It is a long time since we last tested products from Hitachi Global Storage Corporation (for details refer to our article called Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 HDD: Godzilla Resurrection). Their Deskstar series has got a lot of modifications (7K400, T7K250 and 7K80, 7K500, T7K500 and 7K160) after the Deskstar 7K250 batch which had taken so long to come out. Looks like Hitachi decided to keep up with Seagate in offering a huge variety of solutions within their product families (for details on Seagate's products see our extensive roundup called 500GB HDD Shootout: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 and Others!).
However, the innovations have been mostly meant to squeeze the last drop of juice out of the longitudinal recording technology prior to the mass transition to perpendicular recording. The areal density growth has been accompanied with an appropriate increase in the read/write speed. The amount of onboard memory has been increased, too, but have Hitachi’s engineers finally put it to good use?
To remind you, our tests showed that the 7K250 was just a little better than the 180GXP whereas the 7K400 differed from the 7K250 in preferring IDE controllers. Hitachi has developed a second generation of native Serial ATA electronics and doubled the cache buffer size since then, but does it do any real good to the company’s HDDs?
Let’s check it out, especially since improvements have been seen in the junior model of Hitachi’s current HDD series with a naked eye (for details see our article called Battle for 160GB: Hard Disk Drive Roundup Part I).
The Deskstar 7K1000 embodies the best of Hitachi’s technological potential. It features second-generation perpendicular recording technology (previously polished off on the 2.5” Travelstar series), read sensors made of iridium-manganese-chromium alloy on femto sliders, thermal fly-height control (previously used in the Deskstar 7K160 and T7K500). It is also the world’s first hard disk drive with a storage capacity of 1 terabyte and with a cache buffer of 32 megabytes. Is it not enough to provoke our interest? Considering the lack of immediate opponents, we have nothing else to do but to compare the 7K1000 with the senior models from previous Deskstar generations (to remind you, we found considerable differences in performance of senior and junior models within the same series, see our article called Hitachi Deskstar 7K250: Vancouver 3 HDD Review for details). It will be interesting to see with what achievements Hitachi is entering the era of perpendicular recording, what defects they have managed to correct, and if they haven’t got any new problems somehow.