Round-Up: Comparison Testing of 22 Hard Disk Drives

Hitachi DeskStar 7K500: Capacity Monster

Unfortunately, for this story we weren't able to get our hands on a DeskStar 7K400 - Hitachi's leading model last year. But that didn't matter as much as it might have, because we were able to obtain one of their newer 7K500 models instead!

With a hefty 500 GB on five drive platters, the 7K500 is currently the biggest desktop hard disk available on the market. Competitors currently offer only 320 to 400 GB at the top of their respective lines. Interestingly, Hitachi offers no smaller implementations based on this particular drive design - it's 500 GB or nothing.

With transfer rates of up to 62 MB/s and high operating temperatures of 62° C (nearly 144° F) the 7K500 doesn't play in the same league as other leading contenders - and the price you pay for its oversized capacity is also high. But in our application benchmarks as well as access time measurements, this drive compares favorably to others we review, showing once again that theory and practice don't always coincide.