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HGST's Ultrastar 10K300 SCSI hard drive


300GB of SCSI goodness
— 12:00 AM on November 19, 2004

ManufacturerHitachi Global Storage Tech
ModelUltrastar 10K300
Price (street)$700
AvailabilityNow

BASED ON THE ADAGE that work expands to fill available time, I'm convinced that stuff accumulates to fill available space. One look at the shelves and closet in my office, both stacked to the ceiling with boxes of hardware I'm not sure even works anymore, seems to confirm this. My hard drives tend to fill in the same way; if free space is there, I'll find something to fill it with.

As hard drive manufacturers push storage densities, offering greater capacities with each new generation of drives, there's more free space for more... stuff. On the desktop, Serial ATA hard drives are pushing the 400GB mark. In the enterprise world, where spindles spin at a minimum of 10,000 RPM, SCSI drives like Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' Ultrastar 10K300 are trickling out in capacities up to 300GB. With seek times as low as 4.3ms and sustained transfer rates up to 89MB/sec, the 10K300 should be no slouch when it comes to performance, either. Read on to see how its performance compares with the SCSI and Serial ATA competition.


The specs
The Ultrastar 10K300's 300GB maximum capacity pits it squarely against Maxtor's new Atlas 10K V. Here's how the drive specs compare:

  Ultrastar 10K300 Atlas 10K V
Maximum external transfer rate320MB/sec
Maximum sustained transfer rate89MB/s89MB/s
Average seek time4.3-4.7ms4.5-4.9ms
Average rotational latency2.99ms3ms
Spindle speed10,025-RPM10,000-RPM
Cache size8MB
Platter size73GB
Available capacities73, 147, 300GB
Idle acoustics3.4 bels3.2-3.4 bels
Idle power consumption8-11.2W7.9-10.8W
Mean Time To Failure1.2 million hours1.4 million hours
Warranty lengthFive years

Interestingly, the Ultrastar 10K300 and Atlas 10K V share the same maximum sustained transfer rate. The Ultrastar has slightly quicker seek times and lower rotational latency than the Atlas 10K V, but it's pretty close. I don't imagine the 10K300's 25-RPM spindle speed advantage will translate into significantly better performance in the real world, either.

Like the Atlas 10K V, the Ultrastar 10K300 is available in 73, 147, and 300GB capacities with 73GB per platter. The drive has 8MB of cache, which is common for SCSI drives, but seems a little spartan considering that the latest crop of desktop Serial ATA drives are sporting 16MB.

Although it's largely matched the Atlas 10K V thus far, the Ultrastar 10K300's 1.2 million hour Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) rating trails the Maxtor drive by 200,000 hours. However, 1.2 million hours translates to well over 100 years, which goes far beyond the drive's five-year warranty. Five-year warranties are pretty standard in the SCSI world, but with Seagate bumping the warranty period for its desktop drives up to five years, I can't help but wonder if SCSI storage is due for a warranty boost.

Hard drives aren't usually much to look at, but since I know there are undoubtedly some SCSI fetishists out there, here are a few nudies of the drive:


The Ultrastar 10K300 from above...


Below...


And a look at the ports