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Product review: 4 SATA 1 TB HDD
by Marc Prieur
Published on March 19, 2008

In our last hard drive survey in September 2007, we had to plan on spending around 110 € for a 500 GB model, 220 € for 750 GB and 330 € for 1 TB. Since then, the prices of these last two categories have gone down and we are now at a respective 95, 160 and 240 €. So even if they are more expensive per gigabyte, terabyte hard drives have indeed become more interesting.
Samsung, Seagate and Western enter the battle

While last September, Hitachi was the only one to offer a solution with such a capacity, all market players are now represented in this category. The lag between the announcement and availability (something common for this market) was unfortunately once again the case as, for example, the Samsung SpinPoint F1was really only available at the end of the year after it was announced in June! We had access to Seagate’s 7200.11 at the end of summer after its announcement in June, which was a more reasonable delay.

While Hitachi, Samsung and Seagate all feature hard drives that function at 7200 rpm and equipped with 5, 4 and 3 platters with densities of 200, 250 and 333 GB, the Caviar GP is the “UFO” of this survey. It has four 250 GB platters like the Seagate drive which turns at 7200 rpm; however, its speed is unknown.

Actually, Western opted to underline its IntelliPower technology instead of rotation speed. According to the manufacturer, this technology is
« An excellent compromise between rotation speed, transfer speed and cache size resulting in significant energy savings and exceptional performances »
At one time, « 5400 to 7200 RPM » was mentioned on Western’s English speaking website concerning IntelliPower; however this was removed. This wasn’t such a bad idea because one might mistakenly think that the speed would vary between these two figures. In reality, this isn’t the case and the rotation speed of this product line is more like 5400 rpm than 7200 rpm as Western Digital prefers to stress the energy savings related to this choice. In this article, we will see if in practice performances can keep up!

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