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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [03.03.06]
Manufactured by: Hitachi, Seagate


Hitachi Deskstar 7K500

Hitachi was the first in the capacity race to hit the 500gb back during the summer and their products were the first out of the gates. Though at the time, others had released hard drives with higher platter densities, Hitachi won the race by putting more platters in the hard drive. In the case of the 7K500, that means that we have five 100gb platters spinning at 7200rpm.  The connectors on the back are the standard SATA power, SATA data as well as a traditional 4-pin molex. These drives do support hot-plugging and it is recommended that you use the SATA power connectors if you are going to be doing hot-plugging. That ensures that all contacts are made at the same time.


The 7K500 SATA drive comes equip with 16 megabytes of onboard cache courtesy of the Micron memory chip found to the left of that Infineon controller chip. It is important to note that aside from the obvious differences such as interface, and SATA only features, the ATA version of hte 7K500 only comes with 8 megabytes of onboard cache. Both versions of the drive however, come with a three year standard warranty.

Seagate 7200.9 500GB

The 7200.9 series represents Seagate's first foray into the SATA II and attempts to build on the successes of the previous 7200 generations. Whereas the 7200.8 series was merely a storage bump, the 7200.9 series has brought the hard drives up to the latest specifications which the 7K500 supports. These include, but are not limited to, hot swap, hot plug, staggered spin-up and a 3.0Gb/sec transfer rate for capable devices. Like the Hitachi drive, the platters spin at 7200rpm, but instead of 5 platters, Seagate managed with just four 125gb platters. Unlike the Hitachi, Seagate does not include the legacy power connector (and hasn't for a couple of generations now).

16 meg caches are becoming standard on high end drives now and the 7200.9 series is no different. Perhaps that is a little misleading, all 7200.9 drives with capacities larger or equa to 300gb have 16 meg caches. The rest range from 2 to 8 megs. Seagate has a commanding share of the hard drive market and one of the reasons is their warranty which is an industry leading five years.

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