updated 07:25 am EST, Thu December 16, 2010
Hitachi Z5K500 first 500GB drive at 7mm
Hitachi today claimed a minor record by shipping the TravelStar Z5K500. The 2.5-inch, 5,400RPM disk is the first drive 7mm thick to reach 500GB, bumping up from the earlier 320GB peak. It still uses a single platter but should now cover most people's needs even in a notebook too thin for a 9.5mm drive.
Like newer drives, it has 8MB of cache and uses the new Advanced Format approach to sectors, which boost them to 4K and make more use of the available space. The SATA drive is relatively miserly and consumes 1.8W of power at peak. At 2.1 bels of noise while active, it's purportedly quieter than the ambient noise in most rooms.
Hitachi is selling the drive as a barebones disk to resellers and PC builders this month, but it also plans an upgraded version of the Mac-friendly G Drive Slim USB external drive that should use the extra capacity without having to increase in size. It won't ship until early 2011 and doesn't yet have a price.