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Seagate Releases 3TB External Drive for $250

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the approaching-infinity dept.

Media 272

A few anonymous readers noted that Seagate has released a 3TB external drive. This makes it the largest 3.5-inch in its class, and it is available with USB 2, 3, or FireWire. That's more capacity than my entire four-drive RAID for just $250.

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Ugh. Seriously? (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729764)

Why is it external? Does anyone know if this thing uses a standard 3.5" hard drive (i.e. is it just an enclosure stuffed with a 3.5" drive), or is it a "proprietary" external?

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (5, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729836)

Same thing I immediately thought. 3GB by itself is simply not interesting. What I'd be much MORE interested in is taking 4 of these things and putting them into my FreeNAS RAID setup (which is currently running 1GB drives).

I've had too many drive failures over the years to trust anything too valuable to a single drive.

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32729886)

Same thing I immediately thought. 3GB by itself is simply not interesting. What I'd be much MORE interested in is taking 4 of these things and putting them into my FreeNAS RAID setup (which is currently running 1GB drives).

I've had too many drive failures over the years to trust anything too valuable to a single drive.

Time for an upgrade, son. Time for an upgrade.

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730258)

My thoughts exactly.

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32729910)

Seagate already announced their drives would hit some limitations of the LBA standard, so -if I'm correct- their drives would only run on 64-bit windows systems using modified controllers. The enclosure probably avoids these problems.

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (5, Insightful)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730262)

I don't get it. Why are the standards for hard drives always way too late to appear? I can't count the number of times over the years when new hard drives would come out and even relatively new machines needed hacks to work with the full capacity. It seems like every time they extend a standard they only plan a few years out and we've got to go through this process over and over again.

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730384)

It's even worse than that. Boot records have a max at 2.1 TB or something IIRC, and so you pretty much need to drop BIOS in order to use it fully. Unless you've got an UEFI motherboard from somewhere, in which case I imagine that you could pry it out and get it to work.

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730502)

Wasn't there an announcement by Intel or someone that they are dropping BIOS not too long ago?

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730722)

What you are thinking of was that MSI is planning a big shift to UEFI at the end of this year. Here [slashdot.org] is the story with the hugely misleading title.

Re:Ugh. Seriously? (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730872)

Unless you are trying to use this as a boot (or bootable) drive, you may not have a problem with a reasonably recent system. As far as the BIOS needs to be concerned with, it's just a USB-attached mass storage device. Let the OS worry about the size of the volume and the file system.

One drive are two? (2, Interesting)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729778)

External RAID arrays have been around for a while. Is this just a conventional RAID0 or really a 3 TB single drive?

Re:One drive are two? (1)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729812)

External RAID arrays have been around for a while. Is this just a conventional RAID0 or really a 3 TB single drive?

FTFA "This makes it the largest 3.5-inch in its class". It is one drive.

Re:One drive are two? (1)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729848)

That isn't clear. They seem to be using 3.5" as a measurement of the external case size.

Re:One drive are two? (2, Interesting)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729908)

Oh someone at engadget said so...well that can't be in error... Anyway unless they opened it up or Seagate states somewhere on their web page that it is a single drive. It seems reasonable to remain skeptical. It seems weird that Seagate would release an external drive without trying to capitalize on the drive inside...I would figure the market for internal 3TB drives is bigger than external ones.

Re:One drive are two? (2, Interesting)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730066)

I'll comment on my own comment...one thing that is interesting is the physical dimensions of the box:

6 x 5 x 2

considering that seagates 3.5" drives are approximately:

1 x 4 x 6

Which seems to eliminate the possibility that this is two 3.5 drives. It could still be multiple 2.5" drives but without looking at pricing I'm not sure how feasible that is (and I don't think Seagate is shipping 1TB 2.5's yet)

Re:One drive are two? (3, Interesting)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730470)

Someone else suggested that they may be using the lower expectations of the external USB hard drive market (slower drives) to launch a drive that isn't 'up to snuff' performance wise for traditional internal drive use. Nowhere on their web pages for the drive do they give any performance numbers.

That may be the 'pig in a poke' aspect here. It may be a really big, but really slow drive.

Re:One drive are two? (2, Interesting)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730708)

Perhaps so but the dichotomy of fast/slow drives has existed on the bare drive market for a while. I'm not discounting it being a 3TB drive and as seagate said in the other article they are planning on shipping the 3TB drives this year.

