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Seagate 7200.11 1.5TB HDD  (Source: Seagate)
Seagate 1.5TB HDD uses four platters

It has only been about a year and a half since the first 1TB hard drives began to hit the market -- Hitachi was the first to unveil its 1TB HDD in January of 2007.

Just this week Hitachi unveiled its second generation 1TB HDD with a 43% power savings compared to the first generation. The Hitachi drive uses three platters to get the 1TB capacity and save energy. Today, Seagate announced the world’s first 1.5TB desktop hard drive called the Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB.

As you can gather by the name, the drive spins at 7,200 RPM and uses four platters to reach the massive 1.5TB capacity. Seagate says that this is the largest increase in storage capacity in the last 50-years and the 500GB increase in capacity is thanks to improved perpendicular magnetic recording technology.

Along with the 1.5TB 3.5-inch desktop HDD, Seagate also announced new 500GB 2.5-inch HDDs for use in notebooks. The 500GB notebook drives will ship in 5,400 and 7,200 rpm varieties. The drives are known as the Momentus 5400.6 and Momentus 7200.4 HDDs. The 5,400 RPM drive uses an 8MB cache and the 7,200 drive has a 16MB cache.

Seagate executive VP and general manager of Personal Computer Business Michael Wingert said in a statement, “Organizations and consumers of all kinds worldwide continue to create, share and consume digital content at levels never before seen, giving rise to new markets, new applications and demand for desktop and notebook computers with unprecedented storage capacity, performance and reliability. Seagate is committed to powering the next generation of computing today with the planet’s fastest, highest-capacity and most reliable storage solutions.”

Seagate announced in 2006 that it expected capacity of HDDs to hit 2.5TB by 2009. The Seagate 1TB HDD was announced a bit over a year ago in June 2007.

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Gotta love marketing
By DeuceHalo on 7/10/2008 2:03:01 PM , Rating: 4
Seagate says that this is the largest increase in storage capacity in the last 50-years...

*scratches head* What kind of hard drives were they making in 1958? Why not go ahead and claim it was the largest increase in storage capacity in the last 250 years?

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Oregonian2 on 7/10/2008 2:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
They were extremely large physically and using drums instead of platters that I recall. As well as being very spendy and low capacity by current standards (as ours will be described in 50 years).

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Master Kenobi on 7/10/2008 2:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. You actually pulled the platters out and put them in a protective film and stored them. It was cheaper this way than getting entire drive units. LOL! My how the times have changed.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By afkrotch on 7/11/2008 7:31:54 AM , Rating: 2
Some locations still use RAMACs, as it's been cheaper to continue using them, then replacing them. For the most part though, they are long gone. Last one I've seen still being used was in 2001. We bought the RAMAC to replace our really really old DASDs.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Generic Guy on 7/10/2008 2:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
We actually had one of those old disk platters awhile ago, from the early 70's. It was about a yard across in diameter, and pretty heavy. When they said 'mount' the device, they meant the operator literally lifting a platter into the drive spindle unit to get it ready. This particular one had a bad head crash, with physical grooves worn into the metal surface. Pops had it stowed in the garage as a momento.

Anyway, we had thought about putting it onto a sturdy post and making it into a little coffee table or something.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Polynikes on 7/10/2008 3:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
Holy crap, I want one! I never realized how large the platters used to be.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 5:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
The first HD-platter used in DK was made by IBM. Its ~2" thick(!) and a diameter of ~1 meter and a weight of ~200 Kg. The amount of storage - hold Your breath - 2 MB :)))

(It can be seen in the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen).

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Souka on 7/10/2008 5:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
The US put a man on the moon, with a flight computer boasting 32K of ram... uber massive for the day.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Clauzii on 7/11/2008 2:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
And I think i read that the calculating capacity was approx. like a C64 :)) Yes, very great accomplishment indeed!

RE: Gotta love marketing
By rollakid on 7/10/2008 7:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
"Hey dude! How's your new HDD?"
"Pretty cool, now I got a ton of storage! *happy*"

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Clauzii on 7/11/2008 2:23:37 AM , Rating: 3

- "Does it work?"
- "Yes!.....", *click - discs spins up*
- "And the noise from those 5 washingmachinesized motors, I tell You: Pure music :)"
- "What??"
- "TECH-WHAT???"

*minutes passed by and the whinning sound of the motors was getting pretty obvious now!*

10 minutes later the platters had stabilized, and I was dropped dead by the 130 dBs of the klacking heads.



