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Hitachi Deskstar 7K250

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The 7K250 is the first Deskstar to be released exclusively under the new Hitachi brand. We've put the serial ATA version of drive to the test to see how it compares to the likes of Maxtor and Western Digital. Has the Deskstar's traditionally excellent performance survived the transition? Let's take a look!

Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 Review

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The drive rocks! rock.gif (As I expected...)

Only thing I didn't understand was this: "In the SR Bootup DriveMark, a somewhat unusual case that features the higher-than-normal queue depths generated by Windows XP's boot process, the 7K250 stumbles ever so slightly behind the Caviar by an imperceptible 1% margin." But as the reviewer says, it falls in the imperceptible margin (of error?).

All things considered, a winner! Let's hope now that its reliability is OK too.

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I would have liked to have seen a stronger conclusion.

Case in point, during the introduction (which I thought was nicely done) we read how WD "scored a performance coup", "never lost stride", and has "maintain[ed] a stranglehold on ATA performance leadership". Although WD may have never looked back, clearly neither has its rivals. Quite simply, the 7K250 has brought, temporarily at the very least, an end to the succesion of WD drives as leaders in the 7.2K realm. The 7K250 has, if you may, usurped WD from that thrown. Further, in desktop usage, the 7K250 even seriously challenges the performance pulled off by WD's 10K Raptor.

CK

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Guest Eugene
I would have liked to have seen a stronger conclusion.

Hmm, you're right- the close somehow didn't convey the excitement I privately shared with a few others about the drive, especially in light of all the flower tossed over WD in the intro ;).

I've added a sentence to remind readers of the significance of a new 7200 RPM leader.

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I would just make one small correction to the addition Eugene:

"Western Digital's three-year run with the 7200 RPM ATA title has finally come to a close"

"At", as it currently stands, implies what Maxtor, Seagate etc would by making (i.e. a run at the title). Whereas "with" in this case would imply possesion of said title (which WD clearly held prior to the 7K250).

Then again, this coming from the guy who spelt throne "thrown" :P

CK

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Guest Eugene
I would just make one small correction to the addition Eugene:

"Western Digital's three-year run with the 7200 RPM ATA title has finally come to a close"

Ok, changed, thanks :)

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Why isn't the "heat and noise" graph not called the "noise and heat" graph, since the measures are presented in that order?

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The first time I read the review, I was assuming that the Raptor scores were coming from the first sample, and not the third. You know, the kind of thing you'd expect from a THG or X-Bit review :).

But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the retail Raptor scores were used, and I just thought I'd say thanks for the great review, Eugene. So, thanks!

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The Review drive is a sata. What performance does the pata version show ?

Who cares? Nobody buys pata anymore! :-) <- smiley

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I would have liked to have seen a stronger conclusion.

Case in point, during the introduction (which I thought was nicely done) we read how WD "scored a performance coup",  "never lost stride", and has "maintain[ed] a stranglehold on ATA performance leadership".  Although WD may have never looked back, clearly neither has its rivals.  Quite simply, the 7K250 has brought, temporarily at the very least, an end to the succesion of WD drives as leaders in the 7.2K realm.  The 7K250 has, if you may, usurped WD from that thrown.  Further, in desktop usage, the 7K250 even seriously challenges the performance pulled off by WD's 10K Raptor. 

CK

> Further, in desktop usage, the 7K250 even seriously challenges the

> performance pulled off by WD's 10K Raptor.

>

> CK

And probably wouldn't only challenge, but significantly surpass it it wasn't for

the mediocre access time.. Have to wonder how the 12.1ms access time can be described as impressive ("Hitachi's drive turns in an impressive access time of just 12.1 milliseconds.").

There's still an Fireball Plus LM spinning in one of my servers (lower access time), and a Maxtor D740X in another (only very sligthly higher access time):

Quantum Fireball Plus LM, April 2000, 11.5ms access time.

(http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200004/20000413QM330000LM-A_2.html)

Maxtor DiamondMax D740X, October 2001, 12.2ms access time.

(http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200110/200110096L080J4_2.html)

Sure, the trend has been towards higher STR and higher access times lately, but it still doesn't feel like correct to talk about impressive access times, when it has gone worse lately among _all_ the manufacturers/drives "in their class".

And yes I know the current drives perform better than the 3.5 year old fireball or 2 year old D740X, but their access times have gone backwards (probably due to physics and compulsion for maximum capacities) which hinders getting even better performance out of them.

