Increasing hard disk drive density always brought better performance, and Seagate’s use of faster spindle speed will help as well. My only concern is the increased heat generated by these new drives: My GoFlex Desk drives are definitely hot to the touch when in use. But the availability of 3 TB drives is to be welcomed at this price point.
The other day, I bought 6 TB of storage for under $300. This statement alone is startling to folks like me who have been following the storage and hard disk drive industry. Searching for a faster alternative led me to crack open the case and experiment with the drive inside.
I spent this week at the 2011 Microsoft MVP Summit in Redmond, WA. It was an excellent trip, full of great information that I can’t talk about: Microsoft is the only company I have an NDA with! But I can say that no one should count that company out. Although Apple, Google, and Facebook (?!) get all the attention, Microsoft is making some good moves. The Kinnect and Windows Phone 7 show that innovation and creativity is alive and well in Redmond!
Seagate is one of the world’s most-successful hard disk drive companies, consistently ranked first in overall sales for a decade. The company is respected for their high-end products, but is aggressively moving into the world of smaller hard disks for laptops and portable storage as well. The company’s mainstream “Momentus” portable hard disk family has kept pace with the industry, but Seagate will soon break away with a major jump in areal density. Using public information, and the first product in this line, we will consider what Seagate’s eighth-generation Momentus family will look like.
Another limit is being pushed in computers: The 32-bit LBA addressing mode. Hard disk drives have simply become too big for the 2.1 TB allowed by 32-bit LBA and 512 K sectors. Western Digital was first to answer this challenge with “Advanced Format”, and Seagate took an alternate 48-bit LBA route. Now Hitachi GST introduced an Advanced Format drive of their own. Will the industry ever adopt 48-bit LBA?
It seems like my Drobo is always hungry. I’ve got all four slots stuffed with 1.5 TB drives right now, and the Western Digital Caviar Green is one of my favorites. It’s quiet and draws just a little power, yet is fairly quick thanks to 64 MB of cache. Now Amazon has it for $55.49, shipped!
Seagate, Western Digital, and others are introducing massive new 3 TB hard disk drives, but will they work with current computers? In order to take advantage of new hard disk drives over 2 TB, you must have a compatible operating system, BIOS, partition table, and file system.
Drobo is adding support for 4K-sector “Advanced Format” drives across their product line, but others do not seem as responsive.
Personal computer hard disk drive access methods have been repeatedly forced to adapt to ever-expanding capacity. But Western Digital is leading the change to larger 4 kilobyte hard disk blocks. Although this new “Advanced Format” includes mechanisms for backwards compatibility, buyers should be wary of these new drives for the time being.