Being one of the few remaining mechanical components of the computer system, the hard disk drive is also one of the major power consumers. A spinning hard disk platter effectively turns power into heat, working contrary to user expectation. Not surprisingly, most hard disk drive manufacturers have implemented a number of power saving features, reducing the impact of disk drives on one’s electric bill. But one power saving feature from Western Digital has come under increasing fire: the Intellipark system found in their Caviar Green hard disk drives is a serious liability when used in many “always-on” scenarios.
That NAB Show is a hotspot of Thunderbolt interest should come as no surprise: The broadcast and media professionals present represent a nexus of Apple customers and storage power users. Because they have been dragging their feet on eSATA and USB 3, Apple ran the risk of alienating this core customer group. But Thunderbolt promises to deliver a new level of performance and a whole world of peripherals. The excitement was palpable!
Both Seagate and Western Digital have much to gain from these transactions. Western Digital becomes a full line giant of the industry, a credible competitor, and a successful supplier to OEMs. Seagate also retains its credibility in the market, but also gains access to Samsung, one of the strongest electronics companies in the world. Time will tell which of these companies got the better deal.
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.
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!
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!
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.