Consumer HDD Reviews
Consumer hard drive reviews include 2.5" HDDs with 5mm, 7mm or 9.5mm z-heights and 3.5" form factor hard drives. The consumer hard drive review category also includes solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) reviews which focus on hard drives united with flash storage for caching and better overall performance.
by Kevin OBrien

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Review

While SSDs get all the attention when it comes to high-performance storage, the venerable platter-based alternatives aren't dead yet. Western Digital is out to prove that hard drives can still create substantial performance under the right conditions, with capacity points that would make most SSD users envious. The new WD VelociRaptor is a 10,000 RPM hard drive with enlarged 1TB total capacity, up from 600GB in the prior model. The goal is to provide enterprise-grade drive reliability for workstation users and creative professionals who want a high-performance, high-capacity drive, without the expense of SSDs.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 Review

The Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 represents the first major leap in hard drive capacity we've seen in over a year. The 5K4000 provides 4TB of bulk storage coupled with Hitachi's CoolSpin technology to deliver quiet and power-friendly operation. Along with big capacity, the 5K4000 gets an updated SATA 6Gb/s interface, 32MB cache buffer and delivers media transfer rates up to 162MB/s.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Review

Seagate has announced their second generation solid state hybrid drive (SSHD), the Momentus XT 750GB with FAST Factor. The new Momentus XT adds 250GB of total capacity over the first-generation XT as well as double the cache NAND, going from 4GB to 8GB of SLC NAND. Seagate is perhaps most enthusiastic though about what they're calling FAST Factor technology; a series of on-board software enhancements that give the new Momentus XT an extra performance kick. These new SSHDs boast fast speeds in single drive configuration, which gets really interesting when you pair two in RAID0 as we'll show in this review.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Seagate Barracuda 3TB Review (1TB Platters - ST3000DM001)

This past spring Seagate started shipping the 3TB Barracuda XT (review) which was a pretty solid offering. Seagate quickly followed up that release with an announcement that a new 3TB Barracuda would feature three 1TB platters instead of the five 600GB platters seen in the first version. Seagate's about a quarter late in delivering the new 1TB platter technology, but sometimes new technology is better late than never...especially when top line sequential read and write speeds top 190 MB/s, an improvement thanks to the new platters of 30%.

Read more
by Brian Beeler

Seagate 4TB Barracuda XT First Thoughts Review

4TB hard drives are the next step up from the 3TB top capacity that the market has been used to for the last year or so. The problem is, 4TB drives haven't quite officially hit the market yet and there's the hard drive shortage problem, so the timing of 4TB drives coming to market is a bit uncertain to say the least. Seagate generally releases hard drive capacity bumps in their branded products first, before releasing the bare drive. That's the process they went through when the 3TB Barracuda XT came to market and that's the same thing they're doing with the 4TB Barracuda XT. We recently reviewed the 4TB Go Flex Deskand couldn't resist cracking the case open to get access to the 4TB Barracuda XT hard drive inside. 

Read more
by Charles Jefferies

Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Review (WD10JPVT)

Wait, Western Digital already has a 1TB Scorpio Blue notebook hard drive - right? Yes and no; this new WD10JPVT model announced two weeks ago is different beast. Unlike the old drive, it has a standard 9.5mm height vs. 12.5mm. The standard drive height opens up entirely new markets for the 2.5" 1TB drive. Where the prior generation was limited to desktop replacement notebooks and specialized devices like the WD TV Live Hub; now just about any notebook can take advantage of the largest capacity hard drive available. 

Read more
by Charles Jefferies

Samsung Spinpoint M8 Review

The 1TB Samsung Spinpoint M8 offers a mainstream 9.5mm drive height with two 500GB platters, bringing high capacity notebook storage to the masses. Previously if you wanted a 1TB internal hard drive, the only option was to buy a bulky notebook that supported the larger 12.5mm drive sizes. With the Spinpoint M8, just about any machine can now have a beefy storage system ready to warehouse digital assets.

Read more
by Charles Jefferies

Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 Review (HTS545050A7E380)

With 7mm ultra-thin hard drives all the rage, Hitachi aims to blast one out of the park with its new 500GB single-platter Z5K500 – that’s right, 500GB on a single platter. Getting to this higher capacity in such a slim package has been a big deal for drive manufactures, since in the 7mm drive space you are limited to a single drive platter, instead of two in a 9.5mm drive or three in a 12.5mm drive. While capacity might be the biggest selling point of this drive, it is also important to see how well it does in the performance category, which we dive into in this review.

Read more
by Charles Jefferies

Samsung Spinpoint MT2 1TB Review (HM100UI)

Up until now, if a drive had 1TB or more of capacity it was automatically assumed to be a desktop drive. Not anymore – the Samsung MT2 1TB is a 2.5-inch, 12.5mm height hard drive for use in external enclosures and notebook computers. Check out our review to see the upsides and downsides of this particular drive.

 

Read more
by Charles Jefferies

Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB Review (HDS723030ALA640)

3TB is the highest capacity you can get in a single hard drive – for now. We take a look at Hitachi’s flagship consumer drive, the Deskstar 7K3000. Key features include a 6.0Gbps SATA III interface, 64MB buffer, and a five-platter design (600GB each).

 

Read more