Articles: Storage

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Hard disk drives are quickly and constantly growing up in capacities. Of course, every one of us would be glad to be presented a large HDD as a gift, but when it comes to purchasing one for your own money, there are other factors to consider. Some users just don’t need huge system disks as they store all their data on external media or dedicated servers (this is especially true for corporate users). Others have nothing to fill a large disk with. Therefore, such users often prefer 500-gigabyte hard disks which can offer a very high performance as they are based on highest-density platters available today. Having only one or two platters inside, such HDDs are also generally cold. Their larger-capacity cousins provide some notion about their performance but we will have a few surprises in this review.

As a matter of fact, we’ve got lots of data on 500GB HDDs because there have been as many as four generations of such disks, counting by the recording density per platter. We were tempted to compile a monumental comparative report but it would be too hard to read. So, we had to limit ourselves to 12 modern models which are available in shops today.

Testing Participants


Deskstar 7K1000.C: HDS721050CLA362, 500 GB


Hitachi is represented by one model from the newest Deskstar 7K1000.C series which is widely available in shops and is supposed to deliver best performance. As opposed to the larger-capacity models from the same series, the 500GB model has 16 rather than 32 megabytes of cache. Will it be able to make up for that shortage? Well, it has something to build upon indeed as it is based on a single platter of the highest recording density available today and is equipped with new electronics.


EcoGreen F2: HD502HI, 500 GB


SpinPoint F3: HD502HJ, 500 GB


The Samsung brand is represented by two runners: a model from the updated power-efficient EcoGreen F2 series (a spindle rotation speed of 5400 RPM) and a model from the SpinPoint F3 series (7200 RPM). Each of these disks has 16 megabytes of cache and, theoretically, only one platter.

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