Print 11 comment(s) - last by Nichols1986.. on Dec 9 at 9:11 AM

Seagate advances the HDD in an increasingly SSD-friendly market

Seagate is the largest hard disk drive manufacturer in the world. They have started to enter the SSD market, but most of their sales are still focused on the desktop and enterprise markets.

The company is growing market share in the mobile sector, thanks in part to their 7200 RPM offerings. However, most notebooks and netbooks still come with slower 5400 RPM HDDs in order to appease price-sensitive consumers.

Seagate is planning to unveil a new 2.5 inch 640GB Momentus hard disk drive at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. It utilizes a dual-platter design, with 320GB per disk. Seagate has been able to increase the areal density to 507Gb per square inch, a 29% increase over the 394Gb per square inch of its older 500GB offerings.

The drive comes with 8MB of cache and spins at 5400 RPM, although an upgraded drive spinning at 7200 RPM and featuring more cache is inevitable. It connects through a 3Gbps SATA interface.

Seagate is also planning to introduce the world's first 7mm 2.5 inch drive at CES, 25 percent thinner than the 9.5mm standard. It is targeted squarely at netbooks and thin notebooks, and will enable it to compete against SSDs and 1.8 inch HDDs used in that segment. Laptops like the MacBook Air and Lenovo X301 could end up using these drives.

A single platter with 380Gb per square inch areal density is used, with capacities of 160GB and 250GB.

"This new slimline product allows our OEM customers to continue to reduce the thickness and weight of their notebook platforms," stated Robert Whitmore, Seagate's Chief Technology Officer.

Seagate's G-Force Protection will be available as an option on both drives. It uses a sensor to detect when the hard drives are in free-fall and parks the drive heads to prevent damage. A three year waranty is standard.

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By Guspaz on 12/8/2009 2:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't the most exciting news. At 9.5mm (standard notebook height), there are already 640GB models on the market (WD makes them, for example), so that's not new, just another competitor on the market.

12.5mm models come in at up to 1TB, although only larger laptops and server-oriented stuff can handle it.

7mm is somewhat news, I guess, but if you really want to get small, 1.8" drives is where it's at.

RE: Meh.
By KeithP on 12/8/2009 2:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing. WD has a 640GB, 2.5", 9.5mm, 5400 RPM HD now. Maybe when Seagate rolls out its 640, WD will move theirs to 7200 RPM to differentiate it.

First vendor to 640GB and 7200 RPM will get my money.


RE: Meh.
By amanojaku on 12/8/2009 2:57:09 PM , Rating: 5
Cheap bastards. Just take out a home equity loan and get yourselves SSDs. :-)

RE: Meh.
By therealnickdanger on 12/8/2009 3:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
Totally worth it. I got myself into a nice ARM. LOL

RE: Meh.
By plewis00 on 12/9/2009 4:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're missing the point. 2.5" hard disks are MUCH faster than 1.8" drives and the disparity between 2.5" and 3.5" hard disk speeds is less than that between 1.8" and 2.5".

So a single platter, high-density 2.5" HDD would most likely be a lot faster and offer much better value than a 1.8" equivalent. And spinning one platter means less rotational inertia which should lead to faster speeds, longer battery life, less wear and higher reliability.

Face it, the hard disk will be around for a while, might as well embrace it.

By eddieroolz on 12/8/2009 3:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is starting to sound really good. The day I can cram 1TB into my laptop at 7200rpm is the day I'll upgrade my 320GB 5400rpm drive.

I'm already running out of space on this thing. Downloading too many things at once, and I can't just tack on a second hard drive :(

RE: Perhaps
By StevoLincolnite on 12/8/2009 6:57:03 PM , Rating: 3
and I can't just tack on a second hard drive :(

You could if you got a 2.5" USB bus-powered drive, not as elegant but it gets the job done. :)

I also don't see the massive craze over 7200RPM drives, a 1 Terabyte 5400rpm drive will out-perform a 120gb 7200RPM drive simply because of the density improvements. (The head doesn't have to move as much to obtain the same amount of data compared to a smaller capacity drive.), plus in a notebook unless the 7200RPM drives consumes about the same amount of power as the 5400rpm drives then you are effectively throwing battery life away. (Unless you need the performance.)

By iamright on 12/8/2009 2:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
"although a upgraded drive spinning at"
I'm excited for this drive to come out.

By Smartless on 12/8/2009 3:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
The part where he was talking about the "radically advanced" processing chip from the old terminator. I know basically all ram chips look like that but still makes me laugh.

By Nichols1986 on 12/9/2009 9:11:47 AM , Rating: 1
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