So what is my opinion about the Deskstar 7K400? Yes, this is a narrowly specialized product since 400GB capacity is not in high demand everywhere, yet this drive has performed excellently across all of my tests.
Compared with the previous, Deskstar 7K250 model, the new product has become much faster in NTFS but somewhat slower in FAT32. This change of priorities seems justifiable considering that FAT32 is losing its popularity (for example, you cannot create a FAT32 partition larger than 32 gigabytes in Windows XP). What’s strange is the abandonment of adaptive algorithms in the firmware of the ATA version of the Deskstar 7K400. Maybe Hitachi is implying that it’s Serial ATA era already and pushing the users into it?
The changes in the electronics provoked by the introduction of the UltraDMA/133 data-transfer mode affect the interaction with the controllers quite unexpectedly. Where the Serial ATA Deskstar 7K250 used to be slower than its ATA version, the Deskstar 7K400, on the contrary, speeds up. The gain amounts to 60% at most. The developers’ work is truly astonishing, even though it’s not perfect: the performance has degenerated on some controllers. Well, the Deskstar 7K250 didn’t show its best on some controllers, either.
The combination of excellent performance with a number of exciting features like hot-swapping Serial ATA, active vibration compensation, and commands for processing streaming data would make the Deskstar 7K400 a versatile hard disk drive if it were not for its crazy capacity of 400 gigabytes! Let’s better wait for the updated Deskstar T7K250 with the new electronics?