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Western Digital Caviar SE16 (WD3200AAKS)
Western Digital employs platters with highest density to date in new desktop drive

The hard drive capacity war isn't coming to any end anytime soon and it's obvious from the way the industry’s top manufacturers are raising the stakes. Western Digital is one of those key players and recently introduced a single-platter 320GB desktop hard drive. This new platter density falls slightly behind Samsung's high water mark of 334GB/platter.

The Caviar SE16 series will lead this new 320GB platter into the market starting with a single-platter 320GB desktop hard drive, model WD3200AAKS, that will feature a 16MB buffer and Native Command Queuing. All of the other specifications of this drive adhere to the Caviar SE16 line with a SATA 3.0 Gb/sec interface and a maximum buffer-to-disk transfer rate of 972 Mb/sec.

The single platter, 320GB model will no doubt pave the way for higher-capacity two and four platter drives in the future.

Pricing on the Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB (WD3200AAKS) is listed at $100, but a quick search on your favorite price search engine will show prices as low as $70 from various e-tailers.

Update 1/25/2008: According to a close source at Western Digital, the WD3200AAKS model number is currently in use for the single 320GB platter model as well as the double 160GB platter model until the latter is phased out of the lineup.

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By Polynikes on 1/25/2008 10:54:55 AM , Rating: 2
The reason to get one of these over other multi-platter drives of similar size would be, what, less heat emission?

RE: So...
By retrospooty on 1/25/2008 11:00:02 AM , Rating: 2
Higher density = faster. The 320G model is a one disk model. Soon they will release 2 and 4 disk models for a 1.3Gig drive.

RE: So...
By Ramshambo on 1/25/2008 11:54:25 AM , Rating: 2
1.3gig...1.3ter what are we suppose to call these now? TB is just too formal.

RE: So...
By Screwballl on 1/25/2008 12:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
TB should suffice.. maybe in a few years it will be a "Terr" or "tear" or we may just say "T B" or tee bee...
Either way 1.28TB in a single drive is impressive nowadays.

RE: So...
By ImSpartacus on 1/25/2008 3:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think 'tear' is probably pretty cool sounding. im sure the same thing happened with gig drives and such. i still have one of my dads old laptops with a 4 gig hdd.

RE: So...
By kkwst2 on 1/25/2008 6:54:48 PM , Rating: 3
Old? That's not old. I've still got my original IBM PC in my parent's basement that came with no HDD. It just had a full-height 5 1/4" floppy drive. A year or two later, I added a 20 meg hard drive. It was about half the size of a shoe box.

RE: So...
By MAIA on 1/25/2008 12:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
TiBi's ? Dunno ...

RE: So...
By MAIA on 1/25/2008 12:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm ... seems like we're on a similar trend ...

RE: So...
By zpdixon on 1/25/2008 12:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
I suggest 'teeb'.


RE: So...
By zpdixon on 1/25/2008 12:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
As in 'tee bee', 'TB'.

RE: So...
By noirsoft on 1/25/2008 12:45:07 PM , Rating: 3
I propose "terb"

RE: So...
By danrien on 1/25/2008 2:56:56 PM , Rating: 2

RE: So...
By shaw on 1/25/2008 3:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
1.3 TeaBags

RE: So...
By Dark119 on 1/25/2008 4:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
1.3Tera looks and sounds good to me.

RE: So...
By NullSubroutine on 1/26/2008 7:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
All suggestions in this thread are now copyrighted by me so now you all owe me 100 million dollars per use...muahahah. I will now go buy my sharks with lazer pointers attached to their friggin heads.

RE: So...
By MrBungle on 1/25/2008 10:34:50 PM , Rating: 3
How about... "They call me MISTER Tibbs!"

RE: So...
By drunkenmastermind on 1/25/2008 7:29:57 PM , Rating: 3
How about a "Terror Bite" and I would like the credit for coining the new name.

RE: So...
By Samus on 1/25/2008 6:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
There is virtually no need to cool this drive as heat output will be minimal. I have a 160GB single platter Samsung now in a USB enclosure with no cooling and its not even warm to the touch.

That screams more reliability in my oppinion...especially when you consider Dell still doesn't put any active cooling on their Desktop PC drive cages.

RE: So...
By mindless1 on 1/26/08, Rating: 0
RE: So...
By Samus on 1/28/2008 10:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
Then why do I replace deal Seagate's in Dell Dimension's on a daily basis?

I mention Seagate's because there is no room to argue they make the most reliable drives on the market. See SR's Drive Reliability Survey. The Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 and 7200.9 are the most reliable drive lines in their database by a vast margin.

Dell only recently started somewhat-correctly designing hard drive cages in their low end PC's. The problem has often been inadequately sized ventilation holes that clog quickly with dust, causing reduced airflow.

