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6 HDD SATA from 500 to 750 GB
by Marc Prieur
Published on July 13, 2006

Do you need huge storage capacities? If you are ready to put your trust in a single drive to store all your vacation movies, all manufacturers except Samsung offer 500 GB hard drives. Seagate even sells a 750 GB. What is the performance of these monsters?

3, 4 or 5 platters !
The 6 drives tested here conform to SATA 3.0 Gbits /s standards and support NCQ. We described these two technologies in our 250 GB drive survey a month ago. They all also have 16 MB of cache.

From an architectural point of view, the main difference between these products is the number of embedded platters to reach 500 GB. The Hitachi 7K500 has five 100 GB platters compared to four of 125 GB for the Seagate Barracuda 7200.9, Maxtor DiamondMax 11 and Western Caviar SE16 WD5000KS.

Thanks to perpendicular recording, Seagate reaches this capacity with three 167 GB platters for the Barracuda 7200.10. This is the reason why only 4 platters are necessary for Seagate to reach 750 GB for the same product line. They are the first to introduce to 3"1/2 SATA drives discs using this type of recording and it noticeably increases surface density. Other manufacturers will soon release similar products. If the Hitachi T7K500 (which isn´t available yet) doesn’t use it, Hitachi has already released a laptop hard drive product line using this technology.

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