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Western Digital cracks the 2TB barrier

Western Digital has announced its latest drive, a 2 Terabyte Caviar Green hard drive with 32 MB of cache and a seek time of 8.9ms. It runs between 7200 or 5400 RPM depending on load, which saves power.

Due to advances in Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), it is able to achieve this using a four platter design, with 500 GB per platter. Having fewer platters reduces power consumption as well.

WDC's previous capacity champion was only 1TB, so this new flagship has been anticipated for use in DVRs and archival systems. The model number is WD20EADS, and is being shipped to distributors this week.

In addition to the 2TB model, Western Digital is also launching a 1.5TB model (WD15EADS) to accompany its revised 1TB model (WD10EADS). Both also feature 32MB of cache, which helps to increase access speed to commonly accessed data.

"While some in the industry wondered if the end consumer would buy a 1 TB drive, already some 10 percent of 3.5-inch hard drive sales are at the 1 TB level or higher, serving demand from video applications and expanding consumer media libraries," said Mark Geenen, President of Trend Focus.

WDC's primary competitor Seagate recently unveiled their Barracuda 7200.12 series of 3.5" desktop drives, featuring a 1TB 2 platter design. It is available with 32MB of cache as well.

Seagate is being particularly cautious these days, after firmware problems with the flagship Barracuda 7200.11 series of drives caused problems with RAID and Linux setups, and lowered prosumer confidence in the world's leading hard drive supplier.

Its Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB drive (ST31500341AS) was previously the largest single hard drive available to consumers, and the only one to go above 1TB.

Seagate may very well release their own 2TB 7200.12, but they still haven't been able to supply the Momentus 7200.4 500GB laptop drives that they announced six months ago on July 10.

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RE: hmmm
By TomZ on 1/27/2009 11:37:16 AM , Rating: 3
The Western Digital drive's IntelliPower algorithm, which varies the rotational speed between 5400RPM and 7200RPM, dictates the Western Digital's rotational speed.

RE: hmmm
By fleshconsumed on 1/27/2009 12:19:32 PM , Rating: 3
He is correct. Current 10EACS/10EADS always drives spin at 5400RPM, they never go up to 7200RPM. This may change with 15EADS/20EADS, but he is correct about current Green Power drives. It's simply a case of misguided and/or deceptive WD marketing.

The only drives that vary the speed are Hitachi drives.

RE: hmmm
By DigitalFreak on 1/27/2009 12:40:38 PM , Rating: 1
Nope. That's the one time Anandtech is flat out wrong.

RE: hmmm
By gstrickler on 1/27/2009 2:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
WD makes it difficult to get any real performance specifications on their drives, you have to download the data sheet to get any real performance data. Even though WD makes some of the fastest desktop and notebook drives, they seem to go out of their way to make it difficult to get any performance related info. Makes me wonder why.

For the "Green" series, even the data sheets don't show the latency and when they list the RPM, it's listed as "IntelliPower". However, I did find this tidbit on "IntelliPower"

"For each drive model, WD may use a different, invariable RPM"

So, the RPM of the drive is fixed, but may vary by model.

BTW, WD's other "GreenPower" technologies, "IntelliSeek" and "IntelliPark" are pretty cool power saving technologies that should have little or no effect on performance.

RE: hmmm
By TomZ on 1/27/2009 3:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
BTW, WD's other "GreenPower" technologies, "IntelliSeek" and "IntelliPark" are pretty cool power saving technologies that should have little or no effect on performance.
If that was the case, they would use those technologies across their entire product line. So they probably have at least a small performance impact.

RE: hmmm
By gstrickler on 1/27/2009 3:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
If that was the case, they would use those technologies across their entire product line.
New technologies are rarely implemented throughout an entire product line. New technologies that improve performance are first implemented on the highest performance drives. New technologies that improve capacity or power efficiency are generally implemented first on laptop drives or mainstream desktop drives. Once they're sufficiently proven, they move to the other products.

I think you will find that IntelliSeek will soon be deployed throughout their HD line. IntelliPark does have a larger potential for a performance hit, but since the performance hit is still very small and only occurs after a period of inactivity (which might not occur on heavily used, high performance systems), I think you'll find it also eventually deployed throughput the product line.

RE: hmmm
By sprockkets on 1/27/2009 10:43:56 PM , Rating: 1
Yep, I'm right, and I got a -1 for it. Sometimes the system doesn't work.

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