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Western Digital Scorpio Blue  (Source: Western Digital)
New Scorpio Blue drive has 333GB per platter.

The only real benefits of a hard drive over SSD today are the higher storage capacity and the fact that the average hard drive is cheaper than comparable SSDs. As storage capacities increase HDDs, become more appealing to many users.

Western Digital (WD) has announced a pair of new hard drives today called the WD Scorpio Blue in 750GB and 1TB capacities. Both of the drives use the same platters cramming 333GB of storage space each. The drives both have the same 12.5mm form factor meaning that they won’t fit into machines that have 9.5mm drive bays.

WD will also be putting the Scorpio Blue hard drives into external storage solutions like the My Passport Essential SE USB drives along with select notebooks and small form factor desktop PCs. The drives are optimized for cool and quiet operation. The interface used by the drives is the 3Gb/s interface.

"The convergence of the growing mobile computing and digital media trends produces demand for desktop-like capacities in portable devices," said Jim Morris, senior vice president and general manager of client systems at WD. "Our new WD Scorpio Blue drives enable people to take even more of their digital collections with them wherever they go and, realizing the value of their data, back up their notebooks on their My Passport drives."

Features of the Scorpio Blue drives include WhisperDrive making it one of the most silent 2.5-inch hard drives available. ShockGuard combines firmware and hardware features to help the drive reach the highest combined shock tolerance specifications for notebooks. The drives also feature SecurePark that parks the head off the disk surface during spin up, spin down, and when the drive is off. The feature ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface.

The Scorpio Blue 750GB HDD is available now at $189.99, the 1TB drive is only available now in the My Passport Essential SE USB drive for $249.99.



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RE: How do you get 750GB from 333GB platters?
By Einy0 on 7/27/2009 11:09:55 AM , Rating: 5
You use firmware to limit the capacity to 750GB.


RE: How do you get 750GB from 333GB platters?
By Starcub on 7/27/2009 1:14:01 PM , Rating: 1
That's so stupid. I have no idea wether or not 12mm drives will fit in my notebook and I'm not about to spend a few hundred dollars to find out. In addition, my 9.5mm drives fit tightly into my external cases, so I doubt I'll be buying them for external storage either. Considering the small difference between 750GB and 666GB, I wonder why they didn't just use a two platter design.


RE: How do you get 750GB from 333GB platters?
By Einy0 on 7/27/2009 2:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
Remember we live an age where people still whine about formatted capacity being less than the 1TB or 750GB the drive is supposed to be... lol... Or how about people who don't get that Windows doesn't report the shared memory used by integrated graphics. Or those who think they got ripped off when they upgrade a machine with a 32bit OS to 4GB of RAM but only 3.5GB or whatever less than 4GB shows up. I think drive manufacturers just use rounded numbers so consumers get it, but they still don't. Well, most don't...


By Starcub on 7/29/2009 3:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember we live an age where people still whine about formatted capacity being less than the 1TB or 750GB the drive is supposed to be...

The people who complain that the size of their formatted HDD is less than the advertised drive size are the same people who are likely to get bit by this. These three platter 12.5mm drives are not general consumer HDD's, they are intended for use in external storage systems.


RE: How do you get 750GB from 333GB platters?
By Jimbo1234 on 7/27/2009 2:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
Because a 666GB drive would be evil.


By lycium on 7/27/2009 9:33:51 PM , Rating: 4
i think you mean "awesome"


RE: How do you get 750GB from 333GB platters?
By teldar on 7/27/2009 2:42:35 PM , Rating: 5
Because they only have to write the firmware once, for one disk with multiple capacities. All they have to do is have the drive short stroke the platters for 250Gb per platter instead of the 333.

This gives the added bonus of having a higher performance drive because the portion which is unused is the slower inner tracks.
All the manufacturers do it.

It's not stupid.
It's called cost effective.
It's called minimizing parts required.
It's called maximizing profits.
It's also called minimizing costs.

And just because you don't want one doesn't mean nobody else may.

Have a nice day.


By Starcub on 7/29/2009 3:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
How does using three platters instead of two cost reduce the number of parts required, reduce the cost of the drive, maximize profits, etc...

Your only valid point was that it increases the performance. But it does this by increasing drive complexity, power draw, heat generation, cost, consumer confusion, etc... while alienating an entire market segment. If they want to sell a 666GB or 750GB HDD for the general consumer to use in laptops, they are going to have to develop one with two platters anyway (or one that fits in a 9.5mm format).

quote:
Have a nice day.

Really, you're too kind ;)


RE: How do you get 750GB from 333GB platters?
By retrospooty on 7/27/2009 4:01:04 PM , Rating: 5
"That's so stupid. I have no idea wether or not 12mm drives will fit in my notebook and I'm not about to spend a few hundred dollars to find out."

Then you are not the type of peson that should be modifying hardware on your laptop - call someone with more experience if you need to upgrade it.


By xsilver on 7/28/2009 5:27:31 AM , Rating: 2
yep I have a 5 year old cousin who has just learned to use a ruler - he can do the upgrade for u if you want :)


RE: How do you get 750GB from 333GB platters?
By rs1 on 7/27/2009 2:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
So then what would stop users from flashing the 750 GB drive with the 1 TB drive's firmware to free up the extra space?


By retrospooty on 7/27/2009 4:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
"So then what would stop users from flashing the 750 GB drive with the 1 TB drive's firmware to free up the extra space? "

It depends on how they do it and why... It may just be firmware, or it may be hardcoded in. It may also be they do it on drives that have failed tests. Too many defects on one surface of a 1GB drive- so they map out that surface. You might enable it and find errors.


By Solandri on 7/28/2009 6:16:48 AM , Rating: 3
Platters have two sides. The 1 TB drive would be 3 platters with 6 read-write heads. The 750 GB drive is probably 3 platters with 5 read-write heads (~830 GB capacity, limited by firmware to 750 GB).

And this type of market segmentation is nothing new. Intel's CPUs do the same thing with clock speed (which is why some of their CPUs overclock so well). People may not want the full 1 TB nor pay its price. WD decides to make a 750 GB at a lower price, but finds that the price of re-engineering a 3-platter 250 GB per platter design is rather high. So they just cripple the 1 TB drive to make a 750 GB drive at much lower cost than a brand new 750 GB drive design.


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