Hitachi Debuts Energy-Friendly Drive

Hitachi Debuts Energy-Friendly Drive

Hot off the presses! Hitachi has just announced a replacement in its DeskStar line of hard drives. Dubbed the "P7K500," the new 250, 320 and 500 GB eco-friendly drives will overtake previous non-energy-saving drives in the line, with models schedule to hit stores later this quarter.

The 7,200 RPM drives will come in one and two platter versions, maxing out at 500GB of storage. Users can expect to hit a mere 3.6 watts of power on the 250GB model and 4.8 on all models greater than 320GB through of a number of energy-saving features:

  • Switching regulators have replaced linear regulators for more effective voltage conversion inside the drive.
  • The Travelstar system-on-chip design has a new, power-efficient profile.
  • In the drive's new "unload idle" mode, the drive heads are actually unloaded to the ramp and the drive's servo shuts down (although the platters still chug along at 7,200 RPM), which saves a bit of juice.
  • In the drive's "low RPM idle" mode, the platters themselves spin down to 4,500 RPM.

Hitachi was mum about whether we'll be seeing a terabyte model to match Western Digital's Caviar GP anytime soon. As with any energy-efficient drive, the details are all in the benchmarks. We've found that the drives do indeed save a little bit of power -- over the course of one year, you get about enough for a Taco Bell meal. However, energy-efficient drives also suffer from slower overall speeds than their similarly configured companions in the storage marketplace.

Hitachi's promised that these new eco-happy drives are faster than the line of DeskStars they'll be replacing. Maximum PC will have our hands on one of these guys within the next 30 days, and you can bet we'll be putting the P7K500s to the test!

The Important Stats

Size: 250/320/400/500GB

Areal Density: 185 billion bits per square inch maximum

Platters: 2/1

Heads: 4/2

Rotation: 7200 RPM (4,400 during "low RPM idle")

Connection: PATA-133 and 3Gb/s SATA

Buffer: 8 MB (single disk), 8MB and 16MB (two disk)

Power Consumption: 3.6/4.8 watt idle power

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Caboose

I'm sort of surprised that we didn't have an EE hard drive sooner. I guess it's just a matter of time now, before more components follow the path of the EE CPU and HDD *glares at video card*

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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