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3TB Hard Drives Square Off Against Everything Else

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the it's-not-the-size-of-the-platter-it's-the-motion-of-the-actuator dept.

Data Storage 160

crookedvulture writes "Last week, Western Digital announced its intention to buy rival drive maker Hitachi. Interestingly, those are the only two companies with 3TB hard drives available for sale. The Tech Report takes a closer look at how the two models compare with each other and over 30 different hard drives and SSDs. The resulting data paints a detailed picture of the storage landscape and is worth skimming for anyone curious about how spindle speeds and flash memory impact performance, power consumption, and noise."

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Celebrate Penises (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486382)

I made love to a black man and he made love to me.

An experience which will not be forgotten because it's recorded as an mkv on my 3TB Western Digital HDD.

Creamily yours,

CmdrTaco

Re:Celebrate Penises (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486450)

lying sack of shit. i sucked cmdrtaco's dong and it pooped (his wenis) white poo juice in my mouth.

then i spit in a cup and poured it over my carrot zucchini bread with candied ginger

Re:Celebrate Penises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487272)

Children, children, you are both right.

Re:Celebrate Penises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488322)

Meta troll FTW!

You're Wrong. (5, Informative)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486412)

Seagate has had a 3TB drive on the market for -months.- They were the first on the scene, in fact. How'd you miss this? They have a 64MB cache, 7200rpm SATA II / USB 2.0 / 3.0 external drive, with the internal drive version of it with a new, custom firmware to allow for old BIOS installation hitting the shelves at the end of March. You can take it out of the enclosure and use it internally if you really want.

That's not "the only two." That just makes Seagate "the only ones that waited for extra dev time to make it widely compatible for non-techies."

Re:You're Wrong. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486532)

"Seagate claims to be shipping a 3TB flavor of its Barracuda XT, but we haven't been able to find one that's actually for sale."

Re:You're Wrong. (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486598)

If you want the bare drive, you can pre-order it here:

        http://www.provantage.com/seagate-st33000651as~7SEGS27K.htm [provantage.com]

If you want it in the special packaging that doubles as a USB harddrive enclosure, you can get it here:

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148580&cm_re=3tb_seagate_usb-_-22-148-580-_-Product [newegg.com]

Re:You're Wrong. (2)

black6host (469985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487242)

"If you want the bare drive, you can pre-order it here:

  If you want it in the special packaging that doubles as a USB harddrive enclosure, you can get it here:
"

Are these the same drives? If so, why would one pay $265.xx for the bare drive vs 159.xx for the drive and an enclosure to boot? Plus have to wait for it..... I realize that different vendors will have different pricing but it's a pretty major difference if they are in fact the same drive.

Re:You're Wrong. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487364)

No, different drives, they are both 5 platter 7200 RPM drives, but the one in the enclosure only has a 32MB cache and comes with a 2 year warranty versus 5 years for the bare drive. There may be other differences like SATA speed, I'm not sure.

Re:You're Wrong. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488096)

Are there any with ESATA, USB3, Firewire, etc. or all together?

Re:You're Wrong. (2)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486660)

"Seagate claims to be shipping a 3TB flavor of its Barracuda XT, but we haven't been able to find one that's actually for sale."

You can find them here. [newegg.com] You can also find an article at Anantech called,The World's First 3TB HDD: Seagate GoFlex Desk 3TB Review [anandtech.com] here. There's a description about how to open the case and use them as internal drive. The Seagate external version is also $20 cheaper than the internal Hitachi 3TB.

Re:You're Wrong. (2)

sribe (304414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486626)

Seagate has had a 3TB drive on the market for -months.- They were the first on the scene, in fact. How'd you miss this?

They announced it May 2010 actually, and I've been trying to find one for sale ever since. Still looking...

Re:You're Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486898)

Have you checked the internet? I hear they have em there.

Re:You're Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486910)

Agreed. Seagate has 3tb drives also. It is still interesting if WD and Hitachi merge since there will be very little competition left in the drive market. I would compare the merger of WD and Hitachi drives in the same way as Scott McNealy did for HP and Compaq. It will be about like two garbage trucks backing into each other given that WD and Hitachi drives seem to fail much more often than Seagate drives in my experience.

