We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. Hitachi’s Deskstar T7K500 hard drive, with an easy-to-remember 500GB of storage, is unremarkable. More than that, it underperforms when compared to similarly featured, similarly priced (if not cheaper!) products.
Although the Deskstar’s speedy random access time of 13.2ms is faster than times posted by all of the similarly outfitted 500GB models we’ve looked at, that’s all this drive has going for it. The Deskstar’s average read time, which is a pretty good reflection of a drive’s performance across the entirety of the disc, taps out at an average of 64.2MB/s.
When compared against the sea of drives that sit in our Lab, the Deskstar’s average read speed is barely better than the Seagate 400GB Barracuda 7200.8’s—a PATA drive, mind you. And SATA models from both Samsung and Western Digital (which have feature sets that are nearly identical to the Deskstar’s) utterly destroy the Hitachi in our benchmarks, as both push read speeds upward of 70MB/s.
These results were slightly curious to us, as the Deskstar sports three platters of approximately 166GB apiece. That gives it quite a boost in areal density when compared to the Western Digital Caviar’s measly four-platter 125GB setup. As we’ve seen in the past, drives with juicer areal densities tend to run faster. But not in the Deskstar’s case!
So, what then is the good news? If Hitachi’s new terabyte drive helps lower the price of the company’s smaller models, the cost-to-benefit ratio of the T7K500 could, in the future, make it a nice solution. That’s about the only silver lining we see.
Easy to install into a computer. Uh. Nicely constructed. Pretty exterior.
Slow performance when compared to other 500GB models. Feh.