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The thousand gigabyte-per-disk era is almost upon us

Earlier this year Seagate confirmed it would ship a 1TB hard drive before the second half of this year. With the first quarter of this year already over, the launch window for Seagate's next generation drive is rapidly shrinking.

Seagate would not confirm or deny the expectation of a new 7200.11 series this morning.  Seagate representatives responded to our inquiries stating, "We already stated earlier this year that we would have the 1TB drive before the second half of this year." 

Spanish-language site Chilehardware countered Seagate's announcement with specifications of the 11th generation Seagate Barracuda drive, which it listed as follows:
  • 1 Terabyte capacity
  • 7200RPM
  • SATA 3.0Gbps interface
  • Perpendicular recording
  • NCQ
  • 16MB of buffer
  • 4 platters
  • 8 heads
Seagate traditionally reserves new generation designations for platter advancements; the company has never released new generation indicators for storage increases alone.  However, it has been a year refresh since the last platter update so it would not be unrealistic to expect new features on the soon-to-ship devices.

Seagate replied to DailyTech stating, "There is no embargo yet." However, we were still assured that the company would fulfill its ship date promise.

Hitachi Global Storage and Seagate released 1TB hard drive promises within hours of each other last January.  Both manufacturers utilize Komag platter configurations -- Komag is the only platter manufacturer to announce 1TB designs to date.

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Too Big
By Ralph The Magician on 3/29/2007 4:18:17 PM , Rating: 5
They need to come up with some kind of new HDD solution now that they are so big. Buying a single 1TB is almost pointless. You have to buy these things in pairs and run them in RAID 1. I mean, if you actually fill a drive you stand to lose 930GB of data. Even if it's all downloads, that will takes MONTHS to restore.

IMO HDDs over 500GB need to start coming in bundles of two at some kind of discount. You'd be a fool to buy a single 1TB drive...unless your idea of a backup solution is an entire 100pk spindle of DVD+R DL discs.

RE: Too Big
By mendocinosummit on 3/29/2007 4:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
My ideal system

Primary 5-320mb Seagates in RAID (Use the 3 that I already have and buy two more)
Secondary 1TB for backup of the RAID
Tertiary 500mb for the most important of data that can never be replaced.

I currently have something of the sort but with half as much gigs and as you can see I don't truck hard drives.

RE: Too Big
By Fahlcor on 3/30/2007 12:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well for $4.95/month you can have unlimited storage

pretty cool

or free 2 GB

just my quarter


RE: Too Big
By someguy123 on 3/29/2007 4:56:33 PM , Rating: 5
That logic doesn't make any sense because you could say that for any advancement in HD storage size. Technically a on a 10gb hard drive you could lose years of work with a malfunction, but does that mean that we should all be using an array of 1gb hard drives? No. Increase in HD size can only benefit the consumer as smaller drives are reduced in price and we go into the coming high definition era. A single 1080p movie can already suck up the majority of a regular consumer's hard drive, and in four or five years I guarantee you'll see these 1tb drives filling up with gigantic PC games and the like.

if you do have data that you can't afford to lose then obviously you should have multiple backups, but saying 1tb hard drives are pointless makes no sense.

RE: Too Big
By Ralph The Magician on 3/29/2007 5:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
It makes sense because most content today is downloaded and there isn't an effective way to back it up. If you have a 120GB drive, you can backup to DVDs. If you lose some of that data, it can be redownloaded.

Backing up 930GB of data is more difficult, and redownloaded it takes...5 times longer.

RE: Too Big
By zaroba on 3/29/2007 6:10:02 PM , Rating: 2've checked every pc in the world and verified that most is downloaded? :P

you think a 1tb drive is too big...all i have to say to that is, lol.
take a look at computer advancement threw the years. the same could have been said about EVERY piece of computer hardware that ever came out since the birth of the pc.

yet, here we are useing the stuff and needing more.

businesses could use them, web hosts could use them, data centers could use them, any type of company that has lots of stuff to store could use them.

RE: Too Big
By splint on 3/29/2007 7:03:40 PM , Rating: 5
He is not saying that 1TB is too big, the point being made here is that data integrity is becoming a problem. Simply put, with a (1+)TB drive you are putting too much eggs in one basket. I completely agree with this. No one in their right mind would buy a drive this size, having the potential of being used for several years to come, without redundancy. Regardless of future usage trends, 1TB of data is still 1TB of data.

RE: Too Big
By gramboh on 3/29/2007 8:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
The argument doesn't make anymore sense than saying 500/400/320GB is 'too big'. Ignoring cost, why can't you RAID1, RAID5/6 a bunch of 1TB drives (not for backup, but for redundnacy/live integrity). Or have a separate NAS for backup.

RE: Too Big
By SmokeRngs on 3/30/2007 5:47:45 PM , Rating: 3
I'd bet you data integrity is no more a problem than it was in the past. If anything, it's probably less of a worry.

The first PC I had came with a 250 meg hard drive. My next system I built myself and had a 1.6 gig drive. That is over 6x the capacity. I still had nothing bigger than floppies to backup my stuff on. And guess what, I still backed up my important stuff to floppy.