It's amazing how technoligy has evolved. And then we whine over some 5% slower something ;)

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Clauzii on 7/12/2008 3:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, someone didn't like our jokes :-/

RE: Gotta love marketing
By rollakid on 7/14/2008 8:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
I remember your's a 4 before this too :-/

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Leirith on 7/10/2008 11:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking of head crashes, my former computer teacher used to tell of one that resulted in a shard of a platter flying across the room and being lodged in a wall, where it was left for posterity. Data storage used to be dangerous business.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Clauzii on 7/11/2008 3:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
Me and a friend once did a roll on the floor for fun. I have never in my life seen anything dissapear that fast. seriously. And we are talking 4200RMPs. Imagine a VelociRaptor at 10.000...

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Diosjenin on 7/10/2008 2:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Good question. It can't be percentage increase - the last 50% percentage increase was the 500GB to 750GB jump circa a few years ago. It could be overall capacity increase - a 500GB jump in one generation would obviously be the largest on record - but then what happened like that 50 years ago?

Does anybody know the *specific* platter density on these things? It may be that there's just enough actual percent difference because of an obscure platter density to market it as being slightly over a 50% increase...

RE: Gotta love marketing
By retrospooty on 7/10/2008 9:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
It was just a bad way of saying it... He should have said "in the 50 year history of hard drives" or something similar.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By soxfan on 7/11/2008 7:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
Its probably the largest increase in recording density per square inch in a marketed device.

I examined patent applications drawn to magnetic media for the better part of 4 years, and am proud to say I issued many of the patents that are now the basis of Seagate's perpendiuclar hard drives.

Granted, this was several years ago, but the applications I examined were quoting storage densities of 20-50 GB per square inch. Those numbers seem in line with current products. E.g., one 3.5 inch platter has an area of ~9.6 square inches. If Seagate is using 4 platters to reach 1500 GB, then each platter stors 375 GB, or roughly 39 GB per square inch.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By amanojaku on 7/10/2008 2:32:48 PM , Rating: 3
The first hard drive debuted in 1956 as the IBM 350. Additionally, the comment described STORAGE increases, which includes hard disks, as well as other formats. This IS the largest storage capacity increase for a single device ever, absolutely (500GB) and relatively (50%.)

RE: Gotta love marketing
By Byte on 7/10/2008 6:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
That's a lot of data to lose when one of these crashes.

RE: Gotta love marketing
By RjBass on 7/10/2008 11:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think they were something like this one

By MERKJONES on 7/10/2008 1:47:25 PM , Rating: 1
With the release of this new drive, why haven't they finally upped the RPM and made 10,000 a standard as opposed to 7200? Or even 15,000 while they are at it? It might be some low level hardware bandwidth issue that I am not to privy on, but this would be good to know.

By CosmoJoe on 7/10/2008 1:56:41 PM , Rating: 3
Faster RPM means more heat and noise. For general use drives the trade-off is probably not there.

The better question would be, why is WD the only manufacturer to offer a 10k SATA drive (the Raptor)....

By ImSpartacus on 7/10/2008 2:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well The velociraptor is a 2.5in drive so it is barely louder, or warmer than 3.5in 7200rpm drives (if at all).

I'm surprised that more desktop 2.5in 7200rpm drives with capacties between 500GB and 1000GB. If laptop 2.5in drives can hit 500GB, desktop ones (thicker drive) should be able to hit at least 750GB.

What I want to know is how they are getting to 1500GB with 4 platters. That's 375GB platters. I thought the largest platters were 333.3GB ones used in 1000GB drives.

By stryfe on 7/10/2008 2:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
...the 500GB increase in capacity is thanks to improved perpendicular magnetic recording technology.

This would indicate they've made new platters. The only question is how big the new platters are. As you said, they have to be 375GB to hit 1.5TB in 4 platters. I wonder if they're 400GB which would allow 2TB with 5 of them?

By coldpower27 on 7/13/2008 7:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
The thing though is that with this technology we can upgrade the 750GB models out now to 2 platters, like the WD 640GB which has been the highest 2 platter model to date.

I so hope Seagate or Hitachi release new 750GB models.

By pattycake0147 on 7/10/2008 3:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
In another article it says...
The drive is known as the Deskstar 7K1000.B and the main feature is the use of three platters that each store 374GB of data.

Seagate is probably using the same technology here.

By JonnyDough on 7/11/2008 4:44:04 AM , Rating: 2
If they increased capacity per platter, I want to see what the single platter 374GB drive is like. It should be fast, energy efficient, and VERY cool. Literally.

I have two Seagate ST3250410AS in raid-1 in my PC now and they're nice and quiet. They use 2 heads and one disc. It will be interesting to compare these new drives with higher capacity against my current drives. 374GB on a single platter is nothing to scoff at.

