Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 250 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (0A3163620PK) Hard Drive Reviews
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Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 250 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (0A3163620PK) Hard Drive

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Bought Two for Home PVR / Backup Server / NAS

Oct 19, 2005 (Updated Dec 14, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Quiet, Powersaving, Cool

Cons:Configuration of advanced features requires DOS boot, pricing games with Sata I versus II

The Bottom Line: Great for PCs that need to be cool and quiet above all other requirements.


My Epinions Philosophy
When I make a purchase, epinions is one of my most valuable resources for non-biased experiences and information. When I come here to research a product I read all of the reviews and the product specifications and details on other sites as well. You will find that my reviews try to focus on my personal experiences and research discoveries that I think are not easy to discover through pre-purchase research. I will also highlight any differences between actual product features and performance and what the vendor's marketing states or implies. This means that my review will not spend a lot of time on basic specifications, procedures or stock commentary that you can read in other places.

Vendor and Product Info Links
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/en/menuitem.f9b3189a2f2e122d92b86b31bac4f0a0/
Great comparison review of the top two contenders if your looking for cool, quiet or lower power hard drives:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article244-page1.html

My Purchase
I purchased two bare drives from www.ZipZoomFly.com for $109.75. That's with no cables, software or mounting materials - works for me. I have used them to rebuild a computer to be a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and Backup Server.

One thing to beware of is some websites list a Sata I (150 MBps) and Sata II (300 MBps) version and charge different prices. The drive Sata II capable, no matter which you buy. Also it is always shipped configured for 1.5 GBps and you must configure it for 3.0 - so don't pay extra for the Sata II "version"

Drive Configuration
To configure the advanced acoustics, power managment and Sata version, you must use a bootable DOS floppy or CD. The good news is Hitachi is allows you download a utility that you can run in windows to create the floppy or an ISO that you can burn to CD. The bad news if you don't have a floppy or CD burner on your machine - you can't run the utility because it does not run in Windows.

To Sata or Not to Sata
This drive is also offered in a non-Sata (Pata) version. It uses a bridge from Pata to Sata. My motherboard supports both standards, but I have ample Sata Ports and no PATA (IDE) ports available. Since the drive uses this bridging technology, the interals of the drive do not use some of the Sata II technologies that are normally part of the drive's internal workings. But is is still plenty fast for my purposes.

Do some homework on your motherboard purchase. I found out mine has the Sata controller internally connected to the PCI bus which maxes out at 133 Mbps (same as ATA-133 drives) - so I'm not getting any speed advantage out of Sata - just getting a better chance I will be able to take these drives with me on the next computer upgrade because of the newer interface (yeah right - by the next upgrade there will be Terabyte drives for pennies).

The Maxtor drive in the review cited above is selling cheaper for a 300 GB. I still went with Hitachi because I have had good experience with their drives and I always remember Maxtors sounded like something was grinding. It's as if they want the drives to say "performance" by sounding like a hot car. For me the machine needs to be cool and quiet because I don't have central air in my office where the machine runs all day - so I banked that Hitachi would be the better option (although I have looked over my shoulder at that extra 50 GB while encoding the last 7 years of family videos to the PVR for online viewing). One significant difference between the Maxtor and the Hitachi is the power connector. Since the Maxtor is more of a true Sata drive the power connector is different, where the Hitachi carries both. I am holding over a older power supply so I liked not having to buy a Sata power adapter cable. If you don't shop them, you can easily pay $12 for these power cables instead of $1.49.

I run speed fan which can display drive temperature on SMART enabled drives. Even with 4 drives packed together (I have two others) my CPU fan does not run much and the drives stay at around 100 F. I have no auxiliary case fan - just the powersupply fan. So I think they are cool and quiet enough for me!


Recommend this product? Yes

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