Do You Need A New Hard Drive With Your Windows 7 Upgrade?

Old Drive: Hitachi Deskstar E7K500

We didn’t notice that we had actually grabbed a business-class desktop drive until we were in the middle of testing. However, the selected Deskstar E7K500 is very comparable to the regular Deskstar 7K500, with the exception that it was optimized for business applications in terms of performance characteristics and durability. The differences mostly relate to I/O capabilities—a negligible factor in this review.

The E7K500 was released in late 2005 and available in 2006 and 2007. This was one of the first desktop hard drives optimized for business and enterprise storage applications, where many scenarios require lots of storage capacity and reliability, but not maximum performance. Hitachi shipped 400GB and 500GB versions with 16MB of cache memory and employing a 7,200 RPM spindle speed. The drive reaches a maximum sequential throughput of 63 MB/s, which is roughly half the speed of a modern 3.5” hard drive.

This old drive was one of Hitachi’s multi-platter models, utilizing as many as five platters to store 500GB. Consequently, it’s no surprise that this drive is significantly louder than the new four-platter 7K2000. Power consumption is also lower in the new drive, requiring roughly 17% less compared to the 9.2W idle power of the Deskstar E7K500. Finally, the new drive shows significantly better application performance in PCMark Vantage and slightly better results in SYSmark 2007.