HGST's 1 TB Mobile Drive, Spinning At 7200 RPM
One-terabyte notebook hard drives aren't exactly new. You can already find the Hitachi Travelstar 5K1000, Toshiba's MQ01ABD100, the same company's MK1059GSM, and Samsung's Spinpoint M8 HN-M101MBB. However, those four 1 TB disks share one thing in common: they trade in their speed for higher capacity. None of them spin faster than 5400 RPM. In contrast, smaller 750 GB drives can be found in both 5400 and 7200 RPM flavors.
HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), now a subsidiary of Western Digital, set out to change this with its Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, a 1 TB notebook-oriented drive sporting two platters with 500 GB each, and rotating at 7200 RPM. It features a 16 MB data cache and a 6 Gb/s SATA interface. The manufacturer specifies a wide range of applications for the Travelstar 7K1000: notebooks, desktop PCs, compact gaming PCs, video devices, and mobile storage.
Combining high-density platters with a fast spindle, we're eager to see if the Travelstar 7K1000 can snatch the performance crown away from Seagate's Momentus XT, a 750 GB, 7200 RPM drive. The HGST drive steps into the ring with an immediate advantage, though: its price. You'll find the HTS721010A9E630 for as little as $80 or so online, while the smaller hybrid hard drive goes for about $100. A 1 TB version of Seagate's Momentus XT, now referred to as the Laptop SSHD, comes armed with 64 MB of data cache, 8 GB of NAND flash, and a $120 price tag on Newegg. We don't have our hands on that one yet, but are looking forward to running some more hybrid hard drive-friendly benchmarks once its lands so we can properly compare the performance of both technologies.
So, is a lower price the HGST drive's only leg up, or does its performance rival the mechanical competition, too?