One-Terabyte drives are no longer unusual, but until now, drive vendors have needed three or more platters to hit the magic 1TB goal. Not any more.
Seagate is now shipping the first 1TB hard disk to get the job done with just two platters: the Barracuda 7200.12. It jams 320 Gigabits of storage per square inch into each platter to achieve its 500GB per platter capacity. It uses a 3Gbps SATA interface and a 32MB cache to move your data around.
The drive is also available in 750GB (32MB cache) and 500GB (16MB cache) capacities. No word on official pricing yet on the 1TB big guy, but some websites are showing the 500GB model selling for about the same price as its predecessor, the Barracuda 7200.11 (32MB cache).
What do you think about getting the same capacity with fewer platters? Join us after the jump and sound off.
Bare (aka "OEM") hard disk drives have always been good deals for tech-savvy shoppers (aka the typical Maximum PC reader) - buy a drive in an anti-static bag, provide your own mounting screws, download a disk management utility from the vendor's website, and you can save a lot of greenbacks, without a sacrifice in warranty coverage.
That's about to change. Channel Register reports that Seagate's bare drives for desktop and laptop computers are about to take a 2-year cut in warranty coverage. Starting January 3, 2009, bare drives will have 3-year limited warranties, compared to the current 5-year limited warranty. Seagate says that they'll use the ship-to-dealers date of January 3, 2009 and beyond to calculate warranty terms, but I'd recommend holding on to your sales receipt, especially if you're buying a last-minute Christmas gift or grabbing an after-Christmas sale.
To find out why Seagate is reducing its bare drive warranty period, and to see how it stacks up to its competitors, join us after the jump.
SSDs are the hottest trend in storage, but how long will an SSD last? Right now,there's no industry standard for longevity or reliability. However, Cnet reports that Seagate and JEDEC are working together to establish a standards-based method for determining those factors.
Seagate isn't alone in working with JEDEC, the standards body responsible for standards in the solid-state industry. Earlier this year, X-bit Labs reported that JEDEC's JC-64.8 committee, which is responsible for developing SSD standards for embedded and removable storage, is being co-chaired by Micron Technologies and Seagate.
Micron brings its experience in memory technologies, while Seagate brings its experience in drive reliability to the endeavor. As Cnet reports:
Seagate says it can tap into the decades of expertise it has in error correction. "Some of the skills we've picked up along the way, to deal with imperfect media, has applicability to dealing with imperfect media on NAND."
Seagate's own SSDs won't hit the market until 2009, but hopefully its work with JEDEC to set standards for reliability will help make all SSDs more reliable.
So, what do you think? Will Seagate's presence on the JEDEC committee responsible for SSD standards make this latecomer to SSDs the one to trust when product finally hits the street? Or, are you ready to use SSDs right now? Join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
While SSDs are getting plenty of attention from us (and everyone else) these days, it's way too early to shovel the dirt over the classic spinning-disk hard disk drive technology, eWeeksuggests. You already know a couple of reasons: capacity and price per GB.
However, even if you can afford to give up some storage capaciy and a lot more cash, there are other reasons to think twice before turning your existing hard disk drive into a paperweight. At last week's DiskCon 2008 storage conference, experts cited by eWeek pointed out that NAND flash memory, the most common type of flash memory in use today, drops in performance with use, and that data retention is much shorter than with traditional disk drives.
So who's really excited about SSDs? Corporate data centers. In one case study described at DiskCon, a data center replaced hard disks with SSDs. The installation used one SSD for read, the other for write, and realized a 10x improvement in read/write speed and 5x less power consumption.
So, how do you feel about SSDs? Are you ready to pony up the extra dough and trade off some capacity to give SSDs a try today, or are you waiting until SSDs' price per GB, capacity and long-term behavior more closely mirror what hard disks provide today? See us after the jump for your chance to put in your feedback.
Monday, we told you about the forthcoming SATA Revision 3.0, also known as SATA 6Gb/s. Given the fact that conventional hard disks still don't saturate the original SATA 1.5Gb/s bus, let alone the mainstream SATA Revision 2.0 3Gb/s bus, why bother with another speedup?
In a word: SSDs. The Inquirerreports that the new Intel solid-state drives introduced this week at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) come very close to saturating the SATA 3Gb/s bus with 250MB/s read speed, while blowing the doors off conventional hard disks and third-party SSDs. And, they're not alone. As we reported Monday, Indilinx isn't far behind, offering the 230MB/s Barefoot SSD drive controller.
To learn more about why some SSD drives are faster than others, and what else SATA-IO is working on for the near future, join us after the jump.
So, what makes some SSD drives faster (or slower) than others? SSD drive performance is affected by two factors: the speed of the controller and the speed of the SSD memory chips. Currently, the fastest SSD drives use single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash, while drives using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash trade higher capacity for slightly slower performance. As capacities climb and performance zooms, it's going to be an interesting fall and winter in the SSD business.
That's the good news. The Inquirer also reports that the SATA-IO's Power over eSATA initiative, announced in January, is now expected to be released in early 2009 (rather than late this year as was originally expected). Power over eSATA will enable eSATA drives to pull their power from the eSATA port, just as many USB drives get their power from the USB port. Whenever Power over eSATA appears (and let's hope they come up with a cooler acronym than the logical "PoeSATA"), it will be very helpful in getting eSATA to become mainstream.