Hitachi 320GB notebook drive: 7,200rpm but 25% less power needed

Hitachi have revealed their latest 2.5-inch hard-drive, the Travelstar 7K320.  With 320GB of storage, its claim to fame is its 7,200rpm speed and low power demands.  Hitachi claim that the 7K320 only shows the equivalent power consumption of a 5,400rpm drive, despite the higher platter speed.

In fact, the draw is quoted at just 1.8 watts during read/write and 0.8 watts at idle.  It uses a serial ATA interface capable of 3Gbit/sec transfer speeds, and should appear in pre-built systems by Q3 this year.  Hitachi have priced the Travelstar 7K320 at $219

Fujitsu announced their own 320GB 2.5-inch 7,200rpm drive back in March, the MHZ2 BJ.  However they're yet to ship to customers, and Fujitsu themselves have stated a June availability date.  That could change when they realise Hitachi are looking to ship their version by the end of the month.

Press Release:

Hitachi Delivers Performance Without Sacrifice in New 7,200 RPM Travelstar Hard DriveNew 320GB Notebook Hard Drive Combines High Capacity and Superior Performance With Power Efficiency and Low Acoustics

SAN JOSE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Continuing its longstanding tradition of delivering superior performance with no sacrifices required, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) today began shipment of its fourth-generation 7,200 RPM mobile hard drive, the Travelstar™ 7K320. The new drive delivers 60 percent higher capacity than its predecessor, while improving application performance by 12 percent and power consumption by 22 percent. The drive's quiet acoustics improve the experience of watching movies or listening to music on a notebook PC. The 2.5-inch drive is offered with optional Bulk Data Encryption for users wanting increased data security. Hitachi also plans to ship enhanced-availability (EA) models, designed to provide high-capacity storage for low-duty-cycle, 24x7 applications.

The performance attributes of the Travelstar 7K320 allow consumers to opt for a full-featured notebook or compact desktop model, while still achieving all the capacity and performance typically associated with a more traditional desktop PC. The new drives bring forth a number of essential features that are in strong demand from manufacturers of notebooks, compact desktops, gaming systems, blade servers and video surveillance systems. Some of these attributes include best-in-class operating shock protection of 400Gs, 5,400 RPM-equivalent power consumption and quiet acoustics.

"As operating systems have grown more complex, users have struggled with an overall decrease in system performance," said Larry Swezey, director, Consumer and Commercial HDD, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "Solid state drives (SSD) have yet to deliver an overall increase in speed, and certainly not at an affordable price. The 7,200 RPM speed of the Travelstar 7K320 provides an improved overall experience, at the capacities users want and at a far lower cost than SSD."

Gartner is predicting worldwide mobile PC shipments will surpass global desk-based PC shipments in the second half of 20091. This evolution has been driven by the ever improving performance-for-price of mobile PCs, relative to desktop PCs. Hitachi believes the greater availability of 7,200 RPM hard drives will help accelerate this trend, as more users realize the benefits of combining desktop-class performance with the convenience and portability of a notebook.

Advanced Features

The Travelstar 7K320 includes many features that translate into very tangible benefits for users, including:

* 320GB capacity for storing approximately 80 hours of high definition video, 320 hours of standard video, 100 movies, 80,000 4-minute MP3s or 160 games2

* The 7,200 RPM provides any operating system with a noticeable advantage in boot times and application performance. A SATA 3Gb/s interface and fast media transfer rates provide faster file copying and document retrieval, better graphics and improved game performance

* Best-in-class operating shock protection of 400Gs to minimize the effects of rough handling and vibration

* Power utilization on par with Hitachi's 5,400 RPM mobile drives, so that users can enjoy more "unplugged" notebook computing time

* The drive's quiet acoustics provide a richer audio listening experience for music, movies and games

Protect Your Data

The Travelstar 7K320 features optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE), a capability that Hitachi has offered in its mobile hard drives since the start of 2007. Previously, data on a hard drive could be protected either through software-based encryption or a system-level password. Hard drive level encryption provides improved performance and a higher level of security than any of the previously available methods.

When employing bulk data encryption, data is scrambled using a key as it is being written to the disk and then descrambled with the key as it is retrieved. Thus, data encryption at the hard-drive level represents a more sophisticated approach of securing users' data and is generally considered to be virtually impenetrable. Another benefit is that it speeds and simplifies the drive re-deployment process. By deleting the encryption key, the data on the drive is rendered unreadable, thereby eliminating the need for time-consuming data-overwrite.

BDE models ship exclusively with a SATA 1.5Gb/s interface.

Technical Specifications:

Travelstar 7K320


9.5mm in height

7,200 RPM

252 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density

2/2/1/1/1 glass disks

4/4/2/2/1 TMR recording head(s)

1000G/1ms non-operating shock

400G/2ms operating shock

4.2ms average latency

12ms average read time

1.0W active idle

0.8W low-power idle

Serial ATA 3Gb/s, 1.5Gb/s encrypted

115/110 grams in weight

2.5Bels typical idle acoustics

2.8Bels typical operational acoustics


The Travelstar 7K320 is now shipping to customers worldwide. The enhanced-availability version of the drive is expected to ship in the third quarter of 2008.

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies develops advanced hard disk drives to store and preserve the world's valued data. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives, Hitachi GST enables users to fully engage in the digital lifestyle by providing high-value, high-capacity storage in formats suitable for the office, in the home or on the road. With vertically integrated research, design and manufacturing capabilities, Hitachi GST delivers leadership technology and quality to its global customer base.

With approximately 33,000 employees worldwide, Hitachi GST offers a comprehensive range of hard drive products for desktop computers, high-performance storage systems and servers, notebooks and consumer devices. For more information, please visit the company's website at

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies trademarks are authorized for use in countries and jurisdictions in which Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has the right to use, market and advertise the brands. The Travelstar trademark is authorized for use in the Americas, EMEA, and in the Asia-Pacific region in the following countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT) (TOKYO:6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 384,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 (ended March 31, 2007) consolidated revenues totaled 10,247 billion yen ($86.8 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

1 Garter Global PC Forecast and Shipments Quarterly Statistics, George Shiffler, March 13, 2008

One GB is equal to one billion bytes and one TB is equal to 1,000 GB when referring to hard drive capacity. Accessible capacity may be less.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' trademarks are authorized for use in countries and jurisdictions in which Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has the right to use, market and advertise the brands. The Travelstar trademark is authorized for use in the Americas, EMEA, and the following Asia-Pacific countries and jurisdictions: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies shall not be liable to third parties for unauthorized use of its trademarks.

2 Actual storage may vary depending on the compression rate applied. Capacities may not be combined.