Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 (HDS5C3030ALA630) And Deskstar 7K3000 (HDS723030ALA640)
Hard drives that try to emphasize low power consumption purposely avoid drawing your attention to their spindle speed. This applies to Hitachi's Deskstar 5K3000 as well. Instead, the manufacturer touts the benefits of its CoolSpin feature that employs a rotational speed said to maximize performance, power consumption, and operating noise. Because the drive is purportedly optimized for power, it most likely employs a single speed somewhere between 5400 and 6000 RPM.
Compared to the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 (a much more performance-oriented hard drive with its 7200 RPM spindle speed), the Deskstar 5K3000 requires up to 29% less power as a result of its CoolSpin technology. You can tell the difference just by looking at each disk's data sheet. The 5K3000's active idle is rated at 5.1 W, while the 7K3000 is rated at 7.3 W. Both of these top-of-the-line models use five platters, and they have a areal density of 411 Gb per square inch.
Other than the 3 TB version (HDS5C3030ALA630), the Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 is also available in capacities of 2 TB (HDS5C3020ALA632) and 1.5 TB (HDS5C3015ALA632). The same goes for the Deskstar 7K3000 series: the 3 TB flagship (HDS723030ALA640) is followed by a 2 TB version (HDS723020BLA642) and a 1.5 TB model (HDS723015BLA642).
The Deskstar 5K3000 drives use a 32 MB cache and a 6 Gb/s Serial ATA interface, while the Deskstar 7K3000 comes with a larger 64 MB cache. Otherwise, the technical details separating the two only differ slightly. Specs like platters used, weight, and temperature (around 5°C) are where you'll notice them.
The different foci of the two Hitachi hard drives is reflected in their performance. The Deskstar 5K3000 has an average data read speed of 97 MB/s, while the Deskstar 7K3000 is clearly faster at 118 MB/s average throughput. The same goes for the access times: 6.1 ms for the Deskstar 7K3000 compared to 7.7 ms for the Deskstar 5K3000.
As with the other hard drives in this round-up, the two Hitachi drives are ideal solutions for capacity-heavy applications. The Deskstar 7K3000 is a bit faster due to its higher rotational speed and larger cache, but none of the hard drives in the test were really designed for environments with high I/O loads. For users building large storage arrays, our recommendation is (perhaps surprisingly) the Deskstar 5K3000, as it easily beats the faster 7K3000 when it comes to performance per watt.