At the time I had that 1.6 gig drive I worked in a computer shop. An order came in for a machine that I had to build. It had a 9 gig SCSI drive in it. In a way, that drive did scare me a bit as it was even larger than my 1.6. I had the same fears about data loss. Guess what, I ended up slowly upgrading to a 3.2 and 6.4 gig IDE drives and then four 4.3 gig SCSI drives. It wasn't until after I had the SCSIs that CD burners were affordable. That meaning they were under $300. I had 26.8 gig of drive space. Anything truly important was backed up on floppy and then CD.

Today's situation is no different from the situation I was in years ago. I backup my important files to DVD instead of floppy. I currently have about 750 gig of drive space between three computers and most of it is in one. Soon that will jump to over a terabyte once I purchase my next hard drive which will be soon. A power surge in my apartment could wipe out every byte of that data except for 14 gig that is at a friend's house. That's no different from having a single 1 terabyte drive.

I would hope no one here waits until they fill up a terabyte drive before backing up their data. Intelligent people make backups of their important data as soon as possible. It's not like you would spend the time and money all at once to back up a terabyte. At least, not if you are intelligent.

RE: Too Big
By Captain Orgazmo on 3/30/2007 2:22:26 AM , Rating: 2
In four or five years I hope there are no 1TB hard drives. I'm tired of the slow transfer and seek speeds, short safe working lifetime, and ever increasing power consumption and heat production of modern high-capacity spinning disk drives. Specifically the lagging speed of hard drives is currently the worst bottleneck of PCs, and in the coming years of high-def-everything, this situation will only get worse. If a state-change type non-volatile memory storage solution could be made with data capacity in the same league as a HDD (of course, in the same price league as well), then hard disk drives would go the way of the magnetic tape.

RE: Too Big
By Mudvillager on 3/30/2007 6:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
Where are you NAND SSD's?? We love you even though you have a bit slower transfer speeds and less disk space @ higher costs - because you have serveral advantages too,

like close to 0 ms access times,
no moving parts,
close to no power consumption,
sustained transfer speeds

and your transfer speeds will soon be far ahead of magnetic platter HDD's, so please, be available in the customer market now!

RE: Too Big
By kamel5547 on 3/29/2007 5:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
*Shurg* In my opinion you'd likely find that most people wouldn't miss half the stuff they lost. Between duplicate files and things you simply forget you have we've become data packrats....

I mena looking at our network drive we have 14 identical copies of some files.... some of them are even in the same directory with a different name.

RE: Too Big
By Oregonian2 on 3/30/2007 1:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
But I bet those 14 copies might take up only .01 cents of disk, so if it takes five minutes to find them and delete the extra copies, what does that calculate our time/labor to be worth per hour? Mine is worth more than that, so I don't bother...

I've got a lot of those dupes. Often stuff I'm working on or editing where I'll make a local backup directory (a series of them so I can go back different times should I decide I don't like where things are leading) or sometimes a .ZIP version. Those later will tend to stay there and accumulate... though ten machine upgrades and OS changes, etc forever. :-)

RE: Too Big
By Snowy on 3/29/2007 5:46:54 PM , Rating: 3
I agree, Hard drives need to be come faster, not bigger. Just like video cards need to become more power efficient and smaller, even if it means you won't get that extra 500 in 3dmark.

RE: Too Big
By isaacmacdonald on 3/29/2007 7:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
You're mostly right on the money. For the majority of home users, the probability of drive failure * expected magnitude of loss (1000's of videos, 10,000's of songs) is costly indeed--making raid 1 almost mandatory. Of course you could be using it as a big scratch disk for HD video, or perhaps for a DVR, in which case the contents might not be terribly important.

RE: Too Big
By BladeVenom on 3/29/2007 10:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
If you think you need two, then go ahead and buy two. Some of us are happy to buy them one at a time.

If I wanted to back it up, I have enough older smaller drives to do it.

RE: Too Big
By Triring on 3/29/2007 11:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much time it will take to format these babies.
It took me about an hour to format a 250gig. HDD into NTFS.

RE: Too Big
By defter on 3/30/2007 2:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
Buying a single 1TB is almost pointless.

I'm sure that some people were saying 15 years ago that buying a single 1GB drive is pointless. Just imagine how many floppies you have to use to backup it!

You have to buy these things in pairs and run them in RAID 1. I mean

Running drives in RAID1 for backup purposes is very, very stupid because:
- it won't protect your data against filesystem corruption
- it won't protect your data against accidental deleting (e.g. by yourself or by a virus)
- it won't protect your data if your power supply blows up and causes damage to hard drives

If your porn collection is so valuable, you should buy a second drive, make a backup, and then put that second drive in a closet. Repeat above when you have acquired some more important data.

unless your idea of a backup solution is an entire 100pk spindle of DVD+R DL discs.

Hard drives are getting bigger, but so is the writable media. Dual layer Blue-ray disks hold 50GB of data, and they should be affordable in a couple of years...