In reference to the largest recorded study of magnetic storage reliability ever conducted

adequately cooling drives is essential to prolonged lifespan. Ambient cooling and a 'good case' have nothing to do with this. You simply need a fan or a duct.

Furthermore, it is perfectly safe to assume these drives will run cooler. First, they consume far less power. Second, they spend most of their time (in a desktop environment) spinning somewhere around 5400RPM. Western Digital isn't very open about the specific spindle speed of their 'green' drives.

Dell doesn't use a fan or a duct. Their systems chew up drives. I know. I'm a tech and have to deal with fixing their crap every damn day. HP/Compaq is no better, so I guess I shouldn't pick on Dell...except they're the biggest and should know better.

RE: So...
By tehfire on 1/25/2008 11:10:54 AM , Rating: 3
All else being equal, the drive with fewer platters has less moving parts (heads, platters). This leads to less noise (caused by moving heads and the vibration caused by more platters) and less aerodynamic drag. This will make it quieter and because it has to fight the air just a little bit less, it will consume a bit less power and therefore run cooler.

We folks at SilentPCReview love low-platter designs </shameless self-promoting>

RE: So...
By murphyslabrat on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: So...
By deeznuts on 1/25/2008 1:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
????? I'd be inclined to think a site that never went to any other site for news, research, gossip etc. is a site not worthy of my patronage.

You don't think Anand goes to other sites?

RE: So...
By TomZ on 1/25/2008 2:59:52 PM , Rating: 4
I think he spends most of his time at Tom's, LOL.

RE: So...
By ImSpartacus on 1/25/2008 3:18:25 PM , Rating: 1
tom's kicks ass, but i like silentpc too. then again, only DT and 'AT' (anandtech) have shortcuts on my browser.

RE: So...
By bobobeastie on 1/25/2008 4:16:52 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously? This Toms


RE: So...
By Samus on 1/28/2008 10:18:28 AM , Rating: 2

RE: So...
By murphyslabrat on 1/28/2008 9:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
It was a frieking joke, guys, come on!?!?!?

RE: So...
By Runiteshark on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: So...
By PrezWeezy on 1/25/2008 8:09:30 PM , Rating: 3
Actually yes. Rotational drag (mostly when you have two objects rotating within close proximity) can cause the speed of the object to decrease. The motor trys to keep the speed constant and thereby has to work harder. Just because it doesn't have a lot of drag doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

RE: So...
By DeepBlue1975 on 1/25/2008 12:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
Besides what the user above me has said, fewer platters also mean less power consumption, a slightly better data access as the drive doesn't have to decide in which platter to look for the info.

And the most important one to me:

More platters = more likeability to break at any given time, as the combined probability of any single platter breaking is always higher than that of any single plate alone.

RE: So...
By DeepBlue1975 on 1/25/2008 12:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
Oh well, I don't think I said that clearly at all.

But it's simple:

Lets say your disk has N platters, and the probability of any platter alone breaking is X, then:

The probability one or more of the N platters break is:

1- (1-x)^n

For example if one platter has a 0.2 chance of breaking in less than one year, then, if you've got 3 platters:

1- (0.8)^3 = 0.488 probabilities of breaking in a 3 platter design


0.2 probability of breaking in a single platter design

RE: So...
By roastmules on 1/25/2008 5:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
It would actually be .2 x 3 (platters) for a total of .6. Since any one or more of the platters' failure results in total failure.

RE: So...
By Octoparrot on 1/26/2008 9:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
No, Deepblue is correct. The probability of each platter failing is assumed to be independent of the others, so you can't simply multiply the individual platter failure rate by the number of platters. By your math, if we had 5 platters, the failure rate is 5 x 0.2 = 100% which is obviously wrong. The correct way to think of this is to use Deepblue's equation to say, each platter has a 1-x = 1-0.2= 0.8 chance of successful operation without failure in a year, so I've got to "roll" this 0.8 chance of success per platter, which is (0.8)^n for n platters.

If that still doesn't convince you, let me ask if the chance of getting one or more heads when flipping two quarters is 0.5 x 2 = 100%. Obviously, it isn't--it's 1-(0.5)^2 = 0.75 (because 0.25 of the time you get two tails).

RE: So...
By mindless1 on 1/26/2008 12:40:26 AM , Rating: 2
Since having a platter "break" isn't a typical failure mode we can mostly ignore this.

However it could be seen as related that the rotational friction generating heat along with the drag creating more motor and motor controller heat might lead to accelerating breakdown of the associated parts if the drive were allowed to overheat.

RE: So...
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/20/2008 8:57:51 AM , Rating: 2
Platters don't break, that's true...
But heads resting over them to read/write data and their corresponding actuators and step motors can break over time.

That's what I actually meant by "platter breaking". If any of the heads looses its ability to hover over a platter, that renders the disk unusable (happened to me with a maxtor some time ago).

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