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Seagate is on shipment target with 3TB HDD with three platters

Seagate has announced a new storage solution that is the first hard drive in the world to hit the 1TB per platter mark.

The new 3.5” Seagate Barracuda desktop HDD breaks the 1TB areal density barrier and will help to meet the demand for more storage capacity with the glut of digital media that is consumed by your average person today. The new HDD will have 3TB of storage with three platters inside.

Seagate notes that it is on target to ship the drive, but offers no details on what that target ship date is.

“Organizations of all sizes and consumers worldwide are amassing digital content at light speed, generating immense demand for storage of digital content of every imaginable kind,” said Rocky Pimentel, Seagate Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. “We remain keenly focused on delivering the storage capacity, speed and manageability our customers need to thrive in an increasingly digital world.”

Seagate also took the time to talk about its GoFlex Desk products that are reaching 3TB storage capacity using an areal density on internal drives of 625GB per square inch. That is the industry's highest capacity per square inch of space. The GoFlex external HDDs will work with Windows and Mac computers and come with an NTFS driver for Mac computers.

Pricing is unannounced on both the GoFlex and the 3TB Barracuda.

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By Alphafox78 on 5/3/2011 4:44:12 PM , Rating: 4
I think I will let someone else be the ginea pig on this one after the fiasco with the current crop of 2TB drives and their reliability..

RE: hold
By therealnickdanger on 5/3/2011 5:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Which fiasco? I have 4 2TB HDDs and haven't had a single issue... I'm not asking rhetorically. If there's some problem I should know about, I'd like to know.

RE: hold
By semo on 5/3/2011 5:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
The general perception around the net is that you have to keep RMAing 2TB drives every couple of months. I'm sure that it isn't that bad but it seems that 2TB drives in general are not as reliable as older/smaller drives.

HDD makers have to make too many compromises to attain such low prices IMO.

RE: hold
By Samus on 5/3/2011 6:15:26 PM , Rating: 5
I bought a bunch of 1.5TB Seagate Cuda 7200.11's when they released over two years ago, and 2TB shortly after, and although one of the 1.5TB drives needed the SD1A firmware update, it never "hid" my data like some people reported. Basically Seagate had a simple firmware bug, and had end-users been coherent enough to know how to do a firmware update (easier than a BIOS flash) then the problem would have never been an issue and Seagate would have never had to do data recovery.

Although I do notice more SMART errors across the board on Seagate drives I come across, I haven't seen one fail in a VERY long time...7200.9's seemed to fail here and there circa 2007-2008.

Although nothing, even WD's, have as legendary of reliability as Seagate 7200.7's, remember that 7200.7's were among the lowest performing drives of the time.

People give Seagate so much smack when they're so willing to turn a blind-eye to Hitachi and it's Deathstar line that spanned two entire generations of drives form the 75GXP to 60GXP. It was so serious there was a class-action lawsuit that ended up with over a million members. Even the XBOX RROD hasn't had that many confirmed failures.

But personally, I use WD's these days solely based on performance of the Black Edition and low power consumption of the Caviar Green. I haven't had a problem with either of them.

RE: hold
By brshoemak on 5/3/2011 9:49:16 PM , Rating: 3
People give Seagate so much smack when they're so willing to turn a blind-eye to Hitachi and it's Deathstar line that spanned two entire generations of drives form the 75GXP to 60GXP. It was so serious there was a class-action lawsuit that ended up with over a million members. Even the XBOX RROD hasn't had that many confirmed failures. But personally, I use WD's these days solely based on performance of the Black Edition and low power consumption of the Caviar Green. I haven't had a problem with either of them.

To be completely accurate, those GXP 'Deathstars' were not Hitachi drives, they were IBM. Of course Hitachi bought IBM's hard drive division so they absorbed it but seem to have improved their QC quite a bit.

Like you I still prefer WD and also have a couple Black drives (RAID1) and a couple Green Drives (RAID5 + Tivo Premiere), but the Hitachi acting as my external backup drive has been rock solid for some time. The fact that it was only $50 for 2TB after a couple rebates wasn't bad either.

RE: hold
By Lazarus Dark on 5/3/2011 10:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
I jumped on several of those 1.5tb drives when they released as well. One just quit working after a couple months and I had to RMA. But the others are still going, as is the rma replacement drive. It happens, I think people got a bit out of hand in that situation. I RMA'd and they replaced, end of story. It happens, but the fixed it, so there shouldn't have been so much flack about it.