I still have an old, recently non-working (I accidentally dropped it once about 12" and it no longer worked), =( Toshiba 130MB notebook drive. I have a thinner but louder 4GB Fujitsu notebook drive too that still works! But it's far too loud to be kept installed in my desktop comp. I have it adapted so I can access it though if I want. =)

By soxfan on 7/11/2008 7:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
Given that the Deskstar is a Hitachi drive, and Hitachi and Seagate are competitors, I doubt they are using the same technology per se. In fact, I know for certain that both Hitachi and Seagate have developed their own flavors of perpenicular magnetic recording media. Thus, they are probably using their own proprietary technology.

By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 5:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they are getting ready to SSD? - I hope :)

By HrilL on 7/10/2008 2:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
There are more complexities then just putting in a faster motor. The read and write heads have to be able to work at the faster speed as well. That is one of the reasons why the densities on the WD 10k rpm drives are less than that of 7200rpm drives. Actually that goes for pretty much all high rpm drives. Be is SCSI, SATA, or fiber Channel.

By tjr508 on 7/10/2008 6:29:58 PM , Rating: 4
while we are at it, why not 10 cylinder motors in all cars. After all, the technology is there...

By rollakid on 7/10/2008 8:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
LOL makes perfect comparison.

Cylinders is to platters.
Storage Capacity is to displacement.
RPM is to.. er.. RPM.

A certain engine/hdd dimension can only hold that much cylinder/platter, it's physically limited.

Storage capacity is limited by technology. I wonder if it is okay to say that all the fancy new ways to store more into one platter would be considered as forced induction...

RPM would be limited too for general use, just like engine, you can't install pneumatic valve train system into every street car so they can run over 15,000 rpm. Not to mention wear and tear and the heat it produces.

SSD are like electric motors.

Those hybrid HDD's are like hybrid cars...


By DigitalFreak on 7/10/2008 6:46:52 PM , Rating: 3
With the release of this new drive, why haven't they finally upped the RPM and made 10,000 a standard as opposed to 7200? Or even 15,000 while they are at it? It might be some low level hardware bandwidth issue that I am not to privy on, but this would be good to know.

Drive makers don't want a 10k RPM SATA drive taking sales from their higher margin 10k & 15k SAS/SCSI drives. Western Digital has no SAS/SCSI drive business, so they have no qualms about putting out a 10k SATA model.

By soxfan on 7/11/2008 7:52:44 AM , Rating: 1
One word, "microwaviness." It is very hard to make a 3.5 inch platter flat enough such that it doesn't wobble when rotated at 10k and 15k. That is why most high speed drives use 2.5 inch drives or less.

I can provide a detailed explanation if you want, but basically it is a signal to noise issue. The intensity of a magnetic field exponentially decreases with distance from its source. Thus, if a HD platter wobbles as it spins, at certain points it will be closer to the read/write head, whereas at others it will be farther away. Given that a read/write head is generally spun extremely close to the surface of the disk, that wobble can result in a 2 fold or even greater change in distance from the read head. Assuming a 2 fold increase in distance, that would correlate to roughly a 4 fold decrease in magnetic field intensity (signal).

By soxfan on 7/11/2008 7:59:25 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why I got rated down, but all one needs to do to confirm what I said in my post is google the term "microwaviness." It is a term of art in the hard disk community.

By Aloonatic on 7/11/2008 12:15:34 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you or the op got rated down?*

The OP just seemed to be asking a reasonable question which was surely worth reading?

Oh well, I guess the DT massive have spoken =)

*I rated you both back up by the way :)

According to the CEO of Seagate
By FITCamaro on 7/10/2008 3:12:52 PM , Rating: 3
More porn for the masses!

RE: According to the CEO of Seagate
By Smartless on 7/10/2008 3:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
Store every porn star out there and their mothers.... wait. ew.

RE: According to the CEO of Seagate
By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 5:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
OK - done! What should I fill in on the remaining 1.2 Ts? :O

RE: According to the CEO of Seagate
By Sunday Ironfoot on 7/10/2008 6:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
Install Crysis

RE: According to the CEO of Seagate
By RjBass on 7/11/2008 1:15:51 AM , Rating: 2
At this point i know the Crysis jokes are getting absurd, but they still crack me up.

RE: According to the CEO of Seagate
By Clauzii on 7/11/2008 3:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
Well, at least I haven't seen that one before, so a ROFL from me :))))

By rasmith260 on 7/10/2008 3:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
While I love to see the increase in capacity it seems to me as these hard drives get larger and the price per GB comes down, the real cost of these drives actually doubles, because you’d have to be crazy to buy just one; that’s simply too much data in one place without redundancy which means you have to buy two (to mirror) or be forced to maintain several smaller drives as back-ups, which is why I’m really hoping for improvements with SSD which have no moving parts……

By TomZ on 7/10/2008 4:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
The situation you describe, having to back up data stored on a HDD, always existed with any size HDD. So if your preferred method is to clone to another drive, you always needed to buy them in pairs...or use RAID mirroring.

