Many a hardware-encrypted disk has crossed the path of the consumer market lately, but they’ve universally been a questionable investment. All the encryption systems have been proprietary, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone that’s looking to store all their valuable data on a system that can’t be read in a few years down the line.
Thankfully, the Trusted Computing Group has just announced that (almost) every drive maker has agreed on 128-bit encryption for all SSDs and HDDs. The major vendors, such as Fujitsu, Hitachi, Seagate, Samsung, Toshiba, Western Digital, IBM, Wave Systems, LSI and Ulink Technology have all hopped on board.
With any luck we in the consumer market will be looking at simpler disk encryption sometime very soon.
Confirming an earlier rumor that Western Digital had been nearing the release of a 2TB internal hard drive, the HDD maker is now producing and shipping the record capacity HDD. However, the new drive is so far only available through Mwave Australia.
The 2TB drive carries Western Digital's GreenPower moniker, an eco-friendly designation WD claims represents a 4-5 watt savings over standard desktop drives. According to Western Digital's product page, the new drive sips up to 7.4W during read/write operations, 4W at idle, and 0.97W during sleep or standby. Other specs for the WD20EADS include a 7200RPM spindle speed and 32MB of cache.
The drive sells for AU$378, which converts to about $250USD. No word yet on U.S. availability or pricing.
Tom's Hardwarereports that Western Digital will be first to market with a 2TB drive. The WD20EADS is a part of WD's GreenPower series, and uses four 500GB platters. Other specs include 32MB of cache and a seek time of 8.9ms.
Although Tom's Hardware reports that the drive will run at 5400RPM or 7200RPM, you should take the claim of 7200RPM with a grain of salt until we get our hands on actual hardware for testing. As this analysis from SilentPC on the first GreenPower drive indicates, GreenPower drives normally run at the slower speed.
How much will the first 2TB drive set you back? Around $210-240, rumors say, but we'll all know for sure when the drive hits retail shelves later this week. Will you be lining up for the first 2TB drive, or would you rather have a couple of 1TB drives? Join us after the break and sound off.
Sometimes it’s OK not to take the medal stand in the race to get a product out first. Take the case of Western Digital’s new 5,400rpm Scorpio Blue 500GB notebook drive. It’s the fourth 500GB mobile drive to hit the market, after Hitachi’s Travelstar 5K500, Fujitsu’s MHZ2 BT, and Samsung’s Spinpoint M6, but the Scorpio is, arguably, better than its competitors.
Fujitsu will have to wait longer to get rid of its blighted hard disk drive business as talks between the Japanese company and Western Digital failed to bear any results. Kuniaki Nozoe, Fujitsu’s President, stated in the most unequivocal fashion possible that the deal is off. According to him, the talks fell off after Western Digital refused to accede to Fujitsu’s demands.
Fujitsu was keen on selling its Japanese plants and the ones abroad as a bundle. It even insisted upon most of the people employed in its hard drive business retaining their jobs. According to a Japanese newspaper, the asking price was $550 million.
"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes speeding down the highway." - Andrew Tanenbaum
Western Digital's bringing back the sneakernet with a media player that displays video, audio, and photos from your USB devices on your TV - no networking required.
In fact, the WD TV HD Media Player doesn't have any networking capabilities at all. Instead, this little device plays files from your WD Passport (or other USB devices, although WD would love it if you used their portable hard drives) on your TV screen, in glorious 1080p resolution.
Western Digital's making a plea to those who are concerned about the environment yet still need oodles of hard drive space. The company's new 1TB Caviar Green drive delivers on both fronts. WD stuffs three 333GB platters in its new drive along with a beefy 32MB of cache, the most currently available on any consumer desktop drive. The company says the platter density and large cache help reduce the power draw by up to 20 percent while increasing performance by 10 percent.
But it's the performance that will have power users feeling the wrong kind of green. The new Caviar checks in with a poky 5400RPM spindle speed, trading off raw performance for noise management and power savings. Price becomes another trade off with WD setting the MSRP to $219, a good chunk higher than what many other 1TB drives are commanding on Newegg. Whether or not the new Green Caviar falls more in line with the competition on the street remains to be seen.
Western Digital, the second largest hard drive maker in the universe, is reportedly in discussions with Fujitsu to purchase its hard drive business. If it goes through, the acquisition would likely propel WD ahead of Seagate, who holds the top spot.
According to reports in Japan, Fujitsu would be willing to sell off its plants for somewhere between 70 billion and 100 billion yen, which equates to roughly $660 million to $944 million in US dollars. Such a move would be unprecedented and would qualify as one of the largest business unit sell-offs for a Japanese electronics company ever.
Fujitsu, who ranks No. 6 in hard drive manufacturing, has been struggling and it could get even worse if SSDs continue their march into the mainstream market. Reportedly the company is already looking to focus solely on its commercial customer business (Lenovo is mulling whether or not to pounce on Fujitsu's consumer section), so it might not be a matter of if, but when and to whom.
Monday, Western Digital joined Seagate in breaking the half-terabyte barrier for portable hard disks, with its rollout of two new 500GB portable hard disks, My Passport Essential and My Passport Elite. For those with slightly lower capacity requirements (and a bit less ready cash), WD also offers these drives in 400GB (and lower) capacities.
My Passport Essential's 500GB version costs $199.99, compared to My Passport Elite's $219.99, while the 400GB versions run $179.99 and $199.99 respectively. As we told you in our review of the 320GB version of My Passport Elite back in April , the Elite and Essential drives differ primarily in cosmetics and software bundle: Elite offers backup and file-sync software as well as the MioNet remote access program (which we liked), while Essential offers only file-sync software.
However, Elite now offers an additional feature: plug it into a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, and you can play media files stored on the Elite through your console. Elite offers a 5-year limited warranty, while Essential's limited warranty is only 3 years.
To learn how WD's My Passport Essential and Elite drives compare to Seagate's new FreeAgent|Go drives feature-wise, join us after the jump.
I have a brand-new rig that sports two WD Raptors in a mirrored array. I wanted the speed of the Raptors and the convenience of a mirrored array. But I wonder if a mirrored or striped array (1+0, 0+1, or some other RAID number) using four 7,200rpm drives would be faster than the above array. And how would the price compare?
Delicious, speedy answers for David after the jump.