Print 13 comment(s) - last by FrankM.. on Oct 23 at 1:46 PM

Hitachi Deskstar P7K500  (Source: Hitachi GST)
Hitachi goes very green by implementing features to greatly reduce hard disk drive power consumption in the latest Deskstar line

It's rare to find hard disk drive manufacturers focusing on anything other than increasing the speed and capacity of its products because those are the two features consumers look for in hard disk drive products. Hitachi has taken another approach to improving its hard drives by developing drives with reduced power consumption; specifically up to a 40 percent decrease in consumption.

Hitachi introduced the Deskstar P7K500 line of desktop hard disk drives today which contain a number of technologies to reduce power consumption. The first technology Hitachi has implemented in the P7K500 line is the HiVERT technology for a more efficient conversion of voltage. This technology has been borrowed from the Travelstar line of laptop drives along with the more power-efficient profile which allows the drive to handle power saving features better than traditional desktop drives and more like today's mobile drives.

Hitachi has also implemented its Advanced Power Management capabilities which have given the Deskstar line more efficient power handling when idle for generations now. The last feature is Hitachi's patented load/unload technology explained below:
  • Unload idle – The heads are safely unloaded to the ramp and the servo is shut off; this mode delivers power savings of 11 percent better than idle mode.
  • Low RPM idle – The heads are safely unloaded to the ramp, the servo is shut off and the spindle motor RPM is reduced; this setting achieves power savings of 44 percent better than idle mode.
The Deskstar P7K500 line will come in capacities of 250GB, 320GB, 400GB, and 500GB. The technical details are listed below.

Hitachi plans to launch the new P7K500 line during this last quarter of 2007 in mass quantities. Pricing information has not yet been released but we're thinking numbers won't be too much higher than current Deskstar models with similar capacities.

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And I thought...
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/22/2007 6:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
I thought this article was about SSD drives as soon as I read about power saving...

This could help in enterprise environments, but for a single desktop user, I bet that most of the DIY will take performance over power consumption any day (I guess this drive isn't focused on being fast as much as on being energy efficient...).

I'm just waiting till SSD drives get cheaper to spend really big bucks on an HDD. Till then, I'll settle for good performance, good size, cheap HDD drives.

By now I have a 300gb one which, coupled with a dvd burner and some patience, serves me well enough. I'll just think of changing it when it approaches its EOL (that is 3-4 years according to my personal preference)

RE: And I thought...
By Alexvrb on 10/22/2007 7:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ah but you see, if you're looking for a performance drive, then the best affordable consumer solution is either a cheap RAID 0, a single Raptor drive, or even a RAID 0 of two Raptors. In the case of a RAID 0 array, I wouldn't want my media on the array, for a Raptor you just don't have the capacity.

So the idea is that you could have one fast drive or array for OS and installed apps, and 1+ storage drives (possibly in a RAID 1, 5, etc array for redundancy). In a case like this, the power efficient drives run cooler and eat less power. Both are big bonuses if you either have a lot of drives or the mass storage drives are packed together tightly.

They'd also be good in SFF low power boxes, such as (but not limited to) media center PCs. Now granted, if they were more affordable, it would be even better to go solid state, but the lowest end (affordable-ish) solid state drives right now are too expensive for the capacity and poor speed they provide.

RE: And I thought...
By LogicallyGenius on 10/23/2007 4:50:08 AM , Rating: 1
Actually a PC today must have two drives.

One for super fast operations like cache or temp files and swap files/partitions.

Second for cheap mass storage.

RE: And I thought...
By phusg on 10/23/2007 7:50:54 AM , Rating: 1
Thanks for proving the statement
Talent Borrows, Genius Steals

RE: And I thought...
By ivanwolf on 10/22/2007 10:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
Not every DIY machine needs the most blazing fast drives. I will be building a Home Server in Jan/Feb, and now there is a second choice to the WD green drives. Since it will go into a closet where all of my cabling terminates, I can use all of the power and heat savings I can find.

RE: And I thought...
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/23/2007 7:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
of course not, but I guess most DIY people out there thinking about a desktop PC with a single drive will look for performance / storage capacity first and power savings in the last place.

I don't think its a bad move, on the contrary, I think it certainly has a niche market (how nicheish will depend on how more expensive these drives will come compared to normal ones).

By natebsi on 10/22/2007 6:45:07 PM , Rating: 5
I hate it when they talk like that. Why the heck can't get they give some actual wattage numbers? Must not be anything worth bragging about.

I'd like to know how they compare to the WD green drives, too.

RE: Percentages...bah!
By FrankM on 10/23/2007 1:46:34 PM , Rating: 3

Single platter/dual-platter
Idle: 3.6W / 4.8W
Load: 6.4W / 8.2W
1138Mb/s transfer rate and 4.17ms average latency.

Good move
By xphile on 10/22/2007 9:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
Kudos to Hitachi for putting the effort into something that wont probably bring them immediate consumer related profits. I'm sure that leveraged off of the laptop environment R&D already spent it isn't costing an arm and a leg, but it does seem sensible to me to take technologies of any kind that have been developed and integrate them into every product where you can do so and there is some benefit.

One of my machines here at home is a tower box I built that has 8 drives in it. Sure some of them are a few years old, but I run a 700W power supply and it eats power. When you have that many drives in a machine most are not used at once. Over time with this tech in place cheaper drives will filter down and become standard, then become old, and then get used in a mix with new drives like in the box I'm talking about, and the power consumption will go considerably down. They could have not done it, and then you'd still have higher desktop running costs in such cases, but they've chosen to look ahead, and I think that's really smart. Not to mention the heat issues alleviated assisted by this kind of tech design.

It's not all about superior speed in all cases, particularly where storage space and redundancy are concerned, and even where it is I'm sure once you build a baseline with this tech included, building faster speed back on top of it is only a matter of time and a few more resources.

In the last 20 years Ive noticed it's often quite, unremarkable design ideas like this that also lead to substantially furthering technology over the longer term, so I think it's really good to see there are still companies around that support that philosophy.

RE: Good move
By JAB on 10/23/2007 6:31:09 AM , Rating: 2
Good call. Lower energy use at no cost is always good. These should also help improve long term reliability. Lower power use also means less heat to get rid of so you can add more platters without making the drives overheat.

By KingViper on 10/22/2007 7:02:23 PM , Rating: 3
What is the title backed by?

Western Digital has had their green HDD's out that do pretty much everything these do, why are these claimed to be the most energy efficient without actual wattage numbers?

Tech Specs
By Egglick on 10/22/2007 9:30:40 PM , Rating: 3

If you look at the tech specs above, you'll see that the 250GB model has only a single platter. Most likely an extremely quiet drive. The other models are only 2 platters, so they're likely very quiet as well.

about time
By sprockkets on 10/23/2007 1:16:51 AM , Rating: 2
About time someone made a drive that can spin down somewhat to save energy and noise.

Although, the ratings for the 7k500 320GB drive at does not look good.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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