More 500GB notebook drives: Seagate 7200.4 & Hitachi 5K500.B

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The 5K500.B is the top of a line of models with capacities of 120, 160, 250, 320, 400 and 500GB. Hitachi markets them as "high-capacity, eco-friendly storage for notebook PCs and mobile applications."

Our 5K500.B sample.
Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B: Key Features & Benefits
(from product datasheet)
Lowest power consumption in its class
- 1.4W read/write power
- 0.5W low power idle
Sounds good, we'll measure.
Sata 3Gb/s interface Standard.
Halogen-free for eco-friendly footprint Nice.

Best protection against bumps and rough handling
- 400G operating shock
- 1000G non-operating shock

Sounds good.
Better soft error rate for improved reliability with Altitude-sensing Thermal Fly-height Control (TFC) Said to be "an improved actuator latch and 4th gen perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) head technology."
Quiet acoustics We'll check.
Security: Bulk Data Encryption option helps safeguard data in the event of system theft or loss Okay, but our model was not BDE equipped.
Up to 875Mb/s media transfer rate for excellent application performance in PCMark Vantage testing Performance differences between HDDs of the same capacity, spindle speed and cache are usually trivial.
Enhanced Availability (EA)— optimizeed for reliable 24x7 operation In embedding computing, for example. Our sample was not an EA model.

Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B: Specifications
(from product datasheet)
Model Number HTS545050B9A300
Capacity 500GB
Cache 8MB
Disks / Heads 2 / 4
Interface SATA 3Gb/s
Spindle Speed 5400rpm
Media Transfer Rate (Maximum) 875 Mb/s
Average Seek (Read)
12 msec
Average Latency 5.5 msec
Weight (we measured) 100 grams
Power: Sleep, Standby, Low power idle, Active Idle, Performance Idle, Read / Write, Seek, Startup max peak 0.1W, 0.2W, 0.5, 0.8W, 1.3W, 1.4W, 1.7W. 4.5W
Acoustics: Idle / Seek (Typical) 2.4 bels / 2.6 bels

It's interesting to note that Hitachi provides power specs for many states, including some not mentioned in the table above. Does the drive actually move into all these various power states based on usage/demand? We may try to find out... but the differences between some of the states is very small so it may be difficult as we don't have a data logging fuction for DC power measurements.

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