Holy hell, man. We have been waiting for this day for a long time, and Hitachi is the first hard-drive manufacturer out of the gate to meet our terabyte-size storage needs. Yes, that’s right. A terabyte. One thousand gigabytes stuffed into a hard drive, or in this case, a Deskstar.
For those keeping score at home, that’s 250GB more than the current storage leader, Seagate’s 750GB Barracuda drive. And while the differences aren’t quite as dramatic in terms of speed, Hitachi’s 7K1000 storage monster still beats out the Seagate in our HD Tach benchmarks.
The Deskstar 7K1000 drive sports five platters with 200GB of storage apiece, which doesn’t give the device an amazing areal density, especially compared to its smaller peers. In theory, drives with a higher areal density perform better, but not so when it comes to the 7K1000. We recorded a whopping 72.7MB/s for the drive’s average read test, which curb-stomps the Seagate’s now-paltry 66MB/s. While Western Digital’s Raptor drive tops that score with a random access speed of 77.9MB/s, it’s also less than one-sixth the capacity of the 7K1000.
Looking at random access times—a measure of a hard drive’s ability to pull information from a variety of different spots on the disks—Hitachi’s terabyte drive again tops the Barracuda, by only 0.3 of a millisecond, but a difference nonetheless. As one might expect, the Raptor drive retains its speed-king position. You’d merely need to RAID seven of them together to get the capacity of the 7K1000.
In a comparison of apples and oranges—the Raptor’s speed versus the Barracuda’s size—Hitachi’s terabyte drive is nothing short of a watermelon. It’s the fastest of all the drives in its class, of which there is one, and even tops the drives that hover around the meager 500GB mark. Toss in the terabyte of storage, and you get an absolute winner.