Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 (HTS725050A9A364, 500GB)
The Travelstar 7K320 followed on the 7K200, and now the 7K500 follows on the 7K320. The capacity steps are obvious (200GB, 320GB, 500GB) and performance has been increasing nicely with every new generation. Hitachi’s datasheets state up to a 65 MB/s data rate for the 7K320, 86 MB/s for the 7K320, and now up to 108 MB/s for the latest Travelstar 7K500. That’s quite something, considering that 5,400 RPM low-power desktop drives are only slightly faster.
Meanwhile, access time has increased a bit from 15.9 ms on the 7K320 to 16.6 ms with the 7K500, although this difference is negligible in the real world. All Travelstar 7,200 RPM drives utilize a 16MB buffer memory. For this latest model, Hitachi changed the shock specifications from 350 G to 400 G for 2 ms half-sine waves. All other changes can be followed best in the benchmark section, as the new Hitachi drive clearly is a screamer.
Hitachi offers 120, 160, 250, 320, and 500 gigabyte capacities, all of which are available in optional bulk data encryption (BDE) models. In addition, there's an enhanced availability line for 24x7 operation at the same capacity points. Hitachi doesn’t provide MTBF specs for this drive family.