One thing it could be doing isn't utilizing "lower expectation" but rather "lower demand". If the USB market is, as I suspect significantly smaller than the bare drive market then it might be a good place to start shipping in order to ramp up production or even work out some bugs. To avoid the problems they had with their other groundbreaking drive the 1.5TB!

Re:One drive are two? (3, Insightful)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729942)

If only there were something linked to this slashvertisement [engadget.com] that could provide your answer....

Hmmm.... or even the summary, which implies it is a single drive.

Re:One drive are two? (2, Interesting)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730304)

Dammit. I had a nicely linked response all written. And then I clicked on one of my own links in the preview. Sigh.

Ok. I actually did read TFA before I posted (having long since learned not to trust Slashdot headlines ;) ).

I have now visited Seagate's own tech page [seagate.com] on the drives. They do not clearly state anywhere that it is a single drive inside the case. But you can infer that from the external case dimensions of 6.22 in x 4.88 in x 1.73 in that there isn't enough room for two 3.5" drives.

Having been in this business for a long time I have learned that if you don't ask the right questions computer manufacturers will happily sell you a 'pig in a poke [wikipedia.org] '.

Re:One drive are two? (3, Informative)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730164)

The picture is a Seagate Goflex (and Seagate's website is now listing 3GB desktop GoFlex drives), which as far as I can find are just standard SATA drives in an enclosure that use Seagate's GoFlex interface for their connection. Relevant Link [cnet.com]

So if people are just interested in the drive they can crack the case and get it. Also, according to the above link the GoFlex connection thingy will work for any SATA drive, so you can use it like a HDD hot swap docking station of sorts.

Re:One drive are two? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730604)

Only 3GB? Nothing impressive there.

Re:One drive are two? (2, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730808)

Sorry, I was daydreaming about 1996... >.>

That's a Whole lot (2, Funny)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729788)

a whole lot of Pr0n

Re:That's a Whole lot (0)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729984)

I wonder what the total volume of (unique) pr0n on the internet is?

I'm sure someone on slashdot has most of it anyway.

Re:That's a Whole lot (2, Informative)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730504)

You'd need a Beowulf cluster of these to contain it all.

A lot of eggs in one basket... (5, Insightful)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729792)

That's more capacity than my entire four-drive RAID for just $250.

Yeah, but which would you trust more with your data.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32729860)

Yeah, but which would you trust more with your data.

Well that depends if its raid-0 we're comparing here.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32729874)

Given Seagate's recent QC problems, not dis.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729962)

Better solution - redo the RAID array with the 3TB drives. Capacity + failover.

My only bit of paranoia is that with these humongous drives is that I can fit more data on them, which is even more data that could be lost in the event of a failure.

With this much storage space I'm almost thinking that it would be beneficial to move from RAID5 to RAID6 just for the extra peace of mind. Sure you lose quite a bit of storage space, but I'm getting to the point now where I want my bits to be safe as much as I want to store more of them.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (4, Insightful)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730374)

RAID is not a very good failover system. It never was, and it never will. Disks on raid often have extremely similar use patterns, leading to very similar drive life. When one drive in a RAID dies, it's not uncommon to see one or two more die at nearly the same time.

Real failover comes from offline backups. RAID wins at providing improved IO with little setup cost: You'll be hard pressed to find a modern DB server under a significant read and write load that isn't using RAID 10 either directly or on a SAN to improve its IO throughput.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730818)

You'll be hard pressed to find a modern DB server under a significant read and write load that isn't using RAID 10 either directly or on a SAN to improve its IO throughput.

Only cheapskates and hobbyists use RAIDed HDDs for IO-intensive tasks. Decent SSDs blow away any RAID in terms of storage/watt or I/O by an order of magnitude.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730920)

RAID is not a very good failover system. It never was, and it never will. Disks on raid often have extremely similar use patterns, leading to very similar drive life. When one drive in a RAID dies, it's not uncommon to see one or two more die at nearly the same time.

Real failover comes from offline backups.

While true, you have to look at it from a practical standpoint. I admin several database servers at work, and they get full offline (and off-site) backups of their data via LTO3 tapes. At home though, the investment in tape drives and and media is simply cost prohibitive. A decent RAID5 array using FreeNAS (or even one of the ready-built D-Link NAS units, which I have owned as well) is relatively inexpensive overall.

