Two Platters: Hitachi Travelstar 5K320, 320GB
We decided to include the Travelstar 5K320 for the sake of completeness, as our last Hitachi notebook drive article dealt with the 7K200 and the 5K250.
Unlike the 5K500, the Travelstar 5K320 is based on only two platters. However, both models utilize the same perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) recording technology and have similar storage densities, which explains why the performance is comparable. The 5K320 is available at many more capacity points, such as 320, 250, 160, 120 and 80GB, although only the 160 GB and 320GB models utilize the full capacity per platter: the others are derivatives to satisfy market demand at popular capacity points. All Travelstar 5K320 drives are equipped with 8MB cache memory and spin at 5,400 RPM.
Interestingly enough, the power consumption of this two platter drive is almost identical to that of the three platter Travelstar 5K500. However, the 5K320’s performance is slightly better in terms of throughput, application performance and also access time (18 ms rather than 18.5 ms).
Hitachi offers two options for the regular Travelstar 5K320: the BDE variants come with built-in hardware encryption, while the EA models were designed for enhanced availability (24/7 operation). The Travelstar 5K320EA is not available at 80GB, but is at all other capacity points.