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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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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

versus

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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