Feature Set: Hitachi 7K1000

The external design of the Hitachi 7K1000 is the same as the majority of the TK or K series drives. The drive is based on the industry standard 3.5" form factor platform and would normally have the pertinent part number and warranty information embossed on a white sticker on the top of the casing. However, our O.E.M. sample was graciously provided by Dell and does not include this information. The only other differences between the O.E.M. and retail units will be the inclusion of an accessory kit, HD Feature Tool software (that can be downloaded separately), and the obligatory retail packaging.

The Deskstar 7K1000 ships with the Serial ATA data and power connector along with a space for a 4-pin Molex power connector designed for use with older ATX power supplies. Our early press photos included the 4-pin Molex connector but it appears the inclusion of it will be at the discretion of the O.E.M. or distribution locality. The 32MB of cache memory and controller logic is located on the outer side of the PCB.

Hitachi offers their excellent DOS based HD Feature Tool that allows the user to view the specifics of the drive and change certain options such as S.M.A.R.T., AAM, Power Management, and read and write optimizations. Our drive arrived with Automatic Acoustic Management turned on and set to the quietest level. We were able to easily set different levels or turn off AAM altogether. We found in our limited acoustical testing there was not a real difference between the 128 and 256 setting. Performance was slightly affected with AAM implemented but we felt the benefits of having it turned on outweighed any performance impact.

Hard Disk Test Comparison and Features

Hard Drive Specifications
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1000GB HDS721010KLA330 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB ST3750640AS Western Digital Raptor 150GB WD1500ADFD
Manufacturer's Stated Capacity: 1000.2GB (1 Terabyte) 750GB 150GB
Operating System Stated Capacity: 931.5 GB 698.6 GB 139.73 GB
Interface: SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s SATA 1.5Gb/s
Rotational Speed: 7,200 RPM 7,200 RPM 10,000 RPM
Cache Size: 32 MB 16 MB 16 MB
Average Latency: 4.17 ms (nominal) 4.16 ms (nominal) 2.99 ms (nominal)
Read Seek Time: 8.5 ms / 14ms Silent 11 ms 4.6 ms
Number of Heads: 10 8 4
Number of Platters: 5 4 2
Power Draw Idle / Load: 8.1W / 12.8W 9.3W / 12.6W 9.19W / 10.02W
Power Draw Silent I / L: 4.3W / 9.9W - -
Command Queuing: Native Command Queuing Native Command Queuing Native Command Queuing
Warranty: 3 Year - Retail or OEM 5 Year - Retail or OEM 5 Year - Retail or OEM

The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 is the first 1TB drive to ship based upon manufacturer's specifications with a 750 GB offering scheduled for availability next quarter. Of course the actual capacity of the drive is 931.5 GB, but due to the way manufacturers report capacity the drive is considered to be a 1TB offering. This drive is also Hitachi's first 3.5-inch hard drive to use PMR technology. Additional 1TB versions for the Enterprise and DVR/Set-Top markets will be released later this year.

The 7K1000 features a 5-platter 10-head perpendicular magnetic recording design with rotational speeds at 7200rpm. The cache size has been increased to 32MB from the previous 16MB on the TK series. Hitachi includes their ramp load/unload, advanced low-power idle modes, and thermal-fly height control technologies. This drive series also supports Native Command Queuing and hot-swap capabilities. The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 drives ship with a three year warranty and additional specifications can be found here.

The Hitachi 7K1000 drive we are reviewing today will be compared directly against the Seagate ST3750640AS 750GB and WD WD1500AHFD 150GB drives in our limited benchmark test suite. We have also included the results of drives from our previous articles and will provide additional results of the 7K1000 in our upcoming 500GB roundup.

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  • mikeg - Thursday, April 26, 2007 - link

    Its been a over a month since the article came out and I still don't see any in the retail stores or a non OEM drive. Where can I get one?? Anyone see a retail box of these drives a a retailer? I want to get a couple
  • jojo4u - Monday, March 26, 2007 - link

    Hello Gary,

    the Hitachi datasheet refers to three idle modes using APM. The results with AAM enabled could suggest that APM is automatically engaged with AAM. So perhaups one should check the APM level with Hitachi's Feature Tool or the generic tools http://hdparm-win32.dyndns.org/hdparm/">hdparm or hddscan.
  • Gary Key - Friday, March 30, 2007 - link