RE: hold
By semo on 5/4/2011 3:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
Great post.

However, we were discussing 2TB drives in general and not older/smaller drives.

Hitachi drives are fine today and no worse than their competitors in terms of reliability.

RE: hold
By Motoman on 5/4/2011 9:19:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone "turns a blind eye" to the Deathstar fiasco. I don't know of anyone who doesn't remember it, and still make fun of it.

And as noted before, it had nothing to do with Hitachi. It was all IBM, well before the Hitachi buyout. And indeed, probably had a lot to do with IBM getting out of the hard drive business.

RE: hold
By kleinma on 5/3/2011 6:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
So a drive with more physical sectors on it is more likely to go bad than a drive with less physical sectors??? that is amazing.

I have a Windows Home Server with 6 2TB WD green media drives, had it for over a year and a half, and not a single issue.

RE: hold
By Uncle on 5/4/2011 12:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
I have both WD and Seagate and retired a few maxtors Maxtors . Most Hardware manufacturers have a built in to cost a percent failure rate. I believe depending on Volume it between 5% to 10%, so one can expect a failure of a few hard drives. No biggy just rma and know that out of millions that are sold a few will fail.

RE: hold
By riottime on 5/3/2011 6:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
i have several 2 gb, 1 gb, and 1.5 gb western digital drives for many years. none of them have given me any problems whatsoever. however, i don't buy hitachi due to several bad experiences with their hdd (desktop and notebook) as well as seagate drives. although, i still have an ancient 200 gb seagate drive that i use for external storage that hasn't failed on me yet.

RE: hold
By StevoLincolnite on 5/4/2011 8:12:57 AM , Rating: 3
i have several 2 gb, 1 gb, and 1.5 gb western digital drives for many years.

You could just get an 8gb USB flash drive and replace the lot, less noise, less heat, less power consumption and probably more reliability. ;)

/joke at the simple "gb" mistake.

RE: hold
By Angstromm on 5/3/2011 7:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
A good way to see the general consensus and reports on drives of all sorts, is to go to Very cool sight and they compile enduser stats on drives. Huge database, last time I looked.

RE: hold
By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 12:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately they are quite lacking in recent model HDDs, last couple I checked for weren't represented at all.

RE: hold
By tastyratz on 5/3/2011 5:48:59 PM , Rating: 3
no fiasco here, I have 4 2tb spinpoints in raid and I couldn't be happier. Wherever there is a fiasco I never received the invitation.

RE: hold
By FS on 5/3/2011 5:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung is not the same as Seagate, YET. 2TB Samsung drives are basically the top notch drives that you can get. It's Western Digital and Seagate that suck in 1TB+ capacity HDDs

RE: hold
By JW.C on 5/7/2011 10:19:01 PM , Rating: 2
Really, and yet in reviews the best overall drives available today are made by western digital and seagate.

I myself have always used either WD or Seagate. Oh I have tried other brands, but I find the other brands like samsung to be your basic POS quality.

RE: hold
By rgsaunders on 5/3/2011 5:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
I assume that you are referring to Seagate drives, I am currently using 4X 2TB Hitachi SATA II drives in my backup server and 3X 2TB Hitachi SATA III drives in my desktop, not a bit of problems with any of them.

RE: hold
By Azsen on 5/4/2011 5:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. My 1.5TB Seagate External was a pile of rubbish, made lots of clicking noises but strangely operated normally for 6 months. There were lots of recalls on those 1.TB models and I took the opportunity to get a Western Digital 2TB USB 3 drive. Will not buy a Seagate again.

Am I the only one bugged by this?
By MrBungle123 on 5/3/2011 10:11:21 PM , Rating: 3
The new 3.5” Seagate Barracuda desktop HDD breaks the 1TB areal density barrier

I hate how so many people that write articles about technology pick these arbitrary numbers and call it a "barrier"... There is nothing magical or way out the ordinary as it pertains to the evolution of computer hardware that is related to 1TB 3.5" HDD platters. Why not call it the "1TB/platter mark" or say that they "reached a milestone with 1TB platters"?

