Seagate has definitely gotten the attention of road warriors and storage nerds with their Momentus XT hybrid hard disk drive. Many agree with Brent Ozar, who called for it to be a standard component of every laptop. Even I was impressed! That’s why I’m psyched to see the 500 GB Momentus XT listed on Amazon.com for just $114.99. That’s only a little more than a standard 7200 rpm 500 GB hard disk drive, and the performance is notably better.
Holiday shopping in the USA traditionally kicks off with “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving. Although not quite the bonanza it’s rumored to be, many retailers do offer compelling Black Friday deals. Here are my favorites for 2010.
Steve Jobs isn’t too keen on USB 3.0, apparently, but other vendors are stepping in to fill the void. CalDigit was first with a USB 3.o driver, but it was tied to the pricey PCI Express and Mini-PCIe cards they sell. Now LaCie is out with a free driver for just about any USB 3.0 card, but it’s locked to LaCie’s storage products. Let’s hope we get an unlocked driver soon!
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.
Storage capacity continues to move forward on both 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard disk drives. On the small form factor side, Western Digital was first with a 250 GB platter, then Seagate shot back with a 320 GB platter, then it was Hitachi at 375 GB. So it was only a matter of time until the magical half-terabyte mark would be reached, yielding 1 TB in a 2-platter drive. Now Seagate has done it, shipping a 2-platter 9.5 mm hard disk drive in their latest GoFlex portable case.
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?
What hard disk drive should you use in a Drobo? Stick to 1.5 or 2 TB models from Seagate and Western Digital, and watch for great deals!
The Tech Field Day events I organize generate a massive amount of HD video content, and moving half a terabyte or more of data is a real issue. We had been using luggable desktop drives from Western Digital and Seagate, but preferred a smaller, lighter, USB bus-powered portable solution. The Seagate Expansion Portable USB drive we bought this week packs an amazing 1 TB of capacity, but our experience with the product was mixed at best.
I’m a sucker for storage and networking so combining these two great tastes really gets me interested. I’ve been watching the CloudEngines Pogoplug with interest. It allows you to share a USB external hard disk drive across a LAN and even allows access over the Internet using the Pogoplug service. Last year, Seagate licensed the PogoPlug technology from CloudEngines and came out with their own-brand FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter which includes the service. In addition to the special connector for Seagate’s pre-GoFlex portable hard drives, the DockStar has three standard USB ports for any old USB drive you might have hanging around.
There has been much speculation that a new generation of hybrid flash/hard disk drives was right around the corner, and Provantage confirmed it today: The reseller posted a family of “Momentus XT” 2.5″ laptop drives for sale on their web site, shipping in 3-4 weeks. Many other sites began listing the drives as well, and The Register got the scoop, benchmarks, and official comment.