Western Digital's Caviar Blue line is the cheapest of all the Caviars (which includes Green and Black label drives), which makes the addition of a SATA 6Gbps interface a groovy addition, even if not fully utilized.
"We've added a SATA 6Gbps interface to our award-winning WD Caviar Blue and WD Caviar Black desktop hard drives in capacities from 250GB to 2TB," Western Digital said. "This transition to a SATA 6Gbps interface aligns with the introduction of SATA 6Gbps supporting chipsets and motherboards coming to the market."
As far as the Blue label Caviars are concerned, these come in capacities ranging from 250GB to 1TB with anywhere from 16MB to 32MB of cache. Street pricing ranges from around $45 (250GB) to $80 (1TB).
In some alternate universe, perhaps Western Digital is able to acquire Seagate and instantly more than double its hard drive sales. But in this one, Seagate ultimately scoffed at WD's takeover proposal, or so that's the story "two people with knowledge of the matter" say, according to a Bloomberg report.
The sources say WD was willing to fork over anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent mor than TPG Capital, another firm that unsuccessfully tried to acquire Seagate. When news of WD's proposal hit the news wire, Seagate's stock surged 7.2 percent. So why didn't Seagate bite?
Both companies declined to comment, but the general consensus is that such a mega-deal would have sparked an antitrust investigation. On top of that, some management personnel would likely have lost their jobs.
Seagate's market value currently sits at about $6.9 billion. Western Digital, despite reporting lower sales than Seagate, is worth about $8 billion.
Decide for yourself whether or not to put this one on your holiday wish list, but for those who are interested, and can get away with such a thing with their significant other, Playboy is now selling a 250GB portable hard drive packed with digitally converted Playboy magazines.
When we say packed, we mean nearly every issue to date, starting with the "first treasured issue featuring Marilyn Monroe in December 1953, all the way to the December 2009 issue, featuring Chelsea Handler." That's 56 years of erotica on the go, which works out to over 650 issues and more than 100,000 digital pages.
The drive comes engraved with the Playboy logo, so there's really no hiding what's inside. It includes a mini USB to USB cable and supports Hi-Speed USB 2.0 transfers. The drive itself spins at 5400RPM, and the whole thing is USB powered, so there's no need to dangle an AC adapter.
Don't worry about where you're going to find Plutonium, the DeLorean Time Machine hard drive runs on good old fashioned electrical power, and we're not talking about lightning bolts either.
Flash Rods came up with the idea and put together what's essentially a replica of the infamous car featured in Back to the Future, only this 1:18 scaled device comes with a 500GB Seagate drive shoved in. This won't fit in your typical 3.5-inch drive bay, but then again, would you really want to hide it? Instead, the DeLorean HDD hooks up via USB (eSATA would have been cooler).
At $250, it's not cheap, but still less expensive than an SSD. And if the DeLorean doesn't kick-start your engine, there's plenty of other custom hard drives to choose from, including a 2010 Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Audi R8, to name just a few.
Notebooks have some catching up to do with their desktop brethren in the storage department. Hard drive makers are now up to 3TB for single internal drives, and it will likely be a few years before we see the same capacity in mobile PCs, especially as higher priced (and lower capacity) SSDs grow in popularity. But for what it's worth, notebook makers say that mainstream notebook capacity will increase to 500GB in 2011, up from 320GB in 2010, DigiTimes reports.
You can thank Hitachi for this. Sources say Hitachi has begun offering 7mm, 2.5-inch 500GB hard drives for the same price as 9.5mm equivalents. By the end of 2011, 500GB hard drives will account for nearly a third of all notebooks.
That's still a drop in the bucket compared to desktop drives, and who knows how high desktop drives will scale in that same time frame. But it isn't all depressing -- for those willing to buy a higher end laptop, larger capacity options aren't hard to find, including 1TB and 1.5TB configurations (both of which are dual-drive solutions).
How much disk space is your notebook packing? Hit the jump and let us know!
Asus a couple of weeks ago Asus slipped its Disk Unlocker utility under our radar, a piece of software designed to overcome the so-called 2.2TB barrier that, in a nutshell, prevents legacy operating systems from accessing the full storage capacity of hard drives larger than 2048GB.
The way Asus explains it, Disk Unlocker "taps into hidden storage space beyond the nominal 2048GB range, helping you use large hard drives to their maximum potential." The way things currently stand, in order to fully use a storage drive larger than 2.2TB, you need an OS that supports the GUID Partition Table (GPT), which is only supported in 64-bit versions of Windows. To boot from that same drive, things get an order of magnitude more complicated, requiring an UEFI BIOS; 64-bit version of Windows 7, Vista, or Server 2008; non-scented candles; and finely ground albino bat lips.
