Tuesday, May 3rd 2011

Seagate Breaks Areal Density Barrier, Unveils First HDD with 1 TB per Platter

Seagate, the leader in hard drives and storage solutions, today unveiled the world’s first 3.5-inch hard drive featuring 1TB of storage capacity per disk platter, breaking the 1TB areal density barrier to help meet explosive worldwide demand for digital content storage in both the home and the office.

Seagate’s GoFlex Desk products are the first to feature the new hard drive, delivering storage capacities of up to 3TB and an areal density of 625 Gigabits per square inch, the industry’s highest. Seagate is on track to ship its flagship 3.5-inch Barracuda desktop hard drive with 3TBs of storage on 3 disk platters – enough capacity to store up to 120 high-definition movies, 1,500 video games, thousands of photos or virtually countless hours of digital music – to the distribution channel in mid-2011. The drive will also be available in capacities of 2TB, 1.5TB and 1TB.
“Organizations of all sizes and consumers worldwide are amassing digital content at light speed, generating immense demand for storage of digital content of every imaginable kind,” said Rocky Pimentel, Seagate Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. “We remain keenly focused on delivering the storage capacity, speed and manageability our customers need to thrive in an increasingly digital world.”

GoFlex Desk external drives are compatible with both the Windows operating system and Mac computers. Each drive includes an NTFS driver for Mac, which allows the drive to store and access files from both Windows and Mac OS X computers without reformatting. The GoFlex Desk external drive’s sleek black 3.5-inch design sits either vertically or horizontally to accommodate any desktop environment.
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53 Comments on Seagate Breaks Areal Density Barrier, Unveils First HDD with 1 TB per Platter

#1
sy5tem
yay i can't wait to backup those 3TB frive to 5 spindle of dvd! because you know they can fail fast after 1 year!
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#2
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
newtekie1 said:
The problem with having more than 3 platters is that they hit the height limit of the drive.
3.5" drives have held 5 platters before and 2.5" drives can hold up to 4 platters. As far as I know, the vertical height requirements hasn't changed for perpendicular recording.
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#3
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
FordGT90Concept said:
3.5" drives have held 5 platters before and 2.5" drives can hold up to 4 platters. As far as I know, the vertical height requirements hasn't changed for perpendicular recording.
I didn't think it was possible to put more than 3 traditional platters in a 3.5" drive and maintain the 1" height standard, I know 4 platter 2.5" drives exceed the 9.5mm height standard for sure.
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#4
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
3.5":
http://www.pcworld.com/article/200031/big_seagate_3tb_drive_ups_storage_ante.html

the 3tb drive has five platters, each with 600gb.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/1tb-hdd-storage,2563-2.html

Hitachi simply stayed with its proven, but not necessarily optimal five-platter design, which had been used on the previous generation, the Deskstar 7K500.
2.5":
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/review/servers_storage/seagate/freeagent_goflex_ultra-portable_drive_1_5tb/362043

seagate achieved the drive's notable total capacity by increasing the capacity of the platters--375gb per platter, instead of 333gb per platter--and by adding a fourth platter inside the drive.
Generally speaking, the heavier the HDD, the more platters it has.
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#5
Red_Machine
DanTheBanjoman said:
Height limit? I thought full height meant two 5,25" bays. ie four Bigfoots stacked.
Indeed. Winchester HHD, anyone? Full-height 5 & 1/4" floppies?
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#6
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
FordGT90Concept said:
3.5":




2.5":


Generally speaking, the heavier the HDD, the more platters it has.
The Hitachi is interesting, I hadn't seen that drive before, it does seem like they have managed to squeeze 5 platters into a standard 1" hieght drive. The two seagates though, are definitely taller than standard. The 3.5" GoFlex is about 1.5" high, and the 2.5" GoFlex is 12.5mm.
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#7
LAN_deRf_HA
Wonder how much having only 2 drive makers will effect prices.
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#8
digibucc
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Wonder how much having only 2 drive makers will effect prices.
lol... that is probably the understatement of the year... cleverly disguised :)
Posted on Reply
#9
Completely Bonkers
FordGT90Concept said:
Generally speaking, the heavier the HDD, the more platters it has.
I thought drives got heavier the more data you recorded on it! LOL ;-)
Posted on Reply
#10
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
newtekie1 said:
The Hitachi is interesting, I hadn't seen that drive before, it does seem like they have managed to squeeze 5 platters into a standard 1" hieght drive. The two seagates though, are definitely taller than standard. The 3.5" GoFlex is about 1.5" high, and the 2.5" GoFlex is 12.5mm.
Got a source for that? As far as I know, all GoFlex drives are standard height for their width.

