The drive connects to a motherboard via the SATA-3 interface, allowing theoretical maximum data transfer speeds of 6 Gbps. It also has just 32 MB of cache memory, compared with 64 MB for the high-end Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 series.
However, although it's technically a mid-range hard drive, the 5K3000 still manages to get two stars, like the high-performance Hitachi 7K3000 and WD Caviar Black. In fact, the first tests show the kind of results you wouldn't normally expect from a mid-priced HDD:
The 5K3000 smashes its way through the scores obtained by drives we thought would be its direct rivals (WD Caviar Green, Seagate Barracuda LP, etc.). In fact, its performances are closer to those of a top-of-the-range internal hard drive than a mid-range model. This is confirmed by the AS-SSD tests:
However, the access times do show the limits of the 5K3000, as these are more worthy of a mid-range model:
Our purely practical tests confirm this:
It's quite difficult to determine the drive's actual market position as, at the time of writing, it's not yet available in online stores. Obviously, with a price equivalent to mid-range drives like WD's Caviar Green series, it could prove a very wise buy. With a higher price, however, it would only really appeal to users looking to boost performances without forking out for a high-end model.
Given the competitive price of the 7K3000, we're confident that the 5K3000 will prove just as good value for money.
- Very good performances - excellent for a mid-range HDD
- Quiet and doesn't get too hot
- Large storage capacity (up to 3 TB)
- Access times lag slightly behind other performances
The Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 surprised us: although less powerful than high-end HDDs, it runs rings round other mid-range models. In fact, it stands out on its own somewhere between mid-range and high-end disks. At the right price, the 5K3000 could prove fantastic value for money.