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Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 vs Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400 GB


Author:  Tyler Curry
Date:  2005.04.25
Topic:  Storage
Provider:  Seagate
Manufacturer:  Hitachi







In the past couple years, compared to years before that, we have seen huge advances in the hard drive market.  From 250GB in 2003, to 300GB, to 400GB, and now 500GB hard drives starting to be announced.  Not only has overall size or platter size become bigger and better, increased cache sizes, and technologies such as NCQ have also emerged.  Because of this, computer enthusiasts have to take a better look at what their buying when it comes to a HD just as they would when buying a power supply or even a graphics card.

So today we will review two of the biggest hard drives currently on the market.  The 400GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 which features five 80GB platters, 8MB of cache, a 7,200RPM rotation speed, and a 8.5ms average seek time.  We will also look at the 400GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 which carries basically the same specifications as the Hitachi drive except that the Seagate has a 8ms average seek time rather than 8.5 and has three platters.  Both the drives in this review use the SATA 1.5Gb/s interface however they are also available in PATA if needed.

The biggest difference between these two drives is that the Seagate carries a newer technology called NCQ, Native Command Queuing.  NCQ, explained further on the next page is a promising technology very similar to TCQ (Tagged Command Queuing) that is seen on Western Digital's WD740GD. It will be interesting to see what kind of performance impact the Seagate NCQ enabled drive has against the Hitachi drive.  We will also test both drives with NCQ disabled to get somewhat of an apples-to-apples comparison which will be good for those of you considering one of these drives but may not have a NCQ capable motherboard or controller.  Now, let's take a brief look at what NCQ is and has to offer.



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