Previously we mentioned in our review of the Laptop Thin SSHD from Seagate, manufacturers have started moving towards eliminating traditional 7200 RPM 2.5" platter based drives. These drives are being replaced with slower 5400 RPM drives with NAND packages that effectively cache the most common accessed data using pinning and other caching algorithms, in order to offer the end-user the speed of solid state and capacity of a hard drive.
There is, however, one company that has chosen to stick with the 7200 RPM 2.5" drive and release it in the form of the seventh generation of mobile hard drives, the HGST 7K1000. With operating systems and storage controllers leveraging new technologies, HGST has packed the 7K1000 with 500GB per platter density, along with implementing Advanced Format Technology.
Advanced Format or "AF" as we will call it from here forward, utilizes the surface of the disk more efficiently by combining eight traditional 512 byte sectors into a single 4096 byte or 4K sector. Gains measured from the transition from 512 byte to 4K sectors equal up to eleven percent increase in physical platter space. So, why choose 4K as the definitive sector size? Why not 1K or 8K for that matter? What it all boils down to is modern operating systems and even processors utilize data in 4K page sizes, effectively streamlining data throughput from the low level hardware to the software that runs at the surface.
Today is all about the Travelstar 7K1000 1TB hard drive, let's dive in and take a look now.