It really is nothing like when aircraft broke the "sound barrier" which actually was a "barrier" because before they knew how to do it aircraft would lose control and break into pieces. That goes for 4GHz processors, desktop systems with 16GB of RAM, the theoretical max capacity of BDROM, the number of TFLOPS a GPGPU can crunch, and efficiency of power supplies too... Not "barriers" just the limits of the current generation hardware with no intrinsic physiological reason why they can't be improved upon, refering to these things in this way sounds moronic to anyone with half a brain that thinks about it for more than 2 seconds.

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By Brandon Hill on 5/3/2011 10:17:08 PM , Rating: 3
Seagate's actual press release:

"Seagate Breaks Areal Density Barrier: Unveils World’s First Hard Drive Featuring 1 Terabyte Per Platter"

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By MrBungle123 on 5/4/2011 10:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
That doesn't make it any better. It's still just as dumb when seagate does it.

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By ppardee on 5/5/2011 7:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well, there's a bit more to making larger hard drives than jamming more magic dust on a platter. You have problems with corruption if you stick too many 'bits' on a platter. The EM field used to flip the bits can bleed into the adjacent bits... that's probably not a technically correct description of the phenomenon. Google superparamagnetic effect.

Getting 1TB of data onto a single platter is a HUGE accomplishment and its more than a simple incremental step. I don't see why calling a previously unattainable point 'breaking a barrier' is so annoying.

By MrBungle123 on 5/6/2011 11:00:35 AM , Rating: 2
It's annoying because there is nothing in the laws of nature that was preventing the creation of a HDD platter that could store 1TB of data. 1TB was picked for the capacity of the platter for marketing reasons.

It would be just as hard to build a platter that stored 999.99GB or 1.001TB which means in the grand scheme of things the number is meaningless. If we as humans found it easier to represent our numbers with a base 12 system instead of base 10 there would be no mention of us building a platter that stored 6B4 GB even though the data storage capacity is identical. They would instead be waiting for 1000 GB (base 12) which is 1728GB (base 10) to make this announcement. In that same base 12 world however the sound barrier would still exist because it is a natural phenomenon that exists independent of how we choose to represent it.

Were there some natural effect that required us to completely rethink the way hard drives are manufactured that seemed to only be present at capacities of 1TB weather the platter was 1.8”, 2.5”, or 3.5” I would accept it being called a “barrier”. No such effect exists, so it is nonsensical to call this a barrier.

By 91TTZ on 5/4/2011 11:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
But you know you need to take companies' claims with a huge grain of salt. They're always going to make misleading claims to hype up their product.

If you're going to repeat what they say, then I can see this headline in the future:

"New Apple iPhone operates off magic". The justification: Steve Jobs says it's magic.

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By someguy123 on 5/3/2011 10:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how barrier is anymore hyperbolic than "reached a milestone".

Would you prefer "finally crawled it's way to 1TB?".

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By MrBungle123 on 5/4/2011 11:03:11 AM , Rating: 2
Would you prefer "finally crawled it's way to 1TB?".

yes I would. What is fundamentally different about workings of a hard drive platter at 1TB as opposed to one that stores 800 or 900GB? nothing. The difference is that it takes one more digit to represent it with a base 10 numbering system... thats it... not a barrier. Its like saying "electric car breaks the 100MPH barrier!" what barrier? there is none.

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By RivuxGamma on 5/4/2011 11:56:17 AM , Rating: 2
who cares?

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 1:00:46 AM , Rating: 3
People who like truth, logic, correctness... stuff like that, call it intelligence instead of repeating nonsense.

The correct title would be more like "Seagate Exceeds 1TB/Platter Areal Density". Not breaks, milestone, or barrier. They are all nonsensical words when applied to the facts stated.

RE: Am I the only one bugged by this?
By RivuxGamma on 5/5/2011 12:31:07 PM , Rating: 1
So, anal people who require that the world conforms to their very narrow views? Maybe someone who likes the correctness of a run-on sentence or improper placement of quotation marks? Maybe someone who can't understand rhetorical questions? Maybe.

Seriously, if a headline like that causes anybody to get angry, then WTF? That's not intelligence; that's bipolar disorder. I'll answer my own question, then. Who cares? Nobody that's well-functioning.

By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 4:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
If you feel things like truth, logic and correctness makes people anal, obviously any further discussion is pointless.

