Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 2TB Hard Drive

Storage
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AUDIO RECORDINGS

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:

CONCLUSIONS

Despite being an older model without the latest advances in areal density, the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 2TB hard drive still managed to tie the Seagate Barracuda 3TB for the top 7200 RPM spot in our real world benchmark suite, making it excellent choice for a high capacity, operating system drive (the Barracuda is faster over its entire span though). Its airborne acoustics are middling, but acceptable given the drive's speed. Its level of vibration on the otherhand is atrocious, like something out of another era. On the bright side it does operate with surprising energy efficiency, being more frugal than any previously tested 2TB+ 7200 RPM variant.

Given the 2TB version's properties we'd describe the 7K3000 as ideal for an industrial/workplace environment rather than personal use. However, vibration is the only serious issue we have when it comes to the typical end-user— if you're at all noise-conscious, it's enough to rule it out altogether. The only exception is if you plan on pairing it with a suspension system to decouple the drive from the rest of the case, either homemade or using a product like the HDD Vibration Killer. Neutralizing this one problem leaves you with a very big, fast drive, that would likely be drowned out by the fans of most systems, even those built to be on the quiet side.

The only other current obstacle for the 7K3000 is price. Our sample was acquired through retail channels on special for significantly less than its current available pricing which is in the US$170~$180 range. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the Barracuda 3TB can be had at the US$200 mark at some e-tailers. It's hard to argue with an extra 1TB of capacity, lower noise and vibration, all for just US$20 more. The discrepancy is probably a temporary phenomenon though, stemming from the continued price volatility of hard drives following the flooding in Thailand. When the market eventually settles down we expect its price to be more reasonable compared to the competition.

Many thanks to Hitachi for the Deskstar 7K3000 2TB sample.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

Tiché PC HDD Vibration Killer
Seagate Barracuda 3TB: 1TB Platter Behemoth
WD Scorpio Black 750GB & Scorpio Blue 1TB
Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB 5940RPM Hard Drive
Icy Dock MB973SP-B SATA Backplane Module
HP Proliant MicroServer

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