Ever wonder what happened to computer storage company Hitachi? Those of you with better things to do than keep your antennae tuned to this sort of thing may not know Hitachi was absorbed into Western Digital. In fact we’re coming on nearly a full year since the changing of hands. Hitachi’s old HDD business in now known as HGST, a separate division of WD proper. Their newest solution under the HGST label is the 1TB 7200rpm 32MB cache Travelstar 2.5-inch High Performance SATA III hard drive.
This drive like the Seagate hybrid solid state drive are made with the reduced footprint for either mobile use or installation within a mini PC such as the Sapphire EDGE or the recently reviewed Lenovo Q190. To contrast, the Seagate SSHD uses a 64mb cache and whirs along at a slower 5400rpm. But it attempts to compensate with speedier flash memory. Other features of the Travelstar include an enlarged sector size of 4,096 (4k) from the more standard 512 byte, shock tolerance, eco-conscious halogen-free design and lower power consumption that should help keep your system powered for a bit longer.
Cracking it open we find a full retail consumer package. You get the 1TB hard drive, installation guide and quick start manual and a flyer for 3GB of cloud storage at Touro Cloud Backup. For $59 a year you can have 250GB of storage. They offer back up to multiple systems as well as companion apps to manage your storage. To my surprise, the only thing missing from the package is a solid HDD management software such as Acronis.
Luckily we have a copy on hand. With it we were able to quickly clone a bootable Windows 7 install to the Travelstar. Cloning all the content (50gb) from the original drive to the Travelstar took less than 10min. We used our favorite HDD test ATTO Bench for our synthetic testing of sequential read/write speeds. The Travelstar perform very well, besting the Seagate HDD. At it’s highest it hit 127mb/s read and 123mb/s write. Those are paltry speeds when compared to high end solid state drives. But they’re pretty good for a larger capacity drive with such a reduced cache. In our real world test we take 2.74GB of random files, movies, documents and pics from a USB 3.0 HDD to the HGST Travelstar. Average speed was 60sec. The new drive 2.5-inch Travelstar comes in 14sec slower than the Seagate SSHD which transferred the same data in 46sec.
The 2.5-inch Travelstar is a fine drive at an affordable price when you consider the capacity. It can keep pace with a user’s mobile needs where reliability and efficiency trump speed and bragging rights.
Bottom Line: The Travelstar is a great 1TB hard drive. It easily outperforms your old 5400rpm drives with energy efficient power saving and reliable performance.
- 1TB storage capacity
- Energy efficient
- 4K sector size
- Competitive read/write speed
- Small-ish buffer cache
- Slower than competition in some areas
The HGST Travelstar 1TB 7200ROM 32BM cache hard drive is available at Amazon for $89.95.