Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB 5940RPM Hard Drive

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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recordings start with 5 to 10 seconds of ambient noise, then 10 second segments of the drive in the following states: idle, seek with AAM enabled (if applicable), and seek with AAM disabled.

Desktop 5,400~5,900 RPM Hard Drive Comparatives:

Desktop 7,200 RPM Hard Drive Comparatives:


When we consider the qualities we like to see in a "green" hard drive, the Deskstar 5K3000 2TB is middle of the road. Its energy efficiency is unable to touch WD's Caviar Green series, though it is a big improvement over Seagate's Barracuda Green/LP. The 5K3000 is a very quiet drive, but again, can't match the Caviar Greens, which are practically inaudible. Its vibration level isn't great, but as a single drive it shouldn't cause much anxiety if hard-mounted; for multiple drives, suspension is recommended.

The Hitachi 5K3000 differentiates itself by delivering the type of performance we had hoped Seagate's 5900 RPM drives would produce. In our real-world tests, the 5K3000 destroyed the Samsung EcoGreen F4 and whipped both the WD Caviar Green and Seagate Barracuda Green. It even managed a slim victory over a pair of 7200 RPM drives, the 1TB Deskstar 7K1000.C and WD Caviar Blue. The entire drive isn't this fast, but the first 50~100 GB is capable of housing a snappy O/S partition.

With performance close to a 7200 RPM drive and the acoustics, power efficiency, and low cost of a classic eco-friendly model, the Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB is a compelling jack-of-all-trades drive. It works well as a primary standalone hard drive with O/S and all, and provides a nice speed bump over the competition when used solely for serving up files. You can save a couple of watts and a decibel or two by going with the venerable WD20EARS, but the 5K3000 is a great value as a quiet, performance drive. The 5K3000 2TB retails for approximately US$75 which is currently a touch more expensive than WD and Samsung models.

Hitachi 5K3000 2TB receives the SPCR Editor's Choice Award

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB & Momentus 750GB
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB vs. WD Caviar Blue 1TB
New high areal density 2-and-3 TB Greens from WD
WD Caviar Black 2TB & VelociRaptor 600GB
Samsung EcoGreen F4 & Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Hard Drives
Seagate Momentus XT: The Best of Both Worlds?

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