It's inevitable that you will have judged the Deskstar 7K1000 before you even read the first paragraph of this review - either you need a 1000 Gigabyte hard drive or you don't, there's not much I can do to convince you either way!
You see, for the average home user, unless you store large amounts of multimedia, either on your local computer or on a Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance, you will never have a use for a hard drive of such colossal capacity. Even a computer loaded with Windows Vista, a dozen modern games, all the usual web browsers, media players and office productivity suites as well as several years' worth of documents and images will probably still only be using less than 100GB. Of course storage requirements will always increase but not so fast that the average user will need to be increasing their hard drive capacity by an order of magnitude right now.
However, if like everyone at the TR office you have a large store of multimedia content then you will be all too familiar with the constant quest for more space - especially as everything is moving to high definition.
For instance, on my computer at home I have a 60GB RAID-0 system drive, a 500GB data drive and a 250GB external hard drive, all of which are at least 70 per cent full. Also on our network we have a Buffalo Terastation that houses a RAID 5 array of four 250GB hard drives (giving us an effective 750GB of space) and even that is crammed full. So, the onward march of hard drive capacity is nothing but a welcome movement.
While all the major hard drive manufacturers will no doubt be announcing their own one terabyte hard drives in the not too distant future, it is Hitachi that has managed to hit this milestone first and so it's that particular drive we have the pleasure of looking at today.
At £249.44, the 7K1000 is nearly £100 more expensive than the next biggest drive available - the 750GB Seagate Barracuda - but this price will no doubt fall rapidly as other manufacturers come out with their own terabyte drives. Also, this is cheaper than the Barracuda was when it first launched nearly a year ago.
To achieve this massive capacity, Hitachi has moved to a perpendicular recording technology for its hard drives - just as Seagate did with its 750GB drive. Perpendicular recording orientates the magnetic particles, used to store each bit of data, vertically instead of laying them on their side, this makes them narrower, so more bits can be stored on each platter.
It would seem Hitachi's method of doing this results in similar platter density to Seagate's method as the 750GB version of the 7K1000 uses four platters just as Seagate's does. Indeed, to reach the hallowed one terabyte mark, Hitachi has had to squeeze five platters and ten heads into the same 3.5in form factor.
Naturally, you'd expect that extra platter to increase noise, weight, and heat but miraculously the 7K1000 is significantly quieter than the 750GB Barracuda and it weighs only 3g more. It does run a few of degrees hotter but all in all it compares very well with the competition.