When hard drive manufactures move to platters with higher storage densities, it is a good thing all around -- the higher the storage density for the platters, the fewer platters are needed to reach the same capacity compared to lower density platters.
That means less power is needed and less moving parts are required to make the drive operate. Impress is reporting that Western Digital has quietly updated its Caviar GP line of drives in Asia with a platter density of 334GB in the 1TB capacity drive. Other features of the drive remain the same with a 16MB cache.
Western Digital isn’t alone in moving to 334GB per platter. This week Samsung announced a new 1TB EcoGreen hard drive aimed at surveillance and audio/video applications that use platters of 334GB in size.
Samsung claims that the EcoGreen F1 drive provides a 15% power savings compared to other low power 1TB drives and a full 50% power savings compared to traditional 1TB drives often spinning at 7200RPM. Samsung’s EcoGreen F1 spins at 5400 RPM and uses the 3Gbps SATA interface. Availability for the Samsung drive is set for Q2 2008 at $199.
In January 2008 Western Digital introduced the single platter 320GB HDD, which was its highest density platter. Samsung was first to ship a 334GB per platter 1TB drive in June of 2007.
quote: For those that must know, WD admits "sub-6000 RPM operation" for the 1-TB Caviar GP
quote: The GP turns in a measured access time of 15.0 ms, a score that lags the 7200-RPM WD7500AAKS by a significant margin. The WD7500AAKS's measured seek time when accounting for 4.2 ms of 7200 RPM latency is 9.5 ms....Assuming the GP also shares such a seek time, that leaves us with 15 ms [measured access time] minus 9.5 ms [assumed seek time] which equals 5.5 ms, almost exactly the rotational latency associated with a 5400 RPM spindle speed.
quote: The Caviar GP's outer-zone score clocks in at 79.8 MB/sec and as a result lags the older, less dense WD7500AAKS by 21%. Assuming similar sector-per-track zone configurations, a 7200 RPM drive would boast a 33% advantage over a 5400 RPM unit. The difference between the GP and the WD7500AAKS is less than that, likely of course due to a density advantage on the GP's part. Nevertheless, this second low-level diagnostic again suggests a 5400 RPM spindle speed.
quote: but the benchmark did give good result compared to the Seagate and Deskstar 1TB drive,
quote: While the WD 640GB drive does not fit in with the industry-standard capacity sizes, we fully understand Western Digital's rationale behind this move. This allows WD to use economies of scale with their new 320GB per-platter design and allows a natural progression up to the 1TB~1.3TB level by simply increasing platter count for each logical step. Of course, unless you use sub-prime mortgage mathematics, three 320GB platters only equals 960GB of capacity. WD engineering told us they can easily stretch the areal density of the current platter design to get to the magical 1TB capacity to match their competitors
quote: But well, after all, WD is by now the only big name in the HDD industry that's not selling terabyte drives as the others are, so it must be really a marketing milestone to achieve, so, from that standpoint is a very valid move.
quote: Western Digital gets to 334GB per plater about a year after Samsung