So, how fast is your computer? While the right answer might not be "as fast as the hard drive," it's not far from the truth. Often the limiting component for speed is the hard drive, since it's the only part of a computer with actual moving parts. Today, DMOS looks at the Hitachi DeskStar 7K250. Will it serve your home and enterprise needs? The good: quick application performance. The bad: the waranty (somehow, I don't believe the interface causes the disk to last longer). The lowdown: maybe it's time to upgrade.
Yes, you read that right. Hitachi DeskStar. It's still hard for me to think that way. Any time I hear "DeskStar" I immediately translate that to "Deathstar" and associate it with IBM. However, while IBM still has a 30% stake in the operation, the current drives truly only share the name, little else. Hopefully that means they also won't be sharing the previous 75GXP, 60GXP, and 120GXP's potential for experiencing the infamous "click of death." It's not asking too much for Hitachi to retain the performance that the previous DeskStars always enjoyed over their competition without retaining the habit of dying, is it? That's what we'll be hoping to see from today's review of Hitachi's 7K250 drive.
The 7K250 we're looking at today is the 80GB, SATA version. There are also PATA models, and both have capacities going from 80GB on the low end to 250GB at the max. How can there be two different options for connectivity? It's due to the design of the drive in the first place. At the start, this was a native PATA drive. In essence, it still is. Hitachi merely added a bridge chip to switch over the interface for this particular model.
One of the common myths is that SATA is faster than its complementary ATA-100 drive. It's not, for the same reason that an ATA-133 drive isn't any faster than that same ATA-100 HD. The internals haven't changed, and current drives are barely capable of saturating the "outdated" ATA-66 bus in anything other than a burst from the buffer. SATA does bring some advantages to the party, however. One, the cables are both much longer and narrower. While most of us have moved away from "ribbon" cables to rounded ones, they are still fairly bulky, especially the connectors.
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