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Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 (7200RPM)
By CPU-zilla
Category : Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 24th October, 2003
Rating : 5 out of 5 stars  

7200RPM Comes to 2.5-inch Drives

Just when we thought 5400RPM is the next best thing for mobile road warriors, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies took us by surprise with the introduction of the Travelstar 7K60 2.5-inch hard disk drive. The Travelstar 7K60 is the latest 2.5-inch drive that delivers superior performance at unprecendented capacity - a technological feat that is currently way ahead of other manufacturers. Using antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media technology along with giant magnetoresistive heads (GMR), Hitachi was able to achieve a disk areal density of up to 50Gbits/sq.inch. This roughly translates to about 30GB of storage capacity on a single disk using two recording heads. With two disks and four heads, the drive's capacity can easily be pushed up to the 60GB mark with ease.

In order to achieve the high areal density, Hitachi added another ruthenium/magnetic layer onto the media to create a five-layer sandwich known as laminated "pixie-dust". These layers are meant to add thermal stability to the media, thus, enabling ultra-high density data recording without sacrificing data integrity. In addition to the media, Hitachi also implemented a new Femto Slider which is the first of its kind for Hitachi's Travelstar 2.5-inch drives. By reducing the size and the mass of the slider, the Travelstar 7K60 could achieve improved shock resistance, reduced power consumption and higher storage capacity.

The back view of the Travelstar 7K60 drive.

The drive with the PCB removed.

Why 7200RPM 2.5-inch drives for the mobile market? Well, it's simple, current 4200RPM and 5400RPM drives are just not fast enough to handle the massive volumes of data churned out by today's high-end mobile processors. The Intel Pentium-M and the upcoming Mobile Athlon 64 processors will need a speedy hard drive to complement its processing speed, and that is one reason why upgraders should really consider getting a faster drive to achieve better speed gains. We shall look into some practical benchmarks later in the review and you'll understand why the Travelstar 7K60 is very much a revolutionary product.

The drive utilized a 7ns 64Mb EtronTech SDRAM memory part for its 8MB buffer.

Let's take a look at the technical specifications below before we go on to the results :-

Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 Technical Specifications
Interface ATA-6
Capacity 60 Gigabytes
Number of Disks 2
Number of Heads 4
Bytes per Sector 512
Average Read Seek 10 ms
Track-to-Track Seek 1.0 ms
Full Stroke Read Seek 18.0 ms
Average Latency 4.2 ms
Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM
Data Transfer Rate 518Mbits/sec (internal), 100MB/sec (external)
Buffer 8 MB
Power Requirements
  • 0.85W (low power idle)
  • 2.0W (performance idle)
  • 2.5W (read & write)
  • Dimensions 9.5mm (H) x 70mm (W) x 100mm (D)
    Weight 115g

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