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 Josh Linden

Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 Review

The arrival of the Travelstar Z7K500 marks the widespread availability of second-generation 7mm portable hard drives. Hitachi’s first-generation Travelstar line demonstrated the technical viability and affordability of the 7mm portable HDD form factor in a marketplace that is pushing for smaller devices and lower power consumption. Second-generation Travelstar drives like the Z7K500 bring added performance to the mix with a 7200RPM rotational speed and 6Gbps SATA interface that translate into better performance than previous 7mm Travelstar drives across a variety of applications.

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by Josh Linden

Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 Review

Hitachi continues to innovate in large-capacity hard drives, and it is easy to see from products like the Deskstar 7K4000 why Western Digital found Hitachi's hard drive division an attractive acquisition. The 7K4000 provides four terabytes (TB) of storage at 7200RPM, and like the Deskstar 5K4000 which we recently reviewed, the 7K4000 uses a five platter design, paired with 800GB platters and 4KB sectors to increase maximum capacity and improve error correction. Compared to the 5K4000, The Deskstar 7K4000’s specs emphasize performance, so we’ll see some key differences emerge between the drives during benchmarks.

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by Josh Linden

Western Digital Scorpio Blue Review - 500GB 7mm (WD5000LPVT)

Shrinking dimensions in the ultrathin computing market have threatened to push hard drives to the side in favor of higher performing and more battery friendly SSDs. At only 7mm high and featuring a new single-platter design, Western Digital's updated Scorpio Blue hard drive line is engineered for maximum mobile appeal for those who still need bulk storage in their ultrathin devices.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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