The first 2 TB hard drives appeared at the beginning of 2009. Western was the first to launch with the Caviar Green WD20EADS in January, Seagate replying in April with the Barracuda LP. These two drives stood out for their usage of 4 x 500 GB platters and rotation speeds below 7200 rpm: 5900 rpm on the Seagate, with no value given by Western, but approximately 5400 rpm. We carried out our first tests on these drives in July 2009.
Since then, the range has been extended, with all manufacturers now offering products at this capacity. From Hitachi, there’s the 7K2000, a model with 5 x 400 GB platters, but with a rotation speed of 7200 rpm, while the Western Caviar Black and the Seagate Barracuda XT use 500 GB platters. Samsung has two two 5400 rpm drives, the SpinPoint F3 which uses 4 platters and the SpinPoint F4 based on 3 x 667 GB platters.
Western is also marketing the first 2 TB drives, the WD20EARS, divided into 4 KB sectors, a technology we’ll come back to on page 2. The most recent version (00MVWB0) has 3 x 667 GB platters, against 4 x 500 GB platters for the 00S8B1s and 00J2GB0s.
2 TB, but what for?
Should such high capacity drives be limited purely to storage? Of course, and especially when it comes to drives that don’t have a 7200 rpm rotation, this is their main usage. They offer high storage capacity and a good environmental spec, which makes them attractive solutions for NAS’, Home Cinema PCs and even PCs as, for example, storage support for an SSD!
Even though they generally give lower performance, they can of course also be used as system disks; rather the 7200 rpm models, however, than the 5400/5900 rpm ones.