Alas, poor Hitachi; we knew him well, Horatio. Hitachi’s Global Storage division might have been gobbled up by Western Digital, but it’s still putting out product, at least for now. Hitachi’s latest addition to the Deskstar line is a five-platter, 3TB, 7,200rpm drive with 64MB of cache and a 6Gb/s SATA interface. Yeah, we can deal with that.
Hitachi's Deskstar slightly edges out Seagate's Barracuda—but how long will the Hitachi hard drive brand last?
Hitachi’s Deskstar ships with a piece of paper directing users to download the Hitachi GPT Disk Manager from Paragon Software. The boot solution for legacy users seems to be to just divide the disk into separate partitions. We expect Maximum PC readers can manage the same with Windows’ built-in tools—although we’re not sure how many Maximum PC readers want to boot from a 3TB partition in their desktop rigs.
On our Sandy Bridge test bed, which has UEFI, we had no problem creating a 3TB bootable partition and installing 64-bit Windows 7; we didn’t even need to load F6 drivers. We ran our standard mechanical-drive benchmarks on the Deskstar and found average sustained read speeds of around 119.5MB/s and write speeds around 118.5MB/s. In both our Premiere Pro encoding test, which writes a 20GB uncompressed AVI to the disk, and the PCMark Vantage HDD subtest, the Deskstar performed faster than the Barracuda XT, despite having largely the same specs and despite the Barracuda’s faster average read and write speeds. The Deskstar’s random-access speeds were fully 2ms faster than the Barracuda’s.
With an MSRP of $250 and faster real-world scores than the Seagate Barracuda XT, the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 is a real winner.
Fast, capacious, and relatively inexpensive; helpful software wizard.
Sequential reads and writes lag very slightly behind Seagate’s offering.
Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 (3TB)
Seagate Barracuda XT (3TB)
WD Caviar Green (3TB)
Avg Read (MB/s)
Random-Access Read (ms)
Avg Write (MB/s)
Random-Access Write (ms)
Burst Write (MB/s)
Premiere Pro Encode (sec)
Asterisk (*) denotes best score. All drives tested on our hard drive test bench: a stock-clocked Intel Core i3-2100 CPU on an Asus P8P67 Pro (Rev 3.1) motherboard with 4GB DDR3, running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. All tests performed using native Intel 6Gb/s SATA chipset with IRST version 10.1 drivers.