Hitachi Travelstar 7K500-500 review
Laptop hard disks with a spindle speed of 7,200rpm used to be considerably faster than their cheaper 5,400rpm counterparts. As hard disk data density has increased, this difference has lessened considerably as more data can be read in a single revolution of the disk. As a result, 5,400rpm disks are the most popular, as they use power, making Hitachi's 500GB Travelstar 7K500-500 the first 7,200rpm laptop disk we've seen in a while.
Unfortunately, as expected, the Travelstar wasn't any faster than our favourite 5,400rpm 500GB hard disk, Western Digital's Scorpio Blue, at copying large files, managing 68.6MB/s overall. When copying small files, it was around 5MB/s slower at 54.1MB/s overall.
A few common Windows tasks on our test laptop, such as opening applications, felt a touch faster with the Travelstar fitted. The difference was barely measurable in most cases and doesn't make up for the reduction in battery life on our test laptop. It lasted 32 minutes less with the Travelstar fitted instead of its stock 5,400rpm disk.
We had high hopes for the Travelstar 7K500-500, but at 18p per gigabyte it's more expensive than the Scorpio but it isn't any faster and can shorten battery life. There's little reason to buy it unless it drops in price substantially.
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