2007 HDD Rundown: Can High Capacities Meet High Performance?

For Upgrades: UltraATA Drives

Hitachi DeskStar T7K500, 500 GB, UltraATA/133

Finally, we would like to show users with older computers an option to upgrade their hard drives. If you don't have a Serial ATA interface yet, you need to look for drives that use UltraATA (also known as IDE). Hitachi sent us its up-to-date performance model T7K500 as an UltraATA/133 version as well, so let's have a look at it.

UltraATA standards are cross-compatible. You can even operate this UATA/133 model with an old UATA/66 controller, provided that it can cope with hard drives of this capacity.

Performance data doesn't differ that much from the Serial ATA models. You will find differences with regard to I/O benchmarks, as well as application benchmarks, since the UltraATA interface does not support NCQ. That doesn't really matter, though, because with its 79 MB/s transfer rate this model is fast enough - even with the old interface.

The 500 GB top model will cost about $210, which doesn't seem like a very reasonable option if you own an older computer. In that case, we recommend looking at the 400 GB model for $160, or even better, 320 GB models for less than $120.