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I didn't see whether the drive supports tagged command queing, as the older IBM PATAs do. Did I miss something?

I do think that's fairly important to mention, given the increase in SATA RAID systems that we're likely to see. Besides, if SR doesn't highlight this, who else will?

TIA, Jesper Mortensen

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I didn't see whether the drive supports tagged command queing, as the older IBM PATAs do. Did I miss something?

Surprisingly hard to find out.

This product summary pdf goes in to lots of detail about the drive, and some part of it may imply TCQ, but it doesn't explicitly state it.

You can look here for a list of all IBM's documents about the 7K250.

Page 21 of the product specification pdf mentions "Queued feature support". Section 10.5 on page 92 (labelled 76) of the pdf referrs to the "Overlapped and queued feature", and when I read it, I saw the sentence

A queued command shall have a Tag provided by the host in the Sector Count register to uniquely identify the

command.

I suppose that implies Tagged Command Queueing, but they're not exactly screaming it from the rooftops!

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Newegg has the 250 GB, SATA version (HDS722525VLSA80). Price is $315 for the OEM version. A bit pricey, but I ordered one today. Unlike a lot of you :D , I've actually been in the process of downsizing and simplifying my computer setup. I've sold off 4 of my drives and it will be nice to be down to a single, quieter drive for a change. Let's hope reliability is not an issue. I'll be using a 120 GB Samsung drive for backing up of important files. I was going to wait for the 72 GB Raptor and use it along with my PATA WD1200JB. I need capacity over performance though and things are kept simpler this way (I end up with more capacity with just the single drive). If there are any issues once I receive and "Ghost" the drive, I'll report them here.

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Is there an audible recalibration sound every period of time like 120 & 180GXPs? It will be a decider for me...

NO :)

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Have to wonder how the 12.1ms access time can be described as impressive ("Hitachi's drive turns in an impressive access time of just 12.1 milliseconds.").

There's still an Fireball Plus LM spinning in one of my servers (lower access time), and a Maxtor D740X in another (only very sligthly higher access time):

Quantum Fireball Plus LM, April 2000, 11.5ms access time.

(http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200004/20000413QM330000LM-A_2.html)

Maxtor DiamondMax D740X, October 2001, 12.2ms access time.

(http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200110/200110096L080J4_2.html)

And yes I know the current drives perform better than the 3.5 year old fireball or 2 year old D740X, but their access times have gone backwards...

Congratulations to your impressive comparrison of Apples vs Oranges.

Did you not notice that apart from being done on two compleatly different hardware/OS setups SR have also changed the software that does the actual accesstime measurements? If you did, perhaps you forgot to factor in why SR went trought the trouble of finding a new software to make these measurements when they could just have contiunued using the same old one? For

why, digg up the old article about the changes for testbed 3 (a hint, the old benchmark sucked).

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Oh, forgot to add (and you can't edit posts on this forum?!?), could you please please do a SATA 8MB vs a PATA 8MB benchmark of this test? You have missed this opportunity time and time again to make this *very* interesting comparrison. Since SATA drives has been out for a year or so noew, I think this specific test is highly over due :)

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Is there an audible recalibration sound every period of time like 120 & 180GXPs? It will be a decider for me...

NO :)

Great news! :D

A 40Gb SATA version will be great for me as a boot drive. No need for a pricey Raptor :P

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make sure you get the 8mb 40gb sata version, if it's available - they have pata and 2mb versions around.

Thanks, 40Gb SATA is available (in theory)...

Only 80Gb SATA in my country yet :blink:

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I didn't see whether the drive supports tagged command queing, as the older IBM PATAs do. Did I miss something?

Surprisingly hard to find out.

This product summary pdf goes in to lots of detail about the drive, and some part of it may imply TCQ, but it doesn't explicitly state it.

You can look here for a list of all IBM's documents about the 7K250.

Page 21 of the product specification pdf mentions "Queued feature support". Section 10.5 on page 92 (labelled 76) of the pdf referrs to the "Overlapped and queued feature", and when I read it, I saw the sentence

A queued command shall have a Tag provided by the host in the Sector Count register to uniquely identify the

command.

I suppose that implies Tagged Command Queueing, but they're not exactly screaming it from the rooftops!

This drive does have what is now called Queued Feature Support - just a hitachi term I guess

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