In our first look at Hitachi's new Deskstar 7K1000 we thought it was the best 7200rpm drive that has passed through our labs. Throughout testing we found the performance of the drive to be very balanced across a broad spectrum of benchmarks that stressed write and read speeds, or a combination of both. This unique blend of performance and capacity also comes at a fairly reasonable price of 40 cents per-Gigabyte or approximately $399 for the drive although two 500GB drives can be had for around $250 now.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced the drive right before CES 2007 and stated a shipping date in late Q1. The drive did start shipping last month but was only available in systems from Dell or Alienware. We expected retail shipments of this drive at the beginning of April but it appears the drives will not be widely available for another week or so now.

We were able to procure a retail unit directly from Hitachi and have been testing it thoroughly for the past few days. Our initial impressions about this drive have not changed as we did not notice any perceivable performance differences between the O.E.M. supplied unit from Dell or the retail drive. The only change we could identify between the two drives is the firmware being updated from GKA0A51C to GKA0A51D.

Our preliminary acoustic testing revealed minor differences between the drives with the retail unit having an increase in noise levels at idle from 26dBA to 27dBA and load results going from 35dBA to 36dBA with AAM enabled at the silent setting of 128. At an AAM setting of 254 we noticed an increase from 27dBA to 28dBA along with load results increasing from 36dBA to 38dBA. Our AAM disabled settings did not change. We also noticed a little more vibration in the retail drive but will temper our findings until we have additional retail drives to test. Our differences are more than likely caused by slight manufacturing variations between the two drives and not the firmware or retail configuration.

Our thermal results did not change although we are revising both our acoustic and thermal tests to reflect environmental conditions in an ATX and uATX case design along with vibration testing in a typical drive cage with rubber bushings or attached directly to the chassis. Our two configurations will simulate a typical gaming/enthusiast machine and one designed for quiet desktop or HTPC usage. We recommend a visit to SPCR if you are interested in pure acoustic test results of the drives without other system components being in the test mix.

In the meantime, we created a thirty minute script to simulate general home/office/gaming usage with the drive's temperature increasing from 31C at idle to 39C over the course of the test. We feel like this particular test gives a better indication of a drive's average operating temperature during typical usage. We will have complete test results with our other drives in the upcoming 500GB+ drive roundup.

With all that said, the purpose of today's second look is to provide some initial RAID results with this drive and convey our experiences with the 7K1000 after having additional test time with it. We had a deluge of reader requests asking for test results in RAID 0 based upon the overall performance of the drive being near, equal, or better than the Western Digital Raptors. We are not fans of RAID on the consumer desktop; especially motherboard based solutions, but nevertheless thought it might be an interesting exercise to see how two of the top performing drives in the consumer SATA market compare against each other.

Sure, RAID 0 will certainly provide some very impressive synthetic benchmark scores, PCMark05 being a prime example, but in actual applications we see it having more of a placebo effect than providing any real performance gains. Our technical briefing and commentary on RAID 0 can be located here. Let's see how the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 and Western Digital WD1500 drives perform in RAID 0 across a variety of benchmarks.

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  • photoguy99 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    You have tested XP 32-bit which uses the "ScsiPort" storage system.

    This artificially limits results using Raid.

    Vista 32, Vista x64, and XP x64 all use the "StorPort" storage system, which is much faster and doesn't limit Raid results.

    You could add 4 or 8 drives in Raid 0 and your transfer rates would not change much.

    This should really be part of the discussion for the article.
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Funny that, last time I personally did a dirrect comparrison of a 3xRAID0 array in Vista, it was 30-40MB/s slower comparred to the same array in XP Pro.

    Nothing changed, only the OS.
  • photoguy99 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Perhaps in your case the Vista driver was not as optimized as the XP driver or was not using storport.

    However, it is absolutely invalid to benchmark raid performance on XP 32-bit if your goal is to test hardware rather than OS specific results.