With a decent RAID array I can have several terabytes of storage (my current largest array in a RAID5 config allows me nearly 3TB). Now, since tape drives are out, the only sane offline backup option I have is DVD's. Dual layer discs are simply too expensive to use (and I've not had great luck with their reliability), so I'm limited to backing up my data 4.7GB at a time. To backup that entire array ONCE, assuming never changing data, is going to take ~600 DVD's. If you assume 5 minutes spent per disc burning them then we're talking 50 straight hours of disc burning to get a full backup, and THEN having to keep on doing this as data changes.

For a home user with a lot of data, this just isn't feasible. Instead, I have to prioritize my data. EVERYTHING I want to keep, but realistically I don't NEED to keep it all. So, I have 1 or 2 directories that I keep important stuff in. Tax returns, pictures of family that are irreplaceable, invoices/receipts from big purchases, etc. Those do get backed up to DVD every now and then. They also more importantly get synced to my Dropbox account so that I have them off-site.

For the vast majority of it though, it's simply to big to make regular offline backups. For that, a RAID array is most certainly better than keeping it all on single drives with NO failover whatsoever. I can live with the possibility that I MIGHT lose that data, but the risks are still greatly reduced.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (1)

isama (1537121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730380)

i'd suggest you read this: baarf.org

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730454)

RAID5 only allows you to lose one drive in the array, and performance will be degraded. RAID6 allows you to lose two. I prefer my servers to have a 3 drive mirrored array - they make better sense in my mind, since I don't have a need for more than 500GB of storage, with the total load per server only growing about 10GB a year. I want a little time to shut my machine down and replace a dead drive - we've all heard stories about drives that fail on an array rebuild.

Remember, RAID is for uptime. Backups are for safekeeping.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730000)

I used to trust my 10gb hard drive with all my data...

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730450)

That's a toughy. But, really it isn't. You're better off with a single drive and proper backups. Sure you should do backups either way, but RAID tends not to be as reliable as folks suggest. If you're going to do it, at least go software RAID so that you don't have to worry about having a back up controller and worrying if that works. On top of that you've got to worry about user errors where you accidentally type things in wrong and end up nuking a good disk trying to replace a bad one.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (2, Interesting)

sunspot42 (455706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730834)

If you're going to do it, at least go software RAID so that you don't have to worry about having a back up controller and worrying if that works.

Uh, bad idea. If your array is corrupted and you can't boot into the OS, your software RAID array could become totally inaccessible. I had this happen on an XP box with one of Intel's crappy hardware/software RAID arrays. Box couldn't boot, array was corrupted, and my slipstreamed XP disc didn't have the drivers required to run on my SATA DVD drive. Whoops!

Instead of buying an EIDE DVD drive, which would have worked with my XP disc, I ended up just upgrading to Win 7, which did work with the SATA DVD drive and which recognized and rebuilt the array. Still, it was a huge hassle and about a $100 expense.

Never again. If I ever bother with RAID in the future, it'll be with a (popular) hardware RAID controller. No more Winmodem-esque RAID solutions for me, thank you. But I honestly think RAID is a waste of time for home machines. You'd be better off spending that money on offsite backup solutions like CrashPlan.

Re:A lot of eggs in one basket... (3, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730956)

That was exactly his point. Your RAID required a particular piece of hardware. He suggested software RAID. Yours was some kind of awful hybrid. If you'd been using a real OS and real software RAID, you'd have had no problem.

SOTP TEH PRESSAS!!!! (-1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729794)

Storage is getting bigger and cheaper, you say? Unpossible, sir! I simply must purchase a dozen of these Slashvertised products forthwith, before this inconceivable trend reverses itself and leaves me flummoxed.

Meh (2, Interesting)

jridley (9305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729866)

Call me when price is comparable per GB to 1.5T drives. They're about $90, so when the 3T is $180, it starts to become interesting. I'd have to go to RAID 6 to fold 3Ts into my array of 1.5Ts though.

Re:Meh (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730518)

Big news! The biggest, newest hard drive isn't the best deal around! Spare us your insight. A new capacity hard drive coming out may not be earth shattering news, but 3tb drives weren't becoming more affordable yesterday.

Re:Meh (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731178)

And not only that, but $250 is the announced retail.

Comparing a good sale price to MSRP is rather misleading, donchathink?

