Perfect Notebook Storage: Seven 2.5” 500 GB Drives

Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B

The .B suffix should be familiar to you by now. This is Hitachi’s way of naming a second-generation hard drive product. The Travelstar 5K500 was a three-platter, 12.5-mm drive, while the new Travelstar 5K500.B is based on two platters, as discussed previously. It has 8 MB of cache memory and runs at the standard spindle speed of 5,400 RPM. We measured a 18.3 ms access time and almost 85 MB/s of maximum sequential read throughput, which is the best peak result of all 5,400 RPM 2.5” drives. However, Seagate and WD happen to deliver slightly higher average and minimum results at reads and writes. The new Hitachi drive delivers only average I/O performance.

The Travelstar 5K500.B requires the least power for playing HD video off the drive (0.9 W), it was efficient at maximum streaming performance (2.4 W), and the idle power of 0.8 W is still a nice result. Hitachi labels its new drives with its EcoTrac logo, which is supposed to represent energy efficiency. Application performance in PCMark Vantage was average.

Hitachi offers 500, 400, 320, 250, 160, and 120 GB capacity models for the regular version and the Bulk Disk Encryption (BDE) drives. There are also 24/7 operation rated Enhanced Availability (EA) drives available at 500, 320, 250, and 160 GB.