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The world’s largest hard disk drive Hitachi 7K400 announced in early March 2004 is now available in Tokyo, Japan. The move indicates Hitachi’s pretty aggressive time-to-market policy and may slowdown the sales of large HDD by other manufacturers.

The Deskstar 7K400 hard disk drive from Hitachi is now available for Serial ATA-150 interconnection, however, later on there will be a flavour of the 7K400 for Parallel ATA-33/66/100 bus. The new models feature 8MB of cache, similar to other high-performance 3.5” Serial ATA-150 HDDs.

It is yet under wraps which platters are be used for the new 400GB hard disks from Hitachi, but is absolutely clear that the deal is about leading-edge 80GB or 100GB devices. Presently Seagate Technology also has 100GB platters, but the company’s largest HDD is still 200GB; Maxtor, who makes its Big Drives using 80GB platters, offers 320GB product only featuring 5400rpm motors and delivering relatively low performance.

The Deskstar 7K400 from Hitachi Global Storage Technology is the world’s only large HDD with 7200rpm motor. This allows the 400GB monster to transfer data faster than competing products.

But the price you have to pay for the world’s largest HDD is not going to be really affordable. According to a report from Akiba PC Hotline, the Deskstar 7K400 costs from $480 to $530 in stores of Tokyo, Japan. By comparison, HGST’s 250GB HDD costs around $195, while a 200GB hard disk from Seagate Technology is available for $155.

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