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80GB/platter SATA HDD Shootout
By CPU-zilla
Category : Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 5th March, 2004

Hitachi Deskstar 7K250

Hitachi's latest Deskstar series comes in various capacities, with the highest capacity hitting the ceiling at a whopping 250GB. This was achieved by combining up to three 80GB platters to form a total data capacity of up to 250GB. If you calculate the platter density from this, you'll realize that Hitachi pushed the 80GB/platter density limit by a few percent in order to build a 250GB drive.

The build of the drive is quite similar to the rest of the contenders, with one very obvious similarity which was the use of Marvell's 88i8030 SERDES chip. This particular chip is responsible for translating all parallel data streams into serial data streams for the SATA interface. The use of this chip is common and would probably continue with the next generation of drives, basically due to the fact that development time for drives would be reduced since another round of silicon qualification would not be needed for SATA. This speeds up the introduction of drives for both the SATA and ATA-100 interfaces.

Other than that, the Deskstar 7K250 uses a PC133 SDRAM memory part for its 8MB buffer. One might have thought that a 166MHz part (6ns) would be needed to keep up with the fast 150MB/s SATA interface, but apparently, Hitachi didn't see the need to use such a high-end part. We don't know if the memory is operating at 150MHz or just at its rated frequency of 133MHz. We can only guess that it's running at a lower speed since the original controller is only operating at ATA-100 speeds.

The Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 drive.

The bottom view of the Hitachi Deskstar 7K250.

The Deskstar 7K250 uses Samsung's 7.5ns SDRAM memory.

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