enterprise storage applications. The drives come in two sizes, 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch, both offering blazing spindle speeds of 15,000 RPM and self-encryption. According to the company, each Ultrastar drive conforms to the Trusted Computing Group’s Enterprise A Security Subsystem Class specification "for ease of integration and implementation."
The Ultrastar C15K147 is the company's first 15,000 RPM, 2.5-inch 6 Gb/sec. Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) hard drive, and boasts 70-percent more space efficiency compared to 3.5-inch enterprise hard rives. Hitachi said that the drive uses 50-percent less power than similar 3.5-inch Hitachi drives, and will be available in 73 GB and 147 GB capacities. The drive also uses the industry's largest cache buffer: a whopping 64 MB.
As for the 3.5-inch version, the 600 GB Ultrastar 15H600, this will be Hitachi's fourth generation 3.5-inch drive using either 6 Gb/sec. SAS or 4 Gb/sec. Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) interfaces, both of which use a 64 MB cache buffer. Outside the 600 GB model, consumers can also pick up a 300 GB or 450 GB version as well.
Hitachi said that the Ultrastar C15K147 and 15K600 drives are currently available, and include a five-year warranty.
These drives finally give customers an alternative 15K RPM drives that compete well with Seagate's Cheetah 15K7 drives released earlier this year.
using a HUS151414VL3600 or HUS151473VL3800 for example (146GB/15K
and 73GB/15K Hitachi drives respectively), then newer models could
be twice as fast. I've tested a wide range of drives and there is
huge variance. See:
The advantages of modern production methods are very evident
with the WD VR 10K beating every 10K SCSI disk for both tests,
and most of the 15Ks aswell. I've not yet been able to test any
newer SCSI/FC/SAS disks though.
My PC has Maxtor 146GB 15Ks (1 internal, 12 external) plus a 1TB
SATA (video archive), while all my SGIs have the same Maxtor 15Ks
except for my main Fuel desktop - the system I'm typing this on -
which has a Fujitsu 300GB 15K MBA3300NC (system disk), Fujitsu
300GB 10K MAT3300NP (data) and a 1TB SATA (backup of the PC's
1TB). The nice part about 15K SCSI is it's very cheap 2nd-hand.
Noise levels of 15Ks vary enormously. Old 18GB 15Ks can be very
loud, but other 15Ks are nice and quiet, eg. the MAS3367NC,
ST336754LC and BF03685A35.
Hitachi's new drives, using modern tech, are probably quite good
aswell wrt noise levels, if the WD VR 10K is anything to go by.
I then replaced it with Seagate's new 7200.12 749GB internal HDD which has been working great for me with no problems at all. My old Hitachi used to make noises sometimes when I turned my computer on or when I was installing programs but this one is silent. And it's amazing that the new Seagate cost me just $70.
I agree with the others, in around three years SSDs will become much more affordable. I can see in the future all operating systems being installed on SSDs and HDDs only being used as secondary drives. But as it currently is, where you can get a 750GB HDD for $70, there's just no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on a 15K RPM HDD or 60-120 GB flash drive.
I don't think there are any E-class SSDs yet, and this thing will write a lot faster. For personal use though, I think my laptop's getting an SSD.