Also, SSD doesn't solve the problem, since they are not guaranteed 100% reliable. And even if they were, you'd still want to back up important data to cover faults like user error, e.g., I just deleted a file by accident.

By xphile on 7/10/2008 11:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yes the situation has always existed, but using HDD as the "preferred method" is become less a preference and more a prerequisite.

For a long time a CDR and then DVDR could get into the ballpark of being good backup mediums. Now per Gb, an awful lot of HDD are almost, or as cost effective, as DVD writable for storage - and a whole lot faster on and off the medium.

With drives from Seagate all having 5 year warranties now I've found it a no brainer, all my backup is to external HDD and the stuff I need to transfer about goes onto Corsair GT USB stick. Im using Vantec NexStar Dual bay SATA enclosures - up to 2 TB in each box. Important stuff is on 2 drives plus the original.

Where I would see these drives as a great improvement would not be in the drive needing to be backed up - but in the drive doing the backing up - whereby a number of smaller drives can all be contained on the one master backup.

Of course the cost factor is higher when they are newer - but it all works uniformly across the board - new drives push the older ones down in price.

Certainly Hard disks are increasing in size and dropping in price far faster than it would seem that Bluray is likely to, so I cant see optical storage coming back as a viable backup alternative for people like me anytime soon.

SSD is a nice idea - but its all about performance really - and at a high price, so I agree its not in the game there yet.

By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 5:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Hear! I would go bananas if I had 1.5 Ts disappear. Rather 4x500 then. In Raid :)

By KeithP on 7/10/2008 1:55:48 PM , Rating: 5
From the press release...

Shipments of the Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB are set to begin August 2008. Momentus 5400.6 and 7200.4 hard drives are to begin shipping in Q4 calendar 2008.


By kzrssk on 7/10/2008 2:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just imagining 5 of these arrayed together. 7.5 TB, or 6 with parity. :D That's insane for home storage.

RE: Mmmm...
By rollakid on 7/10/2008 8:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
And seeing price drop in storage over the months or years before you can fill up your 7.5TB? No thanks. I'll just get the best value per GB harddisk I can find at any one time for storage purpose. And when a new bigger and cheaper harddisk comes around I'll just switch and copy everything over.

But the idea's cool though, you have 30-40 times more storage than an average home user does.

1 Tb
By Silver2k7 on 7/10/2008 6:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well finally they got to larger than 1 Tb formatted ;)

RE: 1 Tb
By Silver2k7 on 7/10/2008 6:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
finally you can say that you have a disc with 1 Tb (1024 Gb).. the old ones where *only* 937 Gb or somesuch =)

Its not 1.5TB
By NovoRei on 7/10/2008 5:39:16 PM , Rating: 1
Actually its 1.39TB. We need another HD with 120GB.

RE: Its not 1.5TB
By TSS on 7/10/2008 5:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
heh yeah... in the early days, 1gb = 1000 mb wasn't felt that hard... ment 3 less programs or something. by now it's grown to another entire HDD...

i wonder if they pulled the same trick again? i haven't had a 1TB+ HDD yet so, have they said 1TB = 1000 GB?

Good news :)
By Nik00117 on 7/10/2008 3:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ok first off they said its the largest increase of storage space in 50 years, becuase it is true. Granted the one before that was also the largest increase in storage space in 50 years too. In fact the next one will also possiblity be the largest storage capacity increase in 50 years. Fact of the matter is, its just a bunch of advertising.

Anyways I'm gald, this will bring down the costs of 1TB drives. I have a habit of staying one generation down from current when it comes to HDDs. I currently own a 250 320, two 500s and a 750.

So i'm looking forward to the price drop, granted I'll prob eba nother year before I have to get another drive.

Seagate's roadmap
By Doormat on 7/10/2008 4:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
Seems to be pretty well thought out.

You see 3-platter drives with the new higher density (the launch of the .11s) at 1TB, then we see a bump to 4 platters and 1.5TB.

So next year we'll probably see a bump to 500GB/platter and the same 1.5TB drives, with an eventual bump to 2T/4p.

wow 1 500 Gb or 1 500 000 Mb
By jobidou on 7/12/2008 10:58:32 AM , Rating: 2
I still have one of my first computer at home (a Victor 9000). Inside sit a big fat 10 Mb full height 5.25 Hd.

This HD cost me over 2000$. 300 000 000$ to get a 1.5 Terabytes.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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