Hard disk drives have somehow fallen out of our scope recently. No, we have not switched exclusively to solid state drives. There have been just no products for us to review. Having released their 2-terabyte HDDs with a spindle rotation speed of 7200 RPM, the manufacturers took a break in the race of technologies (we mean the visible part of the iceberg because their R&D departments are never asleep) and got engaged in price wars instead. The outcome of the battle is most satisfactory for us end-users. The cost of storing data even on maximum-capacity HDDs, which are always more expensive than others, has declined, making them more appealing to users who need to store large amounts of data. You don’t have to choose between two 1-terabyte (which would be cheaper) and one 2-terabyte drive (which would take less space in your computer) anymore!
As an indirect consequence of the price wars, certain models have completely disappeared from retail. They go directly to major computer integrators that buy them in large volumes. So, such HDDs still make it to end-users, but as part of ready-made computers.
It wouldn’t be correct to say that there is nothing new on the market, though. For example, the manufacturers are trying new, higher-density platters and building new HDD models with them. This time around, the platters are 667 gigabytes large, enabling 2-terabyte HDDs with three platters or even 3-terabyte HDDs with five platters if the recording density is somewhat lowered for higher reliability. The recently released 3-terabyte products are highly exciting, of course, but we are going to dedicate a special review to them. Today, we will be talking about HDDs of lower capacities.
The manufacturers are also releasing new versions of HDDs we are already familiar with. Hitachi are busy updating their firmware while Western Digital are regularly turning out products with new indexes in their names. All of these new products are interesting, too. So, let’s get started.
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C: HDS721010CLA332 (1 TB)
This model hails from the Deskstar 7K1000.C series we know very well from our previous reviews. Hitachi just keeps on improving the firmware, so we can’t help comparing the very first model we tested (firmware version 39C) with the newest one (firmware version 3MA). Anyway, there is still nothing newer among Hitachi products available in stores.