A Well-Balanced Drive We Can't Wait To Compare To Seagate's SSHD
By adding the Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 to its model range, HGST delivers a very fast 2.5" drive, which helps address the perpetual problem facing mobile user with just one bay for storage: do you drop in a smaller, pricier SSD, or stick with a conventional disk? By no means is this 1 TB repository a stand-in for flash. However, its 7200 RPM spindle at least brings down access times compared to the field of 5400 RPM, 1TB contenders. Of course, it also helps that this large repository is selling in the $80 range.
What are the Travelstar 7K1000's specific strengths? Based on what we saw in a field of 14 hard drives, the disk achieved the highest throughput, the lowest access time, and a very high interface bandwidth, which is only matched by its older sibling, Hitachi's Travelstar 5K1000. Given that it's aimed at general-purpose applications, the drive isn't as adept in, say, database applications or specifically low-power environments. Our benchmarks reflect this. Although it isn't a slouch in the 4 GB random read or write tests, it doesn't stand out either. Nor does it overwhelm us with its power consumption numbers.
Based on the standard benchmark suite we ran, HGST's Travelstar 7K1000 earns a thumbs-up. If you're in the market for a 2.5" disk that's balanced to take capacity, performance, and price into equal consideration, this one seems like a perfect candidate.
We'd say that the ball is on Seagate's and Toshiba's court to come up with something to go up against this 1 TB, 7200 RPM notebook-oriented hard drive. However, you're probably wondering about the new 1 TB Laptop SSHD from Seagate, formerly referred to as the Momentus XT, right? Well, the newest model sports a 64 MB data cache and 8 GB of NAND flash. But it spins at 5400 RPM. So, in applications where data isn't yet cached, the Travelstar is likely faster. Information stored in the solid-state space should be gobs faster than HGST's mechanical disk, though. Although the 1 TB model currently sells for about $40 more than the 7K1000 we reviewed today, the addition of flash could make the Laptop SSHD worthwhile, and we look forward to finding out.