So where does Disk Unlocker fit into all this? Provided you're rocking an Asus motherboard, the Disk Unlocker utility essentially converts a physical HDD larger than 2048GB into a virtual drive, which can then be recognized in its entirety no matter which version of Windows you're running. And while Asus is a bit vague on this point, the manual appears to state that you can F6 the appropriate drivers during Windows XP installation so that you can boot from the drive as well.
We haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but when we do, you can be sure we'll report back the results.
"The Deskstar 7K3000 is Hitachi's first hard drive to deliver an enormous three terabytes of storage capacity and 7200RPM performance in a standard 3.5-inch form factor," Hitachi says. "The 7K3000 is also the first Hitachi hard drive with a 6Gb/s SATA interface, which along with its 64MB cache buffer delivers a big boost to performance over the previous generation product."
Sounds like something we'd expect Hitachi to shout from a mountain top rather than quietly unveil as they've done. Regardless, Hitachi's new 3TB drive crams all that storage capacity onto five 600GB platters. Combined with the cache and SATA 6Gb/s interface, Hitachi says you can expect up to 27 percent better performance compared to previous generation products in PCMark Vantage.
It's likely Hitachi will formerly announce the new drive in the coming days or weeks, giving the company time to figure out how best to inform users of the 2.2TB barrier. Drives larger than 2.2TB require a number of technologies to coexist if you plan on using them as a boot drive, including a motherboard with a UEFI BIOS and a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7. And unlike Western Digital's 3TB Caviar Green drive, Hitachi's 7K3000 doesn't ship with an AHCI-compliant host bust adapter (HBA) to provide an end-around for non-UEFI equipped motherboards.
Market research firm iSuppli is the bearer of bad news, that is if you're rooting for solid state drives (SSDs) to knock their mechanical brethren from the storage throne. According to iSuppli, even though SSDs made some inroads into a handful of influential segments, they aren't likely to replace HDDs in key storage sectors anytime soon.
By the time 2010 comes to a close, SSDs will have tripled their penetration rates in both the enterprise server and desktop markets. Sounds impressive, but even after tripling up, SSDs still will only account for 1.7 percent (enterprise) and 1.2 percent (desktop). Even among notebooks, where SSD penetration is the highest, these drives will account for 2.3 percent of the storage market.
"SSDs will continue to make inroads into these three target markets (enterprise, desktops, notebooks) from 2009 to 2014 -- each segment proceeding at its own rate, but all showing an unmistakable pattern of growth," iSuppli notes. "Yet, SSDs pose no threat at all to the dominion of HDD. While SSD shipments will reach 7.2 million units in 2010, HDD shipments will total a mammoth 662 million."
As always, the roadblock for SSDs is price. According to iSuppli, the OEM cost of a 256GB notebook SSD in October was nearly $400, compared to a 320GB notebook HDD that sells for less than $50.
"All told, iSuppli does not expect SSD to threaten HDD dominance in the overall PC, server, and storage markets within the next five years," iSuppli said.
Slowly but surely, solid state drive (SSD) pricing continues to come down, and according to DigiTimes, Intel and A-DATA in particular have been making concerted efforts to reduce the cost of entry. In the second half of 2010, the two firms have dropped prices by about 10-15 percent.
Meanwhile, hard drive makers have been flirting with price increases for mechanical HDDs so far in the fourth quarter. As DigiTimes tells it, most of the major players -- Hitachi, Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital -- have reduced capacity in Q4, which so far has resulted in 4-5 percent price increases among 500GB models.
Then again, HDDs have come down in price so much in recent years that a fourth quarter bump will hardly register on the radar. Much more noticeable is what's going on in the SSD industry, with Intel having recently slashed the prices of its X25-M Generation 2 line, and even Micro Center getting in on the action with a second gen 64GB SSD built around the SandForce 1200 controller for $100.
Seagate has announced that it shipped its 1.5 Billionth hard drive on October 20, 2010. What’s more, it’s getting better at selling them. While it took the company 29 years to ship its 1 Billionth drive, it sold the next 500 million drives in only 2.5 years. Seagate expects to reach the 2 billion mark in the next 2.5 years at this rate.
“Seagate celebrated its billionth hard drive sold in April 22, 2008, and at the time, it equated to: 79 million terabytes, able to store 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of your favorite music, while the 1.5 billion hard drives delivered last month equates to approximately 118.5 million terabytes, able to store 237 billion hours of digital video or 1.8 trillion hours of music,” wrote Mark Wojtasiak, senior manager of product marketing at Seagate, in a blog post.
The company is offering its faithful customers the chance of winning a GoFlex 1.5TB hard drive. All they need to do is share their thoughts about the milestone on the celebratory blog post authored by Wojtasiak.