Unlike Apple hardware and gaming consoles, the rest of the industry doesn't get away with price fixing. Expect $250 MSRP to translate into ~$225 retail pricing to start...if not lower. I can definitely see this drive pushing under $200 pretty quickly.

Someone should let Intel know that their top of the line CPUs are too expensive compared to the next tier lower :)

Re:Meh (1)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730874)

Call me when price is comparable per GB to 1.5T drives. They're about $90, so when the 3T is $180, it starts to become interesting. I'd have to go to RAID 6 to fold 3Ts into my array of 1.5Ts though.

Of course by the time these 3TB drives are priced at $180 the 1.5TB drives will be down to $65, and when the 3TB drives match that at $130 the 1.5TB will be down to $55. I'd imagine that the 3TB will not offer more "bang for your buck" until they drop to approx. $100 (or in other words a little more then the current optimum priced drives).

Re:Meh (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730936)

Storage Tracker [nyud.net]

You can get 2TB for $90, (21.980437 GB/$). For this to be competitive, it'd need to cost $140. [google.com]

Re:Meh (1)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730968)

Hello! I'm your friendly Seagate Rep lurking on the slashdots. Please post your phone number so that I can call you as soon as the price is right for you. In the mean time I'd love to talk with you about other products we offer. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Buy two (4, Insightful)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729868)

What I figured with these huge capacity drives, is that it takes so long to fill them that if they crash, it is a real nuisance almost no matter what is on them. Let's say you fill them with movies you downloaded from bittorrent. If you don't have a decent connection it can take months to download the same movies. And even if you can do a steady 5MB/s, you still have to account for all the time it takes to find back whatever you had previously from public or private trackers.

All I am saying, is that because of these huge capacity drives, I tend to go for at least raid 1. The time spent working to earn enough to purchase an extra drive (or two+ for raid 5), pretty much makes up for the time to acquire the same material if I only had one drive and it failed.

Re:Buy two (1, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729982)

That's true, however, what I'd recommend is partitioning them into smaller segments anyways. Main reason being that you really don't want a filesystem problem to take 3 tebibytes worth of data with it. The alternative though is to go with something like ZFS or probably any of the other copy on write filesystems out there they shouldn't be as sensitive as things like NTFS and the various FAT iterations.

Re:Buy two (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730242)

I can't speak for Windows, but speaking as a Mac OS X owner, I haven't seen filesystem corruption since about 10.2, nor Linux filesystem corruption since ext3 came out. If you're experiencing filesystem corruption with a filesystem, that means one of three things:

  • The filesystem you are using is immature.
  • The OS's VFS layer is immature.
  • You have bad RAM or a bad CPU or ATA controller (or ATA drivers, I suppose).

That third one is not as uncommon as it sounds. Most filesystem corruption is caused by bad hardware. Hint: if software is crashing regularly, your filesystem is at risk.

I've lost half a dozen hard drives to mechanical failure since the last time I saw filesystem corruption (not counting an ancient ext2-based, 2.2-kernel-based box that has a few unlinked inodes and a truckload of zero dtime inodes every time it reboots, neither of which results in actual data loss).

Re:Buy two (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730446)

I've had (in the AMD K6-2 days) a bad FLOPPY DRIVE CABLE somehow cause data corruption on an ATA disk when placed into UDMA mode. Just something weird that I ran into.

Still not very useful. (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730042)

If you download 3 TB of movies from bit torrent you'd be a fool to store it on that drive.
On top of all that it's not solid state. Why do they even make drives which aren't solid state?

A solid state drive which is 200 gigs would be far superior to the 3TB drive for external storage because of it's speed.

Re:Still not very useful. (3, Insightful)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730252)

Except for, you know, raw capacity. Oh, and price.

Re:Still not very useful. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730354)

Except for, you know, raw capacity. Oh, and price.

The only thing I can think of would be if you are an artist who makes movies, or if you run a business but even then you'd probably invest in something better than this.

Re:Still not very useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730526)

What? He works for the movie industry because he points out two areas in which solid state drives are not superior? Everyone does not choose their drives based solely on speed, just because you do.

Re:Still not very useful. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730704)

The only thing I can think of would be if you are an artist who makes movies, or if you run a business but even then you'd probably invest in something better than this.