I wasn't angry about the headline, but it does devalue the content on the site. A title should, even if sensationalizing, at least make sense. Words have meaning, definitions, using a word contrary to its meaning is always counterproductive.

It is in fact intelligence to recognize error and learn from it, to do things in the most communicative way possible without use of non applicable hyperbole.

By 91TTZ on 5/4/2011 11:40:04 AM , Rating: 2
It is more hyperbolic because it implies that there was a barrier when in fact there was no barrier. What difference is there at 1 TB that wasn't there at 999 GB?

When the big deal was made about breaking the sound barrier there were actually reasons for it. There are effects that occur in supersonic flight that aren't present at lower speeds. But for this hard drive claim, there was no real barrier.

Why only 3tb?
By DanNeely on 5/3/2011 5:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of a marginally faster 3tb drive they'd do better to leapfrog the competition and launch the first 4 or 5tb drive instead.

RE: Why only 3tb?
By UnauthorisedAccess on 5/3/2011 7:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I'm interested in. 4 platter hdd's are common, so the fact that they're not announcing a 4TB unit is a bit strange. I always imagined hdd manufactures hanging flags in their office stating "first 1GB hdd", "first 1TB hdd", "first 32MB cache", etc.

Being the first 4TB 3.5" hdd in this day and age of "I must wget the Interwibble" would make a better headline (though I do understand that they have to hit a certain density to reach that).

RE: Why only 3tb?
By fleshconsumed on 5/4/2011 8:14:23 AM , Rating: 2
I reckon this new drive is a rebadged Samsung. Samsung was first to announce 1TB platter and Samsung drives traditionally have 3 platters max which is probably why this new "Seagate" drive only goes up to 3TB.

RE: Why only 3tb?
By Iketh on 5/4/2011 11:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure, especially considering the comments for this article, that Seagate is field-testing the new density first

RE: Why only 3tb?
By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 1:05:19 AM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily. By using fewer platters they can theoretically achieve higher profit per drive, while not devaluing their current capacity leader by introducing a higher capacity product. By waiting a while they can charge a premium for the highest capacities the industry offers then come back later with an even higher capacity model.

I'm sure they have a wee little bit of experience pricing and selling HDDs, meaning that while it could be a calculated risk, they certainly have the data to make the calculation.

By RjBass on 5/3/2011 5:41:28 PM , Rating: 3
It's great that they can do this. Now if they could just get the drives to last more then a month without SMART errors and clicks of death then all will be well with the Seagate world.

RE: Ehhh
By gfxBill on 5/3/2011 9:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
Citation please...

RE: Ehhh
By RjBass on 5/4/2011 9:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
My citation is my business. I build custom computers for people and service broken or infected computers. In the last year I have had to return 50% of the new Seagate drive I have put in machines for various errors, but mostly for SMART read errors.

RE: Ehhh
By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 1:07:53 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that one HDD company can use a different criteria than other for what is flagged as sufficient (problem) to cause a SMART error?

Put simply, two companies could produce identical HDDs that have identical problems (in a perfect world, idealized theory) but based on the firmware, one could generate more or sooner SMART errors than the other drive.

By brundall on 5/3/2011 4:57:48 PM , Rating: 1
I am not sure this breaks the 1TB barrier does it? A 3TB HDD with 3 platters = 1TB per platter.

" The new 3.5” Seagate Barracuda desktop HDD breaks the 1TB areal density barrier and will help to meet the demand for more storage capacity with the glut of digital media that is consumed by your average person today. The new HDD will have 3TB of storage with three platters inside."

RE: Eh?
By therealnickdanger on 5/3/2011 5:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
If you break the sound barrier, you only have to attain that limit, not exceed it.

RE: Eh?
By DanNeely on 5/3/2011 5:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
With all the space used for ECC, you need more than 1TB of storage space on the platter to give 1TB/platter to the user. 4k sectors greatly reduced the amount of overhead but it's still non-zero.

RE: Eh?
By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 1:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
Two words. Spare Sectors.

When a sector goes bad there are spares so the HDD can (silently to the user) reallocate the space elsewhere. To have 3TB storage capacity + spare sectors per platter, it is inevitable you have over 1TB/platter areal density, OR an additional platter for the spare sectors which wouldn't be a cost or materially effective way to solve this problem, and is not what was released as info in the press release so we also know that as another reason such a suboptimal method wouldn't be implemented.

