Hitachi Pushes Hard Drive to 400GB

Hitachi has continued its my-hard-disk's-bigger-than-yours fight with Fujitsu with the announcement of a 400GB, 3.5-inch drive. The Deskstar 7K400 is the highest-capacity 3.5 inch ATA drive and spins at 7200 rpm.

The 400GB drive announcement comes just two weeks after Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced a five-platter 300GB drive, which the company proudly stated was the highest-ever capacity, enterprise-class hard drive ever built.

However, main rival Fujitsu wasn't going to stand by and watch Hitachi claim to be supplying the highest-capacity hard drive. So this week, it announced the Fujitsu 300GB enterprise drive. Not only is this the same size, it was a four-platter unit, which meant lower power consumption and a higher data rate than Hitachi's offering, the Fujitsu executives fired back.

Hitachi Specs

Now Hitachi has gone one better.

The new 400GB drive also uses five platters. It is designed for audio-visual use, for example in digital video recorders and for nearline storage. HGST says both need large capacities and a low cost per gigabyte. It has parallel and serial ATA interfaces and uses the spindle motor used in HGST's enterprise-class drives.

It has an 8MB cache and a 4.17 millisecond average latency, five platters, and ten heads. The areal density is 61.7 gigabits per square inch.

It is currently available only in limited quantities.

Fujitsu's Drive

Fujitsu's 300GB MAT drive has an areal density of 75Gbits-per-square-inch and spins its platters at 10,000rpm. It has SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces.

"The Hitachi drive is a desktop drive through and through," says Gerard Marlow, business development manager for Fujitsu Europe. Because it's not an enterprise-class drive it takes a hit on performance and reliability. "For nearline storage, reliability, and performance is not so important as with enterprise-class drives," he says.

Fujitsu has no plans to slow down its MAT drive and so enable higher capacities, Marlow says.

"Fujitsu's game is to play in the enterprise segment and not the desktop segment," he says.

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