    Microsoft reference:">

  • AllanLim - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link">

    Along with every other pc component, this probably comes at 20-30% premium compared to Stateside when it becomes available, but at least you can but it here.
  • Myrandex - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Two 250GB drives in Raid 0. I dunno, I still feel that it helps with some load times on large maps on games and large numbers of file transfers at once, but I could be full of it. I do keep an off disk backup though that is pretty current.
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    Sorry to double-post, but the end of the article says:

    " As stated in both articles, we believe leaving AAM and NCQ turned provides the best user experience with this drive."

    I think there should be an "on" or "off" after "turned".
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link

    I have a long-running arguement with another PC enthusiest about the relative merit of RAID 0. Some people just cannot get it through their heads that no matter how great the idea sounds, the performance just isn't justified by the cost. At all. With video card price/performance scaling perfectly, and CPU and memory scaling at least OK, it's insane to spend hundreds of dollars on a second hard drive and gain a few percentage points in real-world tests. Thanks Anandtech for keeping the real-world focus of these articles. Reply
  • mesyn191 - Saturday, April 21, 2007 - link

    Depends how its done...

    These software RAID controllers (yes NVRAID, Intel Matrix RAID, Silicon Image 3112/4 etc, Promise, Highpoint are all software RAID controllers that often act more like storage subsystem DE-celerators and often slow things down...) that Anandtech keeps using to demonstrate the pointlessness of RAID 0 really only prove how crappy software RAID controllers are. If you use a "real" enterprise class RAID controller that has a dedicated CPU and significant cache you'll see some real world performance improvements, even with doing things like loading games which is a far from ideal work load for RAID 0. The problem is most of these "real" RAID controllers tend to cost ~$300, and that is for a cheap one, high end versions can easily cost thousands of dollars and most people don't want to spend that much on storage. Most of these enterprise class controllers also tend to have issues working with desktop motherboards, they're really meant for use in server motherboards and so they won't even boot up properly in alot of them, just read up on all the issues people tend to have getting the Areca 1210 (probably the most commonly used enterprise class RAID card in the enthusiast PC crowd) PCIe RAID cards working in commodity consumer grade motherboards.

    Of course another nice thing about those enterprise class RAID controllers is most of them support multiple levels of RAID at the same time, so you can have a RAID 0 set and a RAID 5 set on the same bunch of hard drives, providing you a good way to safe guard your data and get a performance benefit.
  • PenGun - Friday, April 20, 2007 - link

    K .... maybe you can tell me how I'm gonna get a solid write of 150MB/sec any other way. My camera in HD SDI needs to move that much data.

    RAID 0 or perhaps RAID 5 (to be tested soon) is the only way. 4 Western Digital 500G drives is my way of handling that fire hose of data.

    Oh go back to your games it really does not matter, it's just my problem right now. It is my desktop when it's full. It's easier to crunch the massive files in situ.
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 19, 2007 - link


    I have a long-running arguement with another PC enthusiest about the relative merit of RAID 0. Some people just cannot get it through their heads that no matter how great the idea sounds, the performance just isn't justified by the cost. At all.

    Some people just can not seem to get it through their heads, that not everyone plays games, or surfs the web, on a home desktop PC. Video editing applications that require 65MB/s substained transfers rates, will require either a very fast disk, or two lesser drives striped.

    Since most enterprise drives cost an arm and a leg, I think running RAID0 for this application, or something that NEEDS the throughput justifies the cost. Now, I personally DO run RAID0 on my home desktop, and I think it is more than justified, but I do not expect it to work wonders, and I definately know, it will not make my system boot faster, will not make a First Person Shooter faster (except, perhaps level load times, which is pretty much moot).

    Now, Imagine spending 2x $400 for RAID1 . . . that is what I call a waste of money, although, with these hitachi drives, who knows how reliable they are. The point here, being, you can not tell anyone what they need, or want in a desktop, because you really have not a clue what they really need / want. This being said, RAID0 for most people probably is overkill.

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