5 platters to 3.5" bays goes way back.
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#11
LAN_deRf_HA
Inside the GoFlex Desk 3TB was a standard 3.5” Seagate Barracuda XT drive.
- Anandtech
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#12
theJesus
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Wonder how much having only 2 drive makers will effect prices.
It might end up like gasoline prices. lol
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#13
makwy2
Considering over the past year I've averaged 4-7 gigs of new data per day added to my system, I'm always happy for improvements to drive capacity and speed (as well as price).

The reason this news excites me is that portable and external drives are finally getting all caught up with the massive amount of information a person can amass. Want those 1080p videos I recorded at your graduation? want the image for that disc you scratched up? Here ya go... on my portable drive.
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#14
TheGuruStud
Yay, even more data for Seagate to lose for you. It's maxtor all over again (but less severe maybe).
Posted on Reply
#15
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
FordGT90Concept said:
Got a source for that? As far as I know, all GoFlex drives are standard height for their width.

5 platters to 3.5" bays goes way back.
Having taken both apart, they are larger than normal drives.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LinusTechTips#p/u/23/nHBg0mrHXOQ

There is a youtube video with the GoFlex taken apart at the end, it is clearly bigger than a normal 2.5" drive.

LAN_deRf_HA said:
- Anandtech
The problem is they don't say how height the drive is. Yes, they say standard 3.5" drive, but they could just mean that it is 3.5" and not bother with the height of the drive. From the pictures, there is no padding between the drive and the plastic case, the case measures 44mm, a standard height 3.5" drive is 26mm, I don't think the plastic on both sides is 9mm thick, and I don't think Seagate would purposely virtually double the size of the drive for nothing.

Plus, the Barracuda XT in the GoFlex I pulled apart was definitely not standard height.
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#16
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I wish he measured the height of that drive. 9.5 mm = up to 2 platters, 12.5 mm = up to 3 platters. 9.5 mm is the industry standard but 12.5 mm is growing in use. If it is over 12.5 mm, then yeah, 2.5" 4-platter drives are proprietary.


In externals though, "standard" really doesn't matter. They could have easily gone with proprietary HDDs just to capture the title of "largest capacity."
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#18
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Wonder how much having only 2 drive makers will effect prices.
Seagate, WD, Hitachi, that makes three?
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#20
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
Ah, missed that one. So both Samsung and Hitachi are gone then. That leaves little space on the market.
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#21
LAN_deRf_HA
My hope is that quality improves. Right around the time samsung got crazy popular and drove prices down I started being more and more dissatisfied with the new drives available on the market. Though the realist in me knows they'd rather bask in the increased profits than increase spending.
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#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
IBM -> Hitachi -> Western Digital
Quantum -> Maxtor -> Seagate
Samsung -> Seagate

Did I forget any? Profit margins are too small for the little guys to be profitable anymore. :(
Posted on Reply
#23
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
FordGT90Concept said:
IBM -> Hitachi -> Western Digital
Quantum -> Maxtor -> Seagate
Samsung -> Seagate

Did I forget any? Profit margins are too small for the little guys to be profitable anymore. :(
There were tens if not hundreds of harddisk manufacturers if you go back further. 15-20 years ago I came across the weirdest brands. Conner being the most common back then, I think they are now Seagate as well. It's sad really.
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#24
blibba
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Wonder how much having only 2 drive makers will effect prices.
Probably not at all. It'll still be highly competitive (unless WD and Seagate choose to illegally collude), and I suspect that both WD and Seagate were already big enough to gain little economy of scale from the takeover. So the drives will cost them the same amount to produce and be sold in a competitive market, just like now.

Both makers also have SSDs to indirectly compete with - if HDDs can't substantially outstrip SSDs for $/GB then they obviously won't sell.
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#25
LAN_deRf_HA
They don't have to verbally collude. It happens naturally in a two competitor system. Nvidia releases a bunch of pricey ass cards. To some degree they do this because they have to with their big cores. AMD comes out with very efficient cards that could absolutely demolish nvidia's profits in a price war, a war AMD could afford easily. Instead AMD slots their cards directly between nvidia's offerings to enjoy the higher profit margins. These two party markets often end up being far less competitive. Without samsung under cutting everyone prices are just going to go up naturally. Though it will be hard to perceive with these new density drives as they'd have cost more initially anyways.
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