3.5” Enterprise Hard Drive Development Analyzed

2008: Ultrastar 15K450 (450GB)

One of the last Hitachi enterprise drives is the Ultrastar 15K450. For the first time, a step did not double the capacity of the preceding product. Rather, it introduced an increase of 50 percent. The Ultrastar 15K450 still has a 15,000 RPM rotation speed and a 16MB buffer, as well as a maximum of four rotating platters. Hitachi further tightened its portfolio and only offers two capacity points: 300GB and 450GB in SAS 3 Gb/s or Fibre Channel 4 Gb/s interfaces.

Once again, performance increased quite a bit. Access times dropped to 5.9 ms on average. Sequential throughput climbed to 157 MB/s with a minimum transfer rate of almost 100 MB/s. This is already more than entry-level SSDs offer as a guaranteed minimum throughput. Write performance numbers, which are even more important than reads, are similar on the Ultrastar 15K450. I/O performance of this drive has stayed flat when compared to the Ultrastar 15K300, and application performance in PCMark Vantage has only seen a minor boost. Idle, load, and peak power decreased a bit, but consumption still hasn’t gone back to the level of the Ultrastar 15K147.