A disk like this would be a nice DVR storage volume. Nothing on there is so important you can't lose it. I run hd-idle against some WD MyBooks and it works fine, they just spin down when I'm not accessing them. I'm waiting for my FreeAgent Dockstar to arrive, and I will attach my MyBooks to it... well, as soon as I get some GigE to go with it. That way I can shut down my primary desktop and still play my format- and/or time-shifted media from the PC hooked up to the TV.

Re:Still not very useful. (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730750)

There are literally thousands of use cases where a 3TB drive is a far superior choice to 200gig SSD. If they were in the same universe from a cost perspective it might make some sense to use SSD. While not this consumer model disk, businesses still rely far more on large capacity HDDs than SSDs. The biggest use of SSD in business today is probably caching.

Just because something is newer and even faster does not make it the best choice.

Re:Still not very useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32731148)

If you download 3 TB of movies from bit torrent you'd be a fool to store it on that drive.
On top of all that it's not solid state. Why do they even make drives which aren't solid state?

A solid state drive which is 200 gigs would be far superior to the 3TB drive for external storage because of it's speed.

Wait, what? Let me see if I've got this straight. Cheap, large drives are bad for movies but a 200GB SSD would be a good replacement?

A 200GB SSD would only be a replacement to this drive in the sense that a Ferrari 458 would be a replacement to a UPS truck.

Here's a hint; movie and media streaming doesn't need blistering speed and small space. In fact, if anything, it needs the exact opposite.

Re:Buy two (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730330)

I am still working on filling up my 1TB disk. I have a second one, and I rsync the first one to it periodically for the very same reason.

On the other hand, a 3TB disk would be a nice backup solution for a 4x750GB RAID0. And indeed, my plan for the next time I feel like spending money on my PC is to put a four-disk RAID in it, and to buy an external disk to which it can be backed up. Copy the array, edit the menu.lst, and grub-install, and you've got a bootable backup. Neat and sweet.

Finally, people doing video editing could definitely use a stripe of these disks as a working volume, using 1394 or USB3. (USB2 has too much processor overhead.)

Re:Buy two (2, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731032)

On the other hand, a 3TB disk would be a nice backup solution for a 4x750GB RAID0.

You are nuts. The unreliability of 750GB drives and the very long backup time would make your setup an exercise in pain.

Re:Buy two (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730828)

They're only $250. Get two, so you don't lose your data unless both fail.

Re:Buy two (2, Informative)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730876)

Sorry, didn't read parent (or even it's subject line) properly.

ehh, plain backup is enough (1)

phr1 (211689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731130)

RAID isn't really necessary for an application like that. RAID means when you change something on the drive, you update another drive simultaneously, in real time. For your bit torrent example it's enough to just use ordinary backups, which just means rsync'ing one drive to another every so often (nightly or whatever). That is fairly fast since it only copies the new or updated files, keeping the drives in sync. That may even help reliability, since the second drive isn't spinning except when you do a backup.

RAID (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729880)

Just for the note, RAID capacity is almost always smaller anyway, e.g. when mirroring/error checking is used, which is almost always the point.

----
"If you tell me which evil scientist has stolen your brain I'll try to rescue it for you" - Capt. Obvious

Re:RAID (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730312)

What do you mean, 'almost' ?

And, in case you're referring to "RAID 0" - the first letter of the acronym stands for Redundant, which 0 isn't.

banal platitudes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32729892)

This isnt one: "That's more capacity than my entire four-drive RAID for just $250."

But this is: "Yes, it is also a single point of failure. And judging from the fact that it is a Seagate, it is one massive gaping single point of failure. Your RAID is almost certainly more reliable, unless it is a RAID-0 of Seagate drives..... Let us be careful not to forget that the initial 1 TB drives had to use 5 platters because data storage density per platter isn't at all what it is today, even now the best platters I am aware of only have 500GB per side, so we are talking a 4 platter drive (maybe less, I might be out of the loop here). The 5 platter 1TB drives were unreliable, too much heat, a total of 5 heads on the actuator arm, etc. Best bet is to wait and see how many people suffer loss with this drive before you get one, and opt for the revision 8 of the drive. Just my 2 cents."

Than you for your time, have been your run of the mill pseudopedantic total douchebag asshat selfproclaimed clerisy fucking loser on /.

People shouldn't call and wake me up this early, ever.

Not interesting (1)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729900)

I cannot find from the site whether it is one internal 3.5 inch drive (which is news) or two (which is not news).

Quite frankly external drives are not technologically that interesting (to me).