RE: Too Big
By Oregonian2 on 3/30/2007 1:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
You're half right. Yes you need to buy in pairs (I've already been doing that for quite some time) but the second drive needs to go in a different machine (backup server). Or have it in triplets (RAID-1 plus server). If the power supply fails in a bad way (or something equivalent) it'll take out both drives of a RAID-1 pair. The redundant drive needs to be in a different machine (preferable in a different building/house). Networking the backup of a TB is more practical locally than remotely though (I use a gigabit ethernet cable, and the server is local).

P.S. - Video transferred from my camcorder for a single trip I took last year takes up 160Gb for just the raw transferred to disk version. And that's just SD. Be a LOT bigger than that for HD (someday..). And that's just one vacation trip.

RE: Too Big
By kkwst2 on 4/1/2007 9:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
I've been pushing my colleagues for the last two years to use a program called Foldershare to distribute their important files to their computers - work, home and laptop. It is mainly for file synchronization, but actually serves a valuable role in backup as well. As long as you're connected to the internet it creates triple-redundancy (in my example). It doesn't protect form accidental deletion, and doesn't eliminate the need for true backups. However, my experience is that most people just don't back up frequently enough and often lose a bunch of very important stuff they've been working on when they have a hard drive crash. This program certainly reduces and often eliminates that pain.

I have two folders that are constantly synched by this program between three computers. So if I work on something on my laptop, it's instantly transferred to my home and work computers, even if I'm on the road in a hotel room. When I've written half a manuscript sitting in an airport or hotel, it makes me feel much better knowing that's not my only copy if my laptop falls/breaks.

Small typo
By FITCamaro on 3/29/2007 4:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
Hitachi Global Storage and Seagate released 1TB hard drive promises without hours of each other last January.

For the actual article. I can't wait to see which is faster, Hitachi's 5x200GB platters or Seagate's 4x250GB platters. Either way though, it'll continue to drive the price of 500GB drives down for us who can't afford the higher cost per gigabyte of larger drives.

RE: Small typo
By JoKeRr on 3/29/2007 4:11:20 PM , Rating: 3
Hitachi's 1TB drive has 32mb buffer Vs. 16mb on Seagate. I wonder how much performance differential can be attributed to this factor.

RE: Small typo
By mendocinosummit on 3/29/2007 4:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
How much does 32mb of cache actually cost current for a manufacture? I would think that hard drives (not hybrids) should at least be in the 64mb range by now if not more.

RE: Small typo
By FITCamaro on 3/29/2007 4:22:27 PM , Rating: 1
Yes but the Seagate will save time and maybe not need as big a buffer due to not having to change platters as much. But yeah it'd be nice to see the Seagate having a matching size cache.

RE: Small typo
By christianspoer on 3/29/2007 4:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
My thought too.
Especially because the Hitachi 1TB drive is such a strong contestor to the Raptors in many benchmarks.
Going to bee very interesting with the 4 platter design, as it wields higher density!

Right now i'm imagining about a 1TB drive, on a 4 platter desing, with 32MB chache, and 10K RPM! DROOL

RE: Small typo
By gramboh on 3/29/2007 8:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
I was reading on forums that there may be flaws in the way AT tested the Hitatchi 1TB drive. There are allegations the benchmarks may only have ran across the first 10GB or so of the drive where speeds are the highest. I don't think it has been confirmed or not but what the poster was talking about made sense (you have to compare long seeks over the entire drive to a Raptor to see what is faster).

RE: Small typo
By teldar on 3/29/2007 4:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hitachi's 1TB drive has 32mb buffer Vs. 16mb on Seagate. I wonder how much performance differential can be attributed to this factor.

Toms did a review of hard drives recently, I believe and the decision was there is no performance difference between 8 or 16 meg cache on hard drives. I think the difference lies more in longevity due to decreased accesses and decreased power consumption for the same reason.


RE: Small typo
By bob661 on 3/30/2007 12:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
Toms did a review of hard drives recently,
Oooh! You said the "T" word. Now go wash your fingers with hydrazine.

RE: Small typo
By cheetah2k on 3/30/2007 1:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
These 1Tb drives definately need a larger 64-128mb SSD buffer, especially if they are going to be used in server side activities.. as a rule of thumb, with having 1 x 1Tb drive doing the work of say 4 x 250mb drives, efficieny over the network is going to be reduced in reading and writing; ie, if you have 10 users accessing 1 drive, as opposed to 10 users accessing 4 drives... 10 CAD users on a network with 1 drive would really drag to a hault.. Therefore more buffer would be of greater use.

To be honest, a proposed 16mb buffer is absolutely crazy from Segate... 32mb from Hitachi is more reasonable, but even thats still low.

Regardless, for a stand alone system 2 of these 1Tb babies in RAID 0 would be just sweet..

Too big? (again)
By thinairbikes on 4/2/2007 9:48:56 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard people complaining about drives being 'too big' from the time they hit 1GB. People were saying exactly what was said now, that's too much data to lose, that would take months to redownload (except it was 28.8 back then). We look now at 200GB drives and think, meh, that's not so big. We'll probably do the same thing 10-15 years from now when we have 1PB drives (I'm assuming) and people will be running around with their arms flailing because 1PB is too much data to lose, but 200TB won't seem like such a big deal.

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