Hitachi touts 'most efficient' hard drive

Power efficiency has become a big selling point among hard drive makers. In July, Western Digital unveiled its 320GB-1TB Caviar GreenPower-series hard drives, which it said reduced power consumption by as much as 40% compared to other models. Today, Hitachi's storage arm—Hitachi Global Storage Technologies—seems determined to one-up Western Digital with the introduction of a new Deskstar P7K500 hard drive series. Hitachi outright claims its new drives are the world's most energy-efficient.

These new Deskstar P7K500 hard drives come in capacities of 250GB, 320GB, 400GB, and 500GB, with one platter per drive for the 250GB model and two platters per drive for the others. All four drives have 7200 RPM spindle speeds, 300MB/s Serial ATA or 133MB/s ATA interfaces, and cache sizes of either 8MB or 16MB. That makes Hitachi's low-power offerings notably different from WD's drives, which use more platters to achieve higher capacities, but spin at slower spindle speeds.

On the power consumption front, Hitachi says its P7K500 drives have idle power utilization of 3.6W for the 250GB model and 4.8W for the others. At load, power draw climbs to 6.4W for the 250GB P7K500 and 8.2W for the 320GB, 400GB, and 500GB drives. On paper, that makes the 250GB Hitachi more power-efficient than WD's offerings, and the other three P7K500s more power-hungry than their WD counterparts. (Caviar GP drives are rated for 4W when idle and 7.5W when seeking.)

According to Hitachi, the new P7K500 hard drives are scheduled to become available in volume later this quarter. Pricing for the new drives is not yet available

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