Just Say'n
By AkuPyro on 5/3/2011 4:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
...thats a huge porn collection. Every time someone mentions a large HDD size around these neck of the woods, that is the first thing they say. It's a plus though, wonder what the life span of the first production run will be like?

RE: Just Say'n
By MrTeal on 5/3/2011 4:56:10 PM , Rating: 3
It can't be a coincidence that the quote on the bottom of the page when I opened this article was the one from Bill Watkins.
Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap -- and watch porn.

This is actually exciting news!
By jiffylube1000 on 5/4/2011 8:53:48 PM , Rating: 3
I'm hearing so much misinformation in this thread, and I think a few things need to be cleared up.

Seagate is breaking their 1TB/platter barrier, not the 1TB barrier. The 1TB desktop hard drive barrier was broken back in 2007 with Hitachi's 5 platter 7K1000.


With regards to people "beta testing" these new drives, you're basically completely missing the point. Single and dual platter drives with 1TB/platter will be fantastic drives with high, ~150MB/s transfer speeds.

The unreliable Seagates of the past were primarily the 7200.11 series, and in particular the 7200.11 1TB (4 platter version; 3 platter version to a lesser extent), and 7200.11 1.5TB. The other 7200.11's did have the same firmware bug that you can update yourself using Seagate's firmware, but were less problematic than the 3 and 4 platter drives.

The new crop of 2TB drives are mostly all 4 platters each (at 500GB) - for Seagate, WD, Hitachi and Samsung, though I think a couple companies have since switched to 3x ~667GB platters.


The current single-platter 7200.12 500GB hard drive is one of the quietest, coolest running, reliable hard drives out there. The 7200.12 1TB (2x platters) is slightly hotter and in my experience picks up a few reallocated sectors in its first year, but otherwise works great.

What a 1TB/platter drive means is that we'll have uber reliable 1TB hard drives soon, and very reliable 2TB hard drives using 2 platters. All the big HDD companies have less reliable drives once you start using 3-4 platters.

By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 1:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you for the last two paragraphs, I completely agree and was about to write the same.

Please make it stop!
By jabber on 5/4/2011 6:46:23 AM , Rating: 4
These drives scare me.

I now get customers calling me to try to back up or recover data from their HDDs. A couple of years ago that meant 10 to 40GB tops. No trouble. 4-5 DVDs and sorted.

Now I get calls from folks wanting 2TB drives with 750GB+ recovered. They then get most annoyed when I ask them if they have another drive I can copy the data to or that I will have to charge them an extra £50 for another HDD for the data.

I now tell anyone buying a HDD to make sure they buy two of them. Why?, they ask. I really hate digital data. It will be the death of us all.

Average usage
By Curt4Computers on 5/4/2011 1:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
"the glut of digital media that is consumed by your average person today"

I own a computer shop and MY "average person" has had a 40 GB drive for 6-8 years and has at least 10 GB still free! People with newer computers have larger drives, but about the same usage pattern. Most of the kids seem to be using their phones for digital media.

RE: Average usage
By mindless1 on 5/5/2011 2:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough but remember something - these are the people not savvy enough to solve their own computer problems nor know someone else they can get to do it for them.

I'd be willing to bet they also are behind the curve when it comes to HDD capacity and data stored, though I too have been brought quite a few systems where the HDD was only a fraction of the lowest capacity, current generation HDD models sold and even those weren't 70% full yet.

On the other hand more and more people are plugging in an external USB drive for supplemental storage, that you might never see or be aware of unless you probe the registry for prior volume ID allocation strings assigned to the removable media.

Not quite there yet
By chiadog on 5/4/2011 3:14:06 AM , Rating: 3
625Gb per square inch, not GB.

By fleshconsumed on 5/4/2011 8:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
Didn't Samsung announce 1TB platter first at the beginning of March?

Guess Seagate didn't buy Samsung for nothing, might also explain why they don't have firm "target" date and why it's 3TB only (Samsung drives traditionally have had 3 platters max, whereas Seagate drives went up to 5).

Barrier? What barrier?
By 91TTZ on 5/4/2011 10:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
Who said there was a barrier? What new effect comes into play at 1 TB that isn't present at 999 GB?

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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