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Conclusion

It looks like the times when higher-density platters always meant performance benefits for hard disk drives are gone. The current manufacturing technology has reached the physical limitations again. It has become harder for HDD makers to raise the recording density higher and higher and they do so mostly by increasing the track density, which cannot provide any performance boost. Nearly each HDD with a storage capacity of over 500 gigabytes we have discussed today is alike to its predecessor in performance. Some improvements are only due to firmware optimizations.

Still, we would like to award a few participants and share our recommendations. If you are looking for the fastest 2.5-inch hard disk drive, you should take a look at the Hitachi Travelstar 7K500. The only downside of this model is its unconfident performance under server loads. In the rest of our tests it is faster than its opponents. According to the results of our today’s test session, Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 HDD receives our Editor’s Choice award:

If you want a server disk, you should choose a Western Digital Scorpio Blue or a Seagate Momentus 5400.6 with a capacity of 500 gigabytes. The Samsung SpinPoint M7E is a little faster than the others among the 640GB products.

These three hard drives, namely 500 GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue and Seagate Momentus 5400.6, as well as 640 GB Samsung SpinPoint M7E receive our Recommended Buy title:

The BVT subseries of the Western Digital Scorpio Blue line-up – the hard disks with 4-kilobyte sectors – are somewhat slower than their opponents. We don’t think this is going to be obvious in real-life applications because large amounts of system memory and advanced caching mechanisms of modern OSes are likely to smooth this difference out. On the other hand, we guess these HDDs are going to be the most interesting choice as a second disk in a notebook or small computer or as an external disk. The capacity of 750 gigabytes is the record-breaking level right now whereas the ability of this HDD to quickly go to deep sleep, shutting the motor down and parking the heads, will come in handy if the disk is used mostly for static data storage.

We are proud to award Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-22HXZT0 with 750 GB storage capacity with our Ultimate Innovation title:

 
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