by Jacqueline Emigh
With new Deskstar drives that might be the fastest products in their emerging category, Hitachi has now become the third vendor to step in the market of ultra high capacity 3 terabyte (TB) internal hard disk drives (HDDs).
Hitachi’s new Deskstar 7K3000 is the first 3TB internal HDD to offer a 7200 rpm spindle rate. Outfitted with a 64 MB data cache buffer, the 7K3000 claims to offer a 207 MB/s data transfer rate.
However, Hitachi’s top-of-the-line internal HDD uses five platters of 600 GB capacity each, signifying that it isn’t as power efficient as recently announced competing drives from Western Digital (WD) which are designed around four 750 GB platters. Each of the five platters in Hitachi’s drive has a capacity of 411Gb/s per square inch.
The Deskstar 5K3000, Hitachi’s other new 3TB internal HDD, features a 54000 rpm spindle speed, a 170.7 MB/s data transfer rate, and a 32 MB data cache buffer.
Also available in lower capacities of 1.5TB and 3TB, the two new 3.5-inch HDDs are the first from Hitachi to support a Serial-ATA 6 Gb/s interface.
WD introduced its 3 TB internal HDDs in October, after Seagate led the way earlier with its FreeAgent GoFlex Desk drives.
Separately, these three vendors recently launched the Storage Technology Alliance (STA), with plans to collaborate together and with other storage and semiconductor vendors on technologies for denser and roomier HDDs.
Unlike some rival 3 TB HDDs, Hitachi’s new drive reportedly lacks an AHCI-compliant Host Bus Adapter (HBA) meaning that some legacy systems won’t be able to boot from it.
Hitachi has spelled out the PC system requirements for its new 3TB internal HDDs on its Web site.
“A data drive greater than or equal to 2.2 TB requires an operating system that supports long LBA addressing, such as Windows 7, a GUID partition table (GPT), and HDD drives that support 2.2 TB drives,” according to Hitachi.
“In addition to the requirements for a data drive, a Windows boot drive requires an EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS and a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7. Linux does not require an EFI BIOS.”
Hitachi’s new 3TB drives are available immediately, at prices that start at about $249 per drive.