Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000
At a Glance
Hitachi's new Deskstar 7K1000, the first hard drive to achieve a capacity of 1 terabyte, has arrived--and it's a keeper, scoring near the top on our performance tests. But be prepared to pay a premium for this drive's high performance and high capacity.
Having 1TB of storage space permits the Deskstar 7K1000 to pack 330,000 high-resolution digital photos (at 3MB a pop) or about 150 high-definition movies (encoded at 9 megabytes per second using MPEG-4) onto a single drive.
Previously, if you wanted to achieve colossal capacity, you had to use disk spanning to yoke multiple 250GB drives together, or you had to use either disk spanning or striping (RAID 0) to pair two 500GB drives.
To achieve its massive capacity, the hard drive packs 200GB onto each of its five platters; that's up from 100GB per platter on Hitachi's 500GB model. The Deskstar 7K1000 is Hitachi's first 3.5-inch drive to use perpendicular magnetic recording to record data (Hitachi did previously use perpendicular technology in its mobile hard-drive line).
The Deskstar 7K1000 was a formidable performer across the PC World Test Center's test suite, earning a top score of Superior on our tests. The drive finished first on our file search test, requiring just 151 seconds to search for a text string in the 11.7GB of content that we placed on the drive (beating its smaller-capacity sibling, the Deskstar 7K400, by 7 seconds). It also tied for top honors on our ACDSee test, performing our scripted tasks of searching and converting files from one format (say, .jpg) to another (say, .gif) in 513 seconds; and it sailed through our WinZip test, shaving 2 seconds off the previous best mark, established by the Samsung SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ.
The Deskstar 7K1000 turned in slightly less impressive performance on two other tests: copying files and folders, and copying very large files. It took 144 seconds to write 3.06GB of files and folders (25 seconds behind the SpinPoint, our top performer on this measure), and 117 seconds to write a single large 3.06GB zip archive (27 seconds behind the SpinPoint).
At $399, the Deskstar 7K1000 has to be considered very expensive for an internal hard drive. The difference between the Deskstar 7K1000 and our least-expensive drive, the $150 Samsung SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ, is just 10 cents per gigabyte (40 cents per GB for the Hitachi versus 30 cents for the Samsung). But multiply that difference across 1000 gigabytes, and you're looking at a $100 price gap.
I don't mind paying more, though. The deep-bucket capacity and solid performance of the Deskstar--not to mention the limitless possibilities of what I can do with a 1TB hard drive--more than justify the premium price tag.
Melissa J. Perenson