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Hard Disks

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- Western Digital moves in front of Seagate
- Seagate sells 50.3 million drives in 3 months
- Samsung Spinpoint MP4: 640GB at 7200 rpm!
- Prices of the new VelociRaptors
- VelociRaptor VR200Ms on their way
- Samsung introduces SpinPoint F4
- 7200 rpm and 7mm from Hitachi
- 667 GB platters from WD?
- Seagate: next gen hybrid SSD/HDDs!
- 3TB in 2010 from Seagate
- Tests: NAS: Data Robotics, Panasonic V20/Dversus
- Report: eight 2 TB hard drives roundup!
- Samsung F4EG-3: 2 TB and 3 platters
- Western confirmed at no.1
- 3 TB from Seagate with the Barracuda XT

 Samsung introduces SpinPoint F4
  Posted on 15/06/2010 at 14:04 by Marc
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Samsung has announced its new SpinPoint 7200 rpm range, the F4. Available at one single capacity (320 GB) but with either 8 or 16 MB of cache, the SpinPoint F4 features a single 640 GB platter used on just one side and therefore with just one read head.

Samsung is highlighting the reliability of this very simple design as well as improved sequential read and write performance (+10%) due to the higher density. It remains to be seen when higher capacity versions will be launched!

 7200 rpm and 7mm from Hitachi
  Posted on 01/06/2010 at 14:23 by Marc
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Following Seagate at the end of last year, it’s over to Hitachi to launch itself on the 2"1/2 hard drive market with a product just 7mm wide, as against 9.5mm for standard 2"1/2 hard drives.

While the Momentus Thin is limited to a capacity of 160 GB, the Travelstar Z7K320 has been announced in 160, 250 and 320 GB versions, all on a single platter of course. Moreover, while the Seagate was limited to 5400 rpm, Hitachi has upped this to 7200 rpm! A 5400 rpm version, the Z5K320, is also available.

 667 GB platters from WD?
  Posted on 27/05/2010 at 09:52 by Marc - source: VR-Zone et Akiba
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It’s now been a few weeks since Western Digital introduced a new revision of its Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB WD20EARS, going from version WD20EARS-00S8B1 to WD20EARS-00J2GB0 Nothing much new apparently except if you look a little closer you can see that the casing is different (no longer the black part) and the PCB has been has been simplified: the drive looks very much like the 1 TB version.

It seems that there have been more significant changes however with various Japanese stores announcing that the drive has 667 GB platters! This is important as it means there’ll only be 3 rather than 4 platters. Without actually seeing one of the drives in the flesh as it were, it’s difficult to confirm this but on the Sisoftware site you can see a first bench with average read speeds of 89.9 MB/s compared with 83 to 84 MB/s on the previous version, which seems to confirm the new densities.

 Seagate: next gen hybrid SSD/HDDs!
  Posted on 20/05/2010 at 08:48 by Marc - source: Fudzilla
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Seagate looks set to announce the Momentus XT, a 2.5" 7200 rpm hybrid drive with 4 GB of SLC NAND flash. Already listed in some European stores, it is priced at €92 for the 250 GB version, €100 for the 320 GB version and €124 for the 500 GB version.

In itself, the concept isn’t new as back in June 2006, Seagate announced the Momentus 5400 PSDs which were limited to 256 MB of NAND, with production only beginning in March 2007, date on which Samsung also announced the delivery of similar drives, the MH80.

To recap, the principle is fairly simple with the controller duplicating the most frequently used data onto the flash so as to make reads as rapid as possible and reduce power consumption. You only get an increase in read speeds, which nevertheless constitute the great majority of accesses, and data remains stocked on the standard drive as the system is simply one of duplication. Intel also launched a rival technology, Turbo Memory, which consisted of a Mini PCI-Express card with flash memory.

At that time, hybrid drives such as Turbo Memory were a flop and the head of Hitachi Global Storage even said that 4 GB of memory were required for the technology to be effective… his wish being granted by the competition two years down the line! Still, though less expensive than an SSD, the extra cost is nevertheless €50 for just 4 GB – why, for ****’s sake did they go for SLC memory (4x as expensive as MLC)?

Note that since launch, Intel has also improved its Turbo Memory technology: 2 and 4 GB cards are now available and in contrast to the Seagate solution, Intel is offering manual as well as automatic optimisation, with the user able to indicate which apps they wish to accelerate.

Even if they’re not perfect, these two hybrid technologies are once again going to be worth a look for those who’re looking for high storage and improved speeds on their portable and internal drives. On desktops, the advantage seems however inexistent and we lean towards a standard SDD + hard drive pairing.

 3TB in 2010 from Seagate
  Posted on 18/05/2010 at 08:21 by Marc - source: THINQ.co.uk
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Seagate has confirmed the rumours. It will be bringing out a 3 TB hard drive this year. Although such a capacity is not a surprise in itself as 2 TB drives have been available since 2009, it does imply confronting several technological challenges. The first is moving from Logical Block Adressing (LBA) to Long LBA, the first being limited to a capacity of 2.2 TB (or 2 TiB), which isn't supported by Windows XP but is by Windows 7 and 64-bit Vista - Windows XP 64-bit also supporting it but only for a data hard drive and not boot.

The second is the abandoning of MBR (Master Boot Record) for GPT (GUID Partition Table): MBR type partitions are also limited to 2.2 TB, which would limit the formated capacity on a 3TB drive used as the primary drive. The problem here comes with the motherboard bios' which are currently limited to MBR support, with GPT planned for forthcoming United EFI bios'.

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