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To my knowledge there are currently 4 types of consumers in the PC market, people who care not about cost just as long they can fulfill their needs (professionals and enthusiasts mostly), people who allow cost to be the decisive factor when choosing a device, people who only care about the specifications of a product and finally there are those who are looking to hit the sweet spot between performance and cost (price/performance ratio) or what i like to call the best value for their hard earned money. Roughly two weeks ago we had the latest and fastest 2.5" 9.5mm hard disk drive by HGST on our test bed the Travelstar 7K1000 (1TB SATA III). Now the Travelstar 7K1000 just may be the fastest 2.5" 9.5mm SATA III HDD out there as we speak but it has one small flaw, it only comes at 1TB capacity which although not bad on its own it's really not enough not when there are 1.5-2TB models in the market. Of course HGST is well aware of that so 5 months ago they announced the availability of the Travelstar 5K1500 a 2.5" 9.5mm drive with a capacity of 1.5TB and naturally we just had to check it out as we did.
HGST, a Western Digital company, is a market leader in enterprise hard disk drives and develops advanced hard disk drives, enterprise-class solid state drives, and external storage solutions and services that are used by large and sophisticated technology companies to store, preserve and manage data. HGST storage solutions have a reputation for quality, reliability and innovation. Our drives are trusted by the world’s high-transactional enterprises, Internet services companies, creative professionals, and consumer electronics and automotive system manufacturers to store the avalanche of new content resulting from cloud computing and services, virtualization, social networks, HD video and mobile platforms. HGST focuses on delivering innovative, customized storage solutions that are an integral part of a customer’s broader systems, infrastructure and application platforms ensuring a storage value proposition that addresses each customer use case and pain point. This consultative approach to storage coupled with technical expertise, a comprehensive customer support infrastructure, world-class operations and a broad portfolio of solutions sets a high standard for product and service excellence. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives in 2003, HGST became a separate and wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation in March, 2012. HGST maintains its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, California and is marketed under the HGST brand name.
There's pretty much one main difference between the Travelstar 7K1000 and the 5K1500 models and that's the rotational speed of their plates/disks so whereas the two 500GB plates of the 7K1000 spin at a maximum of 7200RPM the three 500GB plates of the 5K1500 do so at 5400RPM (thus the first number in the product line). Both drives share the same amount of cache (32MB) so their only valid/important difference is their rotational speeds. In the end however that 1 difference alone should be more than just enough to separate the performance line (7K) from the mainstream line (5K) so the only remaining question right now is just how long the gap between these two models really is. Personally since 5400RPM drives are becoming more and more popular due to their slightly lower power consumption compared to 7200RPM ones i really hope that it will not be large but let's move on and see.