Re:Not interesting (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730116)

From the dimensions here
http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/external-hard-drive/desktop-hard-drive/?intcmp=bac-en-us-home-h_hero1-goflexdesk-3tb#tTabContentSpecifications [seagate.com]

I don't think you could get two drives in there, but it could be a fat 3.5" drive similar to the 2.5" 1TB drives you get from various places.

Re:Not interesting (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730322)

Why aren't external drives interesting?

These things sound promising to me, but then I move uncompressed HD video between systems (think 6GB per minute, or double for 3D) between computers and locations.

Too noisy and too much heat waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32729906)

After using a Mac mini as my main computer for the last five years, all I can say is that 3.5" drives are just too big, too noisy and generate too much heat.

I'm waiting for 2.5" drives with increased capacity. These things can be powered by the same single USB cable they use for the data.

Re:Too noisy and too much heat waste (2, Insightful)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730680)

Unless they are SATA drives. Only the ATA drives worked that way. The 2.5 inch SATA drives still require the power connection to function. Since all of these newer drives are SATA (II or III) you will still need the power connection. I have tried and the 2.5 inch drives did not spin up until I plugged in the power connection. The data connection on a SATA drive does not give power.

I think I know why it's external. (3, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729980)

Because of two reasons:

1st) It's too damn slow to run an operating system from it, so they force you to use it as a second disk, through a slow interface like USB, so you won't notice.
2nd) It doesn't work in 99% of all bioses, and it probably requires a special driver to work through USB (at least on winslow systems).

They are masquerading the issues behind USB.

Re:I think I know why it's external. (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730658)

Also it's possibly not standard height, so while technically 3.5" may not fit in a normal PC.

Re:I think I know why it's external. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730716)

It doesn't work in 100% of all bioses actually. 3TB and up can only (practically) be partitioned using GPT. Regular partition tables can only encode a length and/or offset of up to 2TB, so you would be forced to partition it in two parts, where neither can be larger than 2TB. That approach would halt at 4TB anyway, as then the offset field is just plain too small.

When you switch to GPT you don't have a boot sector (MBR) anymore; you get an EFI loader. That means that most systems would need an EFI instead of a BIOS so they wouldn't work.

They're not masquerading. They're protecting the innocent & stupid masses from a non-working device because their software is too shitty to support it.

Re:I think I know why it's external. (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730842)

To your point 2: It won't work as a boot disk with *any* BIOS. My understanding is that no backwards compatible BIOS design would recognize disks above 2 TB in size. If you don't use the MBR disk format, you can exceed 2 TB, but MBR is the only format a BIOS can recognize and work with. That's why we've had the push to switch to EFI/UEFI; they'll work with GPT (GUID Partitition Table) disks, which on top of enabling disks of near infinite (9.4 ZB) size, also adds a lot of data integrity features. Right now, if your MBR is corrupted, your disk dies, at least as far as 99% of users are concerned. GPT disks store the critical data in two locations, and CRC check the data so they can identify corruption (and use the backup data).

Also, you meant "masking" not "masquerading." Unless you really think there is a costume party out behind "USB headquarters," and disk limitations are in attendance.

Bigger isn't better. (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32729990)

At this point we need faster more secure storage, not bigger. A solid state drive with optional encryption would be far more impressive than a 3 TB drive. What are we supposed to use a 3TB drive for? The internet isn't fast enough for most of us to fill it up. When we all have FIOS it might be a different story. And even then it will be too slow.

Re:Bigger isn't better. (3, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730130)

Actually, I think we need *both* bigger AND faster, more secure storage. This only addresses one of the issues, mind you - but it has some definite uses.

Off-hand, I wouldn't mind owning one of these as a "Time Machine" backup drive for my Mac Pro tower, for example. When I start working with video editing and try to keep around a library of clips I might want to re-use, plus having my entire iTunes music library and photo collection stored on it, I reach a point where a 3TB external backup drive would be nice. Not saying I'd have 3TB of data to back up ... but it allows keeping enough changed data over time so you can go back further in the past to retrieve older (now deleted) files you realize you want back.

Look at the price. (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730292)

http://www.everythingusb.com/seagate-freeagent-xtreme-1.5tb-external-hard-drive-15790.html [everythingusb.com]

This product seems to be "better" but it's also over $500. Thats certainly out of my price range and probably out of the price range for the majority. On the other hand it supports 128bit AES encryption. It supports HARDWARE encryption and you don't have to write down any passwords. I'd say it's a great external drive but once again $500+ for a 1.5TB drive?

