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Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 Review Discussion


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#1 Brian

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 09:55 AM

With 7mm ultra-thin hard drives all the rage, Hitachi aims to blast one out of the park with its new 500GB single-platter Z5K500 – that’s right, 500GB on a single platter. Getting to this higher capacity in such a slim package has been a big deal for drive manufactures, since in the 7mm drive space you are limited to a single drive platter, instead of two in a 9.5mm drive or three in a 12.5mm drive. While capacity might be the biggest selling point of this drive, it is also important to see how well it does in the performance category, which we dive into in this review.

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#2 danwat1234

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 03:40 PM

the mobile mechanical HDD sector is boring. We reached the end of how far we can take power conservation, performance increases are never impressive. The only hope is if the piezoelectric 'wrist' that the Caviar Black has, comes to the Scorpios..

Edited by danwat1234, 21 June 2011 - 02:42 AM.

#3 fallbreak

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 04:48 PM

Now I understand while Seagate's top of the line 7mm is still only 320GB. It's quite a disappointing performance looking at this compared to their established 9.5mm brothers. Sure, there might be/is a niche market where these drives find homes...Hitachi sells these as external 7mm/500GB for quite a while now under their G-Tech brand, mainly targeted at Mac users. Saw them for $119 at BB. Their slightly fatter 9.5mm/500GB/2D brother cost half of this....Is 7mm the new 1"?

#4 Brian

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:46 AM

It is an interesting question about user acceptance...would we accept larger CE products to accomodate 9.5mm drives for the increased performance? That's kind of how we got here in the first place...everything had to get smaller and more power efficient.

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#5 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:59 AM

To me it looks like they've been pushing the boundaries of areal density too much this time. The write head can not consistently do it's job and has to retry, sometimes often. That's why not only random write performance can be terrible (this would also be the case if the heads wounld't find the correct positions in time), but sequential write is also extremely low (by HDDs standards).

If this is correct then the question is not really "Would we accept larger CE products to accomodate 9.5mm drives for the increased performance?" but rather "How are we going to make the 500 GB 2.5" platter designs perform normally, be it 1, 2 or 3 platters?". Teach the write heads some new tricks and "she'll be alright".

Another interesting question would be: "What about HDDs which deliberately push the storage density so far that write performance suffers?" Would we still buy them as large data graves? For external USB 2.0 enclosures the performance of the Z5K500 would certainly be enough. And 1.5 TB in 2.5" external.. who wouldn't call that sweet ;)

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#6 danwat1234

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 04:27 PM

If I remember right, the hard drive industry predicts that it can do about 100x more density than we have right now...Hundreds of Terabytes for 3.5" disks and probably 100TB with 2.5" disks.


so I anticipate that the low write performance of this drive may be fixed with a firmware tweak and/or a future hardware revision, because there is no way that we are facing a write performance hit now, if we can go to a 100x higher areal density in the future..

@SR, have you checked the SMART data on the drive? Any errors with writing to the drive?

#7 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 05:47 AM

In recent years the problem has mainly been that the platters could be made denser, but the r/w heads took longer to improve / develop. That's why I guess we're seeing the same thing here, just pushed further.

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#8 bmanau

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:46 AM

My Lenovo X220 came with this drive and I can confirm the drive can do 9.82GB file xfer in 110 seconds which is about 90MB/sec. I am relieved the drive is much faster than the article suggests, the article is old and probably outdated now, perhaps they fixed firmware. Whatever it is.. write speeds are decent. This was over a network and the bottleneck could have been the remote server, or the network itself. I am pretty sure raw benchmark figures would be even higher.

Edited by bmanau, 02 July 2012 - 06:47 AM.

#9 Michał Szkutnik

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 03:00 PM

I can confirm what bmanau has written. I've bought the drive recently and it is much faster at writes than it is stated in the review. One possibility is that the partitions where not aligned properly for 4K AF sectors? If you have read the review and are afraid of choosing this disk, fear not - it performs well in writes.


#10 Andrew Laslone

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 09:12 AM

In my opinion you should redo this review http://www.storagere...hts545050a7e380

I have recently tested 9 pcs., all sealed brand new, of the Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380 and I was surprised to see that 2 of the 9 brand new drives behaved very differently. The other 7 had simmilar sequential write performance like the read performance around the 100MB/s.

But two oft them had inconsistent read performance over the whole platter surface, and one of the two had very disappointing results in the write performance, similar to the results of the drive in the review.

 

You should use the HDtune Benchmark feature to see what the problem actual is. Because the SMART feature is not reporting an error, but the performance is signaling that the two of the 9 drives I tested have issues in read/ write performance. I think the Drive that was subject to the review was suffering from the same problem, and it seems, a pretty big number of drives does it. Maybe they are badly produces or got damaged doe to bad handling (they seem to be very sensitive and it is even mentioned in the product description how they can be hold with the fingers :) )

 

If i discover how this forum works, and there is interest for it, I will attach the print screens that I have done to the regular well working drives, and the abnormal ones.

 

The editor of the review should at least do a mention on the article.





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