Moor’s law states that the amount of transistors in a single electronic chip doubles every two years. This concept is often applied to other computer products whose characteristics increase at the same rate. For hard disk drives, it is storage capacity. 2.5-inch HDDs have even been developing ahead of the schedule recently. About two years ago 160GB models were introduced and then 250GB models came out half a year later. And now we are ready to test 500GB products based on two platters. Thus, the recording density has grown from 80GB to 250GB per platter in two years.
This progress was made possible by perpendicular recording technology. Replacing longitudinal recording, it has helped HDDs grow up in recording density and capacity. In fact, it is for 2.5-inch HDDs that the increased recording density is the most beneficial because such products cannot utilize a large number of platters to offer more storage space.
Currently, there is a race among the manufacturer for maximum-density platters because high-capacity HDDs help attract the customer and claim a leadership in the industry. By the way, the tight competition has made 2.5-inchers closer to 3.5-inch models in terms of pricing. Right now, 500GB 2.5-inch drives are less than three times as costly as cheap 3.5-inchers of the same capacity. The performance of today’s 2.5-inchers is high enough thanks to high recording density. Their capacity is sufficient for most applications and they are quieter than 3.5-inchers. So, today we are going to discuss 2.5-inch 500GB hard disk drives with a spindle rotation speed of 5400rpm.
Hitachi Travelstar 5K500: HTS545050KTA300
The first model of that capacity to come to our labs was Hitachi Travelstar 5K500. Alas, it is based on 167GB platters and thus has three rather than two platters in total. As a result, it is thicker. 3-platter HDDs have a thickness of 12.5 mm while 2-platter ones are 9.5 thick. Not all notebooks and external HDD enclosures can accommodate a thick drive, so the Hitachi 5K500 has limited applications in comparison with thin models. When it comes to speed, this model is about as fast as 320GB ones, as we learned in one of our previous articles. Anyway, it must be given the credit of being the first ever small 500GB HDD.