Bigger drives have their purposes but overtime the bigger the drive the harder it is to organize all the data. If you know how to use regular expressions and desktop search you can solve the organization problem but then you end up with the problem of how to secure the data. You can encrypt the data with a password but to be secure it probably has to be written down which defeats the purpose. And none of these drives seem to be solid state drives. This means backing up files is usually slow as hell.

It's very useful to have 3TB backup. I'd say any serious user would need something like this, but it's better to go with speed and security for the price if you have to make a choice.

Re:Look at the price. (2, Insightful)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730898)

As the person you responded to already mentioned, it would be good for time machine backups. With time machine backups:

1. Organization is not an issue
2. Speed is a very, very, very negligible issue
3. Any data needing encryption should be encrypted at the source, again not an issue
4. Larger capacity means increased granularity and the ability to backup more machines
5. Why would I spend twice as much money for half the capacity and encryption I don't need?

The same could be said for any windows (or any other) backup solution. There are countless situations where speed and security are less important than Raw capacity. I have more than 2 terabytes of movies, tv shows and music on disk. (4x1 TB Raid 5). I would certainly consider 3TB drives (if they actually exist) in the future long before SSD, or a smaller, more expensive drive with encryption..

Re:Bigger isn't better. (1)

espiesp (1251084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730208)

Believe it or not, the internet is not the only source of data in the world.

Start ripping DVDs or especially Blueray movies and you'll eat up capacity 'very' quickly.

Re:Bigger isn't better. (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731120)

I didn't know you could rip bluray movies !?!? Has the system been broken already?

Re:Bigger isn't better. (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730310)

Really? I'm already using up 1.5 TB of data across 3 drives. No backup.

Get two of these, mirror them, and I get more space and a backup system.

Plus, if the data density has increased, they'll transfer data faster too.

Re:Bigger isn't better. (1, Flamebait)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730342)

I'm sorry that you have a slow internet connection, but for the rest of us it's pretty easy to fill up three terabytes with photos, music and movies.

Re:Bigger isn't better. (1)

CustomCaseGuy (1844690) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730688)

I agree. Plus we have all the space we need on the web.

Re:Bigger isn't better. (2, Interesting)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730858)

For you maybe. For me, disk space is and has always been the one thing that can't keep up. I don't ever need to max my ram, cpu, or gpu. But until they make a quantum leap in disk capacity (like 100 TB), I'll always been on the verge of being overwhelmed by data accumulation (mostly video).

Re:Bigger isn't better. (2, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730868)

DVCPRO HD [wikipedia.org] is 40 to 100Mbit/s.

A 2 hour movie would be up to ~90GB. Say you shoot video for a living, you could easily take 10 hours of video a week.

So you're up to ~1TB for a week of video. Plus scratch disk, plus some extra clips. 3TB starts to get filled very quickly.

Re:Bigger isn't better. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731024)

I'd like to see as part of the ATA spec encryption on the drive. Not just AES-256, but another algorithm like Serpent just in case AES has a weakness and gets depreciated. All SATA hard disks have the ability to set a drive password, so we should have it as part of the drive standard. Keys can be managed in a number of ways, either via a BIOS password, multiple keys (in case of enterprise recovery needs), or via a smart card/TPM chip. The upside of this method is that the encryption would then be not handled by the OS. This means Linux, Windows, BeOS, or anything on the machine would be secured regardless.

For external drives, ideally it would be nice to have a panel on the external enclosure for typing in one's PIN/passphrase. This way, should a computer be compromised and passwords obtained via a keylogger, the drive can still be secure. Or for even more security, have a USB port for smart cards. Fingerprint scanners are nice theater, but fingerprints are for usernames, not passwords. In combination with a PIN (with a system that erases the data after too many attempts) or passphrase, a fingerprint would provide decent security, but not just by itself.

DVR with an antenna (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731098)

HD signals over the air are about 9GB per hour. If you strip them down to one subchannel and then transcode to something more efficient you'll be looking at 1GB per hour. But if you're lazy and go raw things fill up fast.

Re:Bigger isn't better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32731152)

The internet isn't fast enough for most of us to fill it up

Try taking photos saving your images as RAW (.CR2) with an 18MP dSLR that also shoots HD video, and you'll soon find out that you need lots of storage. Also, speed doesn't matter for archiving.