    We had a lengthy meeting with the Hitachi engineers this week to go over APM and AAM modes along with the firmware that is shipping on the Dell drives. I hope to have some answers next week as testing APM capabilities on a Dell based system resulted in a slightly different behavior than our test bench. I have completed the balance of testing with various AAM/NCQ on/off combinations and some additional benchmark tests. I am hoping to update the article next week. Also, I ran acoustic tests in a different manner and will have those results available. Until, then I did find out that sitting a drive on a foam brick outside of a system and taking measurements from the top will mask some of the drives acoustic results. The majority of noise emitted from this drive comes from the bottom, not the top. ;)
  • ddarko - Monday, March 26, 2007 - link

    "However, Hitachi has informed us they have the capability to go to 250GB per-platter designs but launched at smaller capacities to ensure their reliability rate targets were met. Considering the absolute importance of data integrity we think this was a wise move."

    This sounds like an sneaky attempt by Hitachi to raise doubt about the safety of Seagate's forthcoming 1TB drive. Where is the data to support this rather bold statement that 250GB platters designs are not as capable as 200GB designs of meeting these completely unspecified "reliability rate targets"? What does that even mean? Can we infer that 150GB platter designs are even more reliable than 200GB designs? It's disappointing to see the review accept Hitachi's statement without question, going so far as to even applaud Hitachi for its approach without any evidence whatsoever to back it.
  • Lord Evermore - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    While I know memory density in general isn't increasing nearly as fast as hard drive size, 32MB cache seems pretty chintzy for a top-end product. I suppose 16MB on the 750GB drives is even worse.

    My first 528MB hard drive with a 512KB cache was a 1/1007 ratio (using binary cache size, and labelled drive size which would be around binary 512MB). Other drives still had as little as 128KB cache, so they could have been as little as a 1/4028 ratio, but better with smaller drives. I think anything larger than 512MB always had 512KB.

    A 20GB drive with 2MB cache is 1/9536 ratio.

    A 100GB drive with 2MB cache is 1/47683.

    Then the jump to 8MB cache makes the ratio much better at 1/11920 for a 100GB drive (I'm ignoring the lower-cost models that had higher capacities, but still 2MB cache). Then it gets progressively worse as you get up to the 500GB size drives. Then we make another cache size jump, and the 160GB to 500GB models have a 16MB option, which is back to 1/9536 on a 160GB, to 1/29802 on a 500GB.

    The trend here being that we stick with a particular cache size as drive size increases so the ratio gets worse and worse, then we make a cache size jump which improves the ratio and it gets worse again, then we make another cache size jump again.

    Now we go to 750GB drives with 16MB cache. Now we are up to a 1/44703 ratio, only the 2nd worse ever, seems like time for another cache increase. Jumping to 32MB with a 100TB drive only makes it 1/29802. Not a very significant change despite doubling the cache again, since the drive size also increased, and it'll only get worse as they increase the drive size. Even 32MB on a 750GB drive is 1/22351, only slightly better than the 16MB/500GB flagship drives when they came out, and we don't even HAVE a 32MB/750GB drive.

    A 512MB cache would be nice. That's still not the best ratio ever, it's still 1/1862, but that's a heck of a lot better than 1/30,000th. At the very least, they need to jump those cache chip densities a lot, or use more than one. Even a single 512MB density chip would be 64MB, still not great but better.
  • Per Hansson - Sunday, March 25, 2007 - link

    Bigger caches would almost make it a necessity that you run the system on a UPS.

    Loosing 32mb of data that is yet to be written to the platters is allot, but 512mb?

    And the UPS would not take into account OS crashes...

    I'm not sure how much this would affect performance either, but a review of a SCSI drive with a SCSI controller with 2mb - 1gb of cache would answer that question well...
  • yehuda - Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - link

    Do they plan to launch a single platter variant sometime in the near future?
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - link

    They will be releasing a 750GB variant in May. Our initial reports have the single platter drives along with the 300~500GB models coming later in the summer. I am trying to get that confirmed now.
  • DeathSniper - Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - link

    Last page..."The Achilles heal of the Seagate 750GB drive..."
    I think it should be heel, not heal ;)
  • Spacecomber - Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - link

    While this drive has enough in the way of other features to make it stand out from the crowd, I was a bit surprised to see that Hitachi hadn't upped the warranty to 5 years for this drive, which is what Seagate offers on most of their drives and WD offers on their raptors.

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