Hitachi unveiled Deskstar E7K1000 hard drive

By Koushik Saha on 4.1.09

Filed Under: , , , , ,

The Deskstar brand is infamous among enthusiasts, and not just because it's a thinly-veiled attempt to tickle the Star Wars obsession that lives in the hearts of most geeks. First, there was the 75GXP failure fiasco, which fueled not only a class action lawsuit, but also our longest running comment thread. IBM eventually sold its hard drive business to Hitachi, which kept the Deskstar name intact despite the (probably undeserved) stigma associated with the name.

Under Hitachi's tutelage, the Deskstar again made headlines, this time as the first hard drive to hit the terabyte mark. This was quite an achievement at the time—Hitachi had to squeeze a whopping five platters into the drive to hit 1TB, and it took a while for the competition to catch up. But that was nearly two years ago, and time hasn't been kind to the first 3.5" terabyte. Areal densities have risen dramatically, allowing other drive makers to build terabyte drives with as few as three platters. Drives with fewer platters tend to be quieter and require less power, and with higher areal densities, they're quicker as well.

Not content to be left out, Hitachi has updated its Deskstar line with a new terabyte model primed for enterprise. With three 334GB platters, this fresh E7K1000 shouldeasily outclass the original. The real question, however, is how it fares against the latest terabyte drives from Western Digital, Seagate, and Samsung. Join us as we put the E7K1000 through its paces against the best the competition has to offer to find out.According to Hitachi, the Deskstar E7K1000 is designed for enterprise applications like nearline storage and RAID arrays. It's common for drive makers to spin out enterprise versions of their desktop products; Western Digital's RE3 is simply an enterprise version of the Caviar Black, for example, and Seagate's Barracuda ES.2 is to workstations and servers what the Barracuda 7200.11 is to desktops. The E7K1000 looks to be an enterprise version of Hitachi's Deskstar 7K1000.B desktop drive, with a few notable differences.

The first and perhaps most important of these differences—at least as far as the drive's target market is concerned—is the addition of Rotational Vibration Safeguard (RVS) tech that helps to maintain drive performance in high-vibration environments. Enterprise-class drives are often tightly packed in RAID arrays or rackmount enclosures where the close proximity of other drives creates a fair amount of vibration. These surrounding vibrations can easily knock a drive head off track, slowing performance. To combat this performance loss, RVS polls vibration sensors located at several points on the drive and adjusts the head position accordingly, resulting in more consistent performance in vibration-rich locales.

0 comments for this post