Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 review
The Deskstar 7K500 is Hitachi’s current flagship and offers 500GB of storage on five 100GB platters. This puts it at a slight disadvantage to the Maxtor and Seagate, which both have 125GB platters and boast the same capacity on four disks. This meant the 7K500 was marginally noisier when idle, namely 40dBA, although it didn’t run noticeably hotter than the others, which all measured close to 40C during benchmarking.
With a 16MB buffer, it matches the DiamondMax 11 and 7200.9 and, despite the heavier actuator – for five platters versus four – it was the fastest seeker, with an average time of 8.63ms. In fact, it was the quickest on test bar the Raptor X.
Unlike other manufacturers, Hitachi ships the 7K500 in SATA/150 mode, as this is more compatible with existing motherboards. However, there’s no jumper to set the disk to SATA/300 – you have to download a software utility from Hitachi’s website.
Even switching to SATA/300 and considering the fast seek time, the average STR of 51MB/sec is slower than the Seagate and Maxtor. However, in our file-copy tests, the 7K500 proved a fast reader, managing 24MB/sec for small files. Writing large files showed it to be the slowest at under 40MB/sec, but 7MB/sec for small files is on a par with most others. Finally, it took 5 mins, 25 secs to complete our Photoshop test – only the Excelstor was slower.
And, the Deskstar 7K500 is more expensive per gigabyte than all but the Excelstor at 40p. The DiamondMax 11 is the best-value 500GB disk at 31p per gigabyte, and performs better overall.