Transferring 2GB of files from one folder in the drive to a new folder took 47.1 seconds with the Ultrastar drive but only 39.0 seconds using the Caviar Black. The telling point would seem to be that Hitachi uses fives platters compared to the WD’s four platters, which indicates that Hitachi is working with a lower areal density and as a result it has poorer performance.
Take all those tests together and the Hitachi comes out as the loser in terms of performance but the margin of defeat varies depending on the type of task you are performing.
The question is how much emphasis you put on the performance of your hard drive. If you’re looking for speed – and who isn’t? – you really should have an SSD for your boot drive. This leaves the 2TB drive as a storage drive where performance is less important than it might otherwise be and the focus shifts to noise levels and price.
In all of those respects, the Ultrastar looks fairly limp next to the WD Caviar Black. It costs £30 more and is more noisy. The Hitachi has lower idle power draw than the WD, but you have to assume that an Ultrastar in a server environment won’t be doing much in the way of idling if it's working for its living.
Going out on a limb, we have to think that the 2TB Deskstar drive will deliver performance that is very similar to the Ultrastar yet the price is much, much lower, undercutting the WD Caviar Black by a startling £95. There’s no way we can recommend a drive that we haven’t seen, but we reckon the 2TB Deskstar would be worth a long, hard look.
This Ultrastar drive is horribly expensive and delivers little in return. However, its low-cost Deskstar sibling looks incredibly tempting. ®
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Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000 2TB
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...