After making waves by quietly launching the industry's first 4TB internal hard drive in Japan just days ago, Hitachi announced it is now shipping its new Ultrastar C10K900 enterprise hard drive, which the company claims are the fastest 10K hard drives on the planet. According to Hitachi, C10K900 drives offer 18 percent faster sequential and 17 percent faster random performance than the nearest competitor.
Effects of the hard drive shortage resulting from major flooding in Thailand earlier this year continue to reverberate throughout the technology industry. Even Intel, the world's largest chip maker, isn't immune to to it all, and in fact the Santa Clara outfit warned today that its fourth quarter results are expected to be below the company's previous outlook.
Now is a pretty bad time to be shopping for a mechanical hard drive. Prices are generally higher than what they were a couple of months ago, sometimes significantly so, due to the flooding in Thailand. But it's a temporary problem and eventually the storage sector will settle down. So, onward with innovation, and kudos to Hitachi for coming out with a 4TB internal HDD as part of its Deskstar line.
It seems like every time we touch on the topic of hard drives lately, it's always bad news related to the recent flooding in Thailand. Ready for a change of pace? Good, because that's what you're getting today. Instead of news of more shortages and rising prices, we've now learned that hard drive volumes in the first quarter of 2012 will increase by several million units, decreasing the supply gap "significantly."
Hard drive prices aren't about to return to pre-flood levels, but they may gravitate towards that point sooner than some analysts are expecting. Western Digital, one of the HDD makers hit hard by the recent flooding in Thailand, said it has made "substantial progress" in getting its overseas operations partially up and running again, and is now producing hard drives at one of its buildings in Bang Pa-in (BPI), Thailand a week ahead of internal schedules.
In the storage world, nothing matches a solid-state drive for speed, and nothing matches a mechanical hard drive for capacity and price per gigabyte. Recognizing these two great tastes would go great together, many vendors have attempted to find the perfect hybrid storage solution, with variable—and often clunky—results. Seagate’s Momentus XT, which we first reviewed in September 2010, offered a 500GB 2.5-inch drive with 4GB of NAND flash with an adaptive algorithm to ensure that the most frequently used files are mirrored in the NAND. This means your boot drive feels faster than a mechanical drive, if only for the stuff you use the most. We liked the first Momentus, but complained that it could use more NAND. Seagate aims to remedy that complaint with this new Momentus.
Seagate has started shipping the second generation of its Momentus XT, a solid state hybrid drive aimed at both consumer and commercial laptop applications, and the company's fastest driver ever for personal computers, Seagate says. Like the previous generation Momentus XT, this second gen drive moves frequently accessed data to a small chunk of solid state memory for faster access.
After peering into its crystal ball, the market psychics at Kingston firmly believe that by this time next year, you're likely to choose a solid state drive over a mechanical hard drive. NAND flash memory prices are coming down, and while it's been slow going, overall pricing for SSDs will finally reach the point where they're able to attract would-be HDD buyers.
The European Union is notorious for being sticklers when it comes to how companies do business and is ever watchful for what it perceives to be a potential monopoly. Concerns aside, the EU just granted approval to Western Digital, the world's second largest hard drive maker, to purchase Hitachi's HDD business for $4.3 billion, with Hitach being the third biggest player in the HDD market.
Few companies in the PC industry can escape the resonating effects of the hard drive shortage caused by recent flooding in Thailand. It's had a bigger impact than simply doubling, and in some cases, tripling the cost of hard drives, the shortage also creates challenges for PC makers who buy HDDs in bulk and build systems around them. Making the best of a bad situation, Jon Bach, founder of Puget Systems, explains how his company plans to cope with an outside-the-box solution.