RPM? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730014)

It's not a 5400RPM 'LP' drive is it? That would suck. The press release doesn't seem to say...

Re:RPM? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731090)

I thought LP was only 33.3 RPM?

eSATA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730128)

It's got Firewire (why?) but no eSATA? Come on.

NTFS? (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730184)

Each drive includes an NTFS driver for Mac.

We use HFS Plus, you insensitive clods!

Rate of Growth Slowing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32730186)

Back in 2007 and 2008 we Fujitsu and Hitachi both claimed we'd have 5TB hard disks by 2010

http://www.reghardware.com/2008/07/04/hitachi_5tb_hdd_2010/

Clearly they're falling well short of their goal. Thinking back I remember having the following hard disks at the following times:

1996 - 540MB
1999 - 8GB
2002 - 300GB

Back then we were seeing a growth of capacity that's an order of magnitude larger than we're seeing today. This isn't entirely accurate since I recall when I bought the 300GB drive it was the largest you could get, but when I got the 540MB drive 1.2GB drives were available (don't remember what the biggest was in 1998). However it still comes down to about 2x growth every three years now versus 20x growth every three years then.

Personally I think in these days of 24Mbit/sec HD video cameras and media servers we need capacity now more than ever (especially considering you need to buy twice your required capacity to backup). Sadly it's taking a painfully long time just to get internal 3TB drives out, forget the 5TB drives we were promised a few years ago.

Perhaps they just want to sell us multiple drives instead of one larger drive, thus keeping their profits up?

Re:Rate of Growth Slowing (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730706)

I've been thinking the same thing for a while. 1,5TB drives have been the cheapest per TB for a fairly long time now. I wonder if Moore's law for hd capacity is starting to break?

And not 30 minutes ago (-1, Offtopic)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730248)

And not even 30 minutes ago I see an article stating Porn industry dropping flash- Coincidence? I think not-Seagate is secretly a major player in PrOn! Think about it, it makes sense. The more you donwload the more storage you need. What better way to drive sales of new storage than by creating more content!.. haha

USB2? (1)

prattle (898688) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730588)

A 3TB USB2 drive is like sticking a slim straw into a McDonald's milkshake.

Re:USB2? (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731000)

If your USB2 link were running at 70% of rated capacity (~280mb/s) it would take just shy of 24hours of continuous data to fill it. USB2 is more than sufficient for most home backup applications, media storage, etc...

Only in the event of a migration would you try to move it all at once. I would rather see an eSata or even FW800 interface. But, it is still a useful device and the price is right.

Seagate ? No, Thanks ! (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730618)

Last December, I lost my 320Gb full of data due to their infamous click bug: when you power on the drive, it does a lot of clicking noises, and is very slow.
They released a patch which never solved my problem.

In fact, I lost 3 Seagates last year, so I cannot trust them anymore to store any of my data.

This one looks pretty expensive.
Seagate's heat dissipation is not very good, and also you cannot power down the drive when connected on a TV.

Re:Seagate ? No, Thanks ! (2, Insightful)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730938)

Yeah, I had some Seagate drives with a firmware problem and they wouldn't make the patched firmware available to the general public. You had to request it. Well I requested it and they never even responded. I used to be a Seagate-only kind of guy, but that debacle turned me away from the company forever and I buy at least 4-6 high capacity drives a year. I'll wait for one of the other companies to put these out.

Bigger Drives (3, Funny)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32730664)

This is really cool. This will be great for backup solutions. Since this is USB 2.0/3 this will be really fast. I can't wait to test one of these out.

Quick chat with Seagate Tech Support: (4, Informative)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32731048)

I chatted with Bryan W. with Seagate Support this morning.

My first thought was, hmm, did they do this sly and slip two 1.5TB drives in as raid 0? But, no, they didn't. It IS actually just one 3.5" 3TB SATA drive.

The distributed technical support documentation didn't have the cache or RPM, but the representative was leaning towards the RPM being 7200.

I even went so far as to ask about it working if removed from the enclosure. Since it meets SATA standards, he believed it would work without hindrance. The wording was "it's an internal drive in an enclosure."

So, very hopeful. My guess is we're seeing the External solution released first, and in the next coming weeks we'll see the internal version with more specs up here soon.

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