FTFY (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486418)

*3TB internal

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3858/the-worlds-first-3tb-hdd-seagate-goflex-desk-3tb-review

Re:FTFY (1)

Kosi (589267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486710)

LOL, did you ever look into the case of such an "external HD"? Yes, it's just case with a normal HD inside, which you can take out and install in your desktop box like every other 3.5" drive (implying OS support) . Don't know what they smoked or snorted in Seagate's HQ before they decided to sell it only in the external casing.

Re:FTFY (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486780)

They probably smoked the "we don't want to be flooded with support calls for partitioning >2Tb drives." Lucky you don't make any major decisions, eh?

Re:FTFY (3, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487312)

Actually USB mass storage can support >512 byte sectors easily

E.g.

http://forums.storagereview.com/index.php/topic/28840-so-i-bought-the-new-3tb-goflex-desk/ [storagereview.com]

This actually presents a 4096 byte physical sector size to the OS. Handily this means that MBR partitioning will still work with it - that has a limit of 2^32 sectors but with a 4K sector size that is 16TB..

Windows is fine with >512 byte sectors at least post boot but I don't think it's possible to use them over ATA on any current OS. I.e. there are Advanced Format drives with 4K sectors but currently they all emulate 512 byte sectors over ATA. Probably moving to 4K native sector size on ATA is going to take some time since that requires changes to the ATA spec, drives, Bios and OS boot code.

Since the USB mass storage driver has supported >512 byte sectors for ages because CDs and DVD Roms have 2K byte sectors it's actually easier to get >2TB drives working over USB.

The reason I know about this stuff? I wrote this free tool

http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/guiformat.htm [demon.co.uk]

It so happens that it works fine with the 3tb Goflex USB drive because it has a 4K physical sector size. FAT32 has the same limit 2^32 sector limit as MBR.

So you can have 16TB FAT32 volumes to share your AVI files between your PC, Mac, Linux box and games console/media player. 16TB is a lot of movies, maybe even all of them.

Now some might say that it's insane to use such an old format. That's sort of true but FAT32 is good because it's so widely implemented. It's hard to imagine anything else being supported across such a wide range of devices. Also if all you're doing is streaming AVI files FAT32 is actually good enough - because it is so simple it is trivial to implement it and get stability and performance very close to the raw performance of the device. More modern file systems are not like that.

Re:FTFY (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487976)

I very well may be incorrect here, but it sounds to me like you're confusing clusters (aka, allocation units) of a file format and physical disk sectors. However, it's important to note that a cluster is a group of physical disk sectors, and at some point the hardware has to address every single sector of a disk. The OS can deal with clusters of sectors because it logically makes things much easier, but the actual hardware needs to work with sectors. Since historically magnetic disks have always had 512 byte sectors,

Yes, FAT32 supports 4K allocation units. So does NTFS. It's the NTFS default, in fact. Lots of disk formats support cluster sizes larger than 512 bytes.

Partial output of 'format /?' on Windows 7:

NTFS supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K.
FAT supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K, (128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes).
FAT32 supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K, (128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes).
exFAT supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K, 128K, 256K, 512K, 1M, 2M, 4M, 8M, 16M, 32M.

Note that the FAT and FAT32 files systems impose the following restrictions on the number of clusters on a volume:
FAT: Number of clusters <= 65526
FAT32: 65526 < Number of clusters < 4177918

You want a disk that has clusters larger than 512 bytes? Format it. Chances are it already had 4K clusters anyhow.

You want a disk with sectors larger than 512 bytes? You need an Advanced Format drive. The industry has been working on long sector format disks for the past 10 years precisely because they saw this problem coming, and only completed the specification about a year ago.

You want to boot a disk larger than 2TiB? Standard PC BIOS (one of the few remaining relics of the old IBM PC) can't do it. The MBR necessarily must end at 2TiB due to math limits. You need a disk with a GPT instead of an MBR and EFI instead of PC BIOS.

I'm not completely sure, but I *think* that you *should* be able to install and boot a 32-bit OS with native Advanced Format and EFI/GPT support (note that that excludes all Windows OSs currently), an Advanced Format drive, and a GPT/EFI setup all with a disk larger than 2TiB. Leastwise, in this scenario there shouldn't be any mathematical limits, but again I'm no expert and I've no idea if a given OS will support a given setup. Indeed, in this situation I think a 32-bit system would be able to work just fine on disks as large as 16TiB. The support has to be the complete stack from the sectors (Advanced Format) to the system firmware (EFI) to the disk partition format (GPT) to the file format to the operating system (you can suffer some performance issues if the OS is not AF-aware and doesn't align your clusters to the sectors correctly). I'm certainly no expert, but the reading I've done on the topic suggests this is the ultimate goal.

On Windows you can use Powershell to determine if your disk aligns to the 4KB sector boundaries pretty easily:
Get-WmiObject Win32_DiskPartition | Select-Object Name, Index, BlockSize, StartingOffset | Format-Table -AutoSize

If StartingOffset is divisible by 4096 (that is, StartingOffset % 4096 = 0) you're fine. Windows 7 and Vista do this by default, I believe, although there is a hotfix for Windows PE to ensure that it does this. If you're still using disk-based imaging instead of file-based, though, you'll want to check your systems to be sure they're aligning correctly on Advanced Format disks. Such systems will experience performance degradation if clusters and sectors are misaligned. I do not know (as I've never used an Advanced Format disk yet) how BlockSize changes.

Re:FTFY (2)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488252)

> I very well may be incorrect here, but it sounds to me like you're confusing clusters (aka, allocation units) of a file format and physical disk sectors.

No, not at all - I'm talking about physical sector size, not cluster size.

The limit on both FAT32 and MBR is 2^32 physical sectors. FAT32 allows for clusters of 2^n sectors where n is 1 to 7.

> Since historically magnetic disks have always had 512 byte sectors

In the US hard and floppy disks are both 512 bytes. But Japanese PC-98 machines had floppy formats with 1024 byte sectors. And CD and DVDs have always had 2048 byte sectors. So do DVD-RAM disks. Windows supports 512,1024,2048 and 4096 byte sector sizes, and so does the USB mass storage class. ATA doesn't support anything but 512 byte sectors - there's probably a proposal to do so but I don't know of any hard drives that currently implement it. You'd also need Bios and OS boot code changes to make this work. At present Advanced Format drives have 4K sectors internally but emulate 512 byte when talking over ATA.

> I'm not completely sure, but I *think* that you *should* be able to install and boot a 32-bit OS with native Advanced Format and EFI/GPT support (note that that excludes all Windows OSs currently), an Advanced Format drive, and a GPT/EFI setup all with a disk larger than 2TiB.

EFI supports drives with 2^64 sectors. If you want a >2TB drive and MBR partitioning that drive needs to have physical sectors bigger than 512 bytes. E.g. a 3TB drive will have more than 2^32 sectors if they are 512 byte but less if they are 4096 byte.

Unfortunately Windows - at least x86 Windows - can't boot off an UEFI Bios and you need an UEFI Bios to boot off GPT. It's also pretty hard to find commodity x86 motherboards with UEFI (all Itanium boards are EFI and Intel Macs are a sort of bastardised EFI), which is why Microsoft didn't make it work. You can get UEFI boards with x64 though, and this is supported in Vista x64 SP1

All of which presents hard disk manufacturers with a bit of a problem for >2TB drives - they could emulate 512 byte sectors but then they'd need to use GPT which x86 Windows won't boot off. Or they could expose the 4K sectors but ATA and Bioses don't yet support that.

However if they make an USB external drive they can expose 4K sectors to the outside world since USB Mass Storage supports this (it had to because of Japanese floppies and optical disks) and there will be less than 2^32 sectors so MBR partitioning will still work.

too late for wikipedia (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486442)

lol.. someone tell the super-aspergers at wikipedia they dont need to delete knowledge anymore... we have 3TB harddrives now...

Re:too late for wikipedia (4, Funny)

trentblase (717954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486884)

I ignored your comment due to: Lack of notoriety, lack of proper citation, inconsistency with the style guide, and of course my severe aspergers.

Re:too late for wikipedia (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487426)

I'll have 2 aspburgers, large fries, and a large Mt Dew please

[Post marked for deletion] (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486966)

n/t

Re:too late for wikipedia (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488010)

I hope their 3tb drives suck less than their 2tb drives. I've bought a number of them both before and after a rumored "bad batch" and in total, almost half of them won't format on any OS (it's not an issue with the 4k sectors as the problem occurs in systems which support 4k sectors out of the box). OSX, Linux, Windows 7. Often, BIOS sees the drive, but the OS and disk management utils don't see it, so they can't even be initialized. Of the remaining drives, I've had several crap out on me within six months. Everything was find with the 1.5tb drives. But after that . . . major problems.

My 2TB hard drive is so big... (3, Interesting)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486494)

...I forget what is on it all the time. Sometimes I wander across some forgotten directory and it is like discovering a secret treasure trove, but usually it is junk. I'm not prepared to say "We'll never need more than 3TBs of hard drive space," but aside from cyber-hoarders, porn addicts, and legitimate business uses, the supply of hard disk space has clearly exceeded the demand.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486518)

the supply of hard disk space has clearly exceeded our crappy bandwidth capabilities There, fixed that for you.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

Toam (1134401) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486606)

I disagree.

If I keep backups/digital copies of every cd/dvd/etc I have (and lets face it, I'm downloading shit, mostly), and many ISPs (in Australia) now have plans with monthly downloads (or at least data - up and down) of 1TB, I don't think that supply of hard disk space as exceeded anything. Obviously this would come under grandparents "cyber-hoarders", but still.

Also, I hoard scientific data (and by "hoard" I mean "have for legitimate research purposes", but I am a bit of a hoarder...) which is many TB currently and constantly increasing. So again, hard disk space has not "clearly exceeded" anything (this probably comes under grandparents "legitimate business use", I guess).

But I'd imagine that the two classes I've mentioned (loose definitions of cyber-hoarders and business use) are pretty significant demographics....

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (2)

enoz (1181117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486618)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a Volvo full of HDDs.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486742)

That's one of the things that I like about some of the new online backup firms. Crashplan allows you to pay for them to send you a 1tb drive for you to backup to and send in, so as to speed things up. And both they and backblaze will send a HDD with your files overnight if you need a large amount of files and can't wait for them to download.

It's not perfect, but in some situations that's quite necessary. OTOH last time I really needed a file it was well under a megabyte so downloading was the most expeditious way of getting it.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487466)

Yeah, but the latency is horrible!

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487870)

Umm, zero? Bandwidth is measured in Hz, not Mb/s.

Sorry to inform you that the engineers grabbed that word first. You'll have to think of another term.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488028)

Hardly. If you prefer to store music in FLAC, when possible, there's hundreds of megabytes per album. If you prefer to store your movies in high quality 1080p, you can be looking at 30gb per movie. That doesn't even consider other content you might archive. Photo albums, home videos, audio books, podcasts. Then triple the amount of storage, so you can have a local backup and a remote backup. Hell, I have a 1tb drive that is for nothing but my installed Steam games and it's almost full (and I only have about 85% of my Steam games installed).

The supply of hard disk space and bandwidth just means that we can start to utilize higher quality materials rather than pruning everything down like we did for the past twenty years. Drive space is likely to remain just as much a commodity as ever before, though.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486534)

Starting putting all your movies on the drive and you will soon find out how wrong you are. This just means we might be able to stop compressing the hell out of them when we rip them.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487230)

Totally agreed with you on that one. I have all my dvds backed up to my 2tb drive, and use sickbeard to automatically download tv shows I'm interested in as they air. Combine that with steam, and space gets tight pretty quickly.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

frank_carmody (1551463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487268)

Hoorah! I can finally re-purchase all my albums in 24-bit, so I can hear them the way Dr. Dre hears them! (j/k)

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488122)

