Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000 2TB HDD
The two-terabyte hard drive to have?
Review Back in August 2009, Hitachi announced that it was “shipping the industry’s first 2TB 7200rpm desktop hard disk drive” in the shape of the Deskstar 7K2000.
Hitachi's Ultrastar A7K2000: better duration specs than the Deskstar
That statement may have been accurate, depending on your definition of ‘shipping’, but we received a 2TB 7200rpm WD Caviar Black - reviewed here in September, and it has taken Hitachi this long to deliver its own 2TB drive.
Imagine our mild surprise when we opened the box Hitachi sent us and found a 2TB Ultrastar A7K2000 rather than the Deskstar 7K2000 that we had expected. Imagine our shock when we discovered that the Ultrastar sells for a pricy £243 while the Deskstar has a tiny price tag of £130.
To put that in context, the 2TB WD Caviar Black drive with 64MB of cache cost £204 at launch and has actually risen slightly in price since then to around £215 now. If you find a 2TB Caviar Black on sale for £169, you can be sure it's the old version with 16MB of cache, but the difference between what Hitachi and WD are both now charging seems ridiculous.
It makes the Deskstar look amazingly cheap, while the Ultrastar appears to be rather expensive. The hardware in both the Ultrastar and Deskstar drives is essentially the same, with five platters and ten heads, 32MB of cache, a 7200rpm spin speed and a 3Gb/s Sata interface. The nominal capacity of 2TB yields a true 1863GB once the drive has been formatted.
The WD Caviar drive only uses four platters and it's noticeably more quiet than the Hitachi when running.
Five head mounts for five platters
Naturally enough, we wondered about the differences between Deskstar and Ultrastar drives and happily found a Hitachi chart that explains the point. In essence, the Deskstar isn't rated for Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) while the Ultrastar has a rating of 1.2 million hours.
To be fair, the deathstar era was a very long time ago now, and since then the drives have been fairly good.
I'm currently running 13 HDs in my various PCs at home, 10 of which are HGST, and they're the most reliable of the lot. I've even got a deathstar in my xbox (which did fail, but has since had the firmware upgrage) and even that's still going strong.
6 of these are in my home server, which is on 24/7. 4 are in a RAID array, and SMART says they've currently been powered up for something like 1.8 years. (16153 hours), can't praise them highly enough.
No MTBF rating? No surprise!
On the DeathStar, that is!
FAIL icon, as, well, it's apt for those drives, you know...
@Steven Jones - More pedantry
"people mistake MTBF figures for average lifetime of disks - very, very different things"
MTBF = mean time before failure.
Failure = end of life
mean = sum of samples / number of samples = what most recognise as the average (rather than median or mode)
Unless you are asserting that failure does not eol the device, I fail to see what mistake people are making. Or are you suggesting that mtbf values are calculated/extrapolated rather than measured and therefore wrong...
40GB and 64GB SSDNowV
If you refer to our review of the 40GB Kingston SSD you'll see that performance was lower than the 128GB SSDNowV that we previously reviewed. We speculated that this is a result of the 40GB using five memory chips which doesn't take full advantage of the ten channel memory controller.
So yes, your 64GB drive is very likely faster than the 40GB.
Re:Gibi not Giga
Respect for the pedantry. If you can't be pedantic here, where can you?