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Hitachi 320GB Travelstar 7K320

Last updated 2009-06-01 - Send Feedback
Related: hard drive, storage

The 320GB Hitachi Travelstar 7K320 is a solid performer among the 7200 rpm laptop hard drive crowd.

As of November 2008, this drive is only about $109 before a $20 rebate, so it’s a no-brainer upgrade at $89.

Upgrading my MacBook Pro 2.4GHz from the original 7200rpm 160GB Seagate Momentus 7200.2 showed substantially faster performance on the Photoshop tests.

Compare to the Western Digital 320GB Scorpio Black and Seagate 320GB Momentus 7200.3.

See the review of the Intel X25-M solid state drive for more performance data; this is one drive that performs very nicely on real-world tasks.

DiskTester results

Test mule: MacBook Pro (Oct 2008 unibody) 2.8GHz 
SATA hardware: internal SATA II connector
Driver: Apple standard
Drive model: Apple OEM (could have non-standard firmware)
Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Sequential sustained transfer

These are good results for a laptop hard drive in late 2008, but not nearly as fast as the Seagate 320GB Momentus 7200.3.

# Sequential sustained transfer
----- Averages for "ht320" (512MB/start, 3 iterations) -----
Chunk Size Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
32K 39.2 51.9
64K 52.2 68.6
128K 63.6 76.4
256K 70.9 76.5
512K 72.3 75.9
1MB 72.1 75.3
2MB 72.7 75.6
4MB 72.5 76.1
8MB 72.2 75.6
16MB 73.3 75.2
32MB 73.3 76.1

Speed across the drive (area test)

These are very good speeds, but note that performance drops off quickly as the drive fills up. Laptop users storing more than 200GB of data should look carefully at the 500GB Scorpio Blue.

----- Averages for "ht320" (512MB/1MB, 3 iterations) -----
Area (295.9GB) Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
0% 72.5 76.0
10% 73.7 73.6
20% 71.3 70.5
30% 69.0 68.4
40% 66.4 65.4
50% 62.7 62.2
60% 59.1 59.4
70% 55.0 54.8
80% 51.0 50.7
90% 44.7 44.5
100% 38.5 38.1
Average write speed across the volume: 60.3MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 60.3MB/sec ----- Averages for "ht320" (512MB/32MB, 3 iterations) -----
Area (295.9GB) Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
0% 73.1 75.4
10% 74.1 73.4
20% 70.6 71.4
30% 69.0 68.7
40% 65.9 66.2
50% 62.7 62.5
60% 59.6 59.0
70% 55.2 54.6
80% 51.6 50.3
90% 44.9 44.3
100% 38.7 37.8
Average write speed across the volume: 60.5MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 60.3MB/sec

Create and read files

This test times how long it takes to create and flush files to disk, and to read them back, with the Mac OS X cache bypassed so as to reflect actual hard drive performance. The test is run on empty freshly-formatted drive.

disktester create-files / read-files
Action Time (seconds) MB/sec
Create 5120 1MB files 70.1 73.0
Read 5120 1MB files 67.9 75.4
Create 512 10MB files 68.8 74.4
Read 512 10MB files 67.0 76.4

With the advent of “stutter” in mediocre solid state drives, it’s not a bad idea to look at the consistency of write performance.

Variance of 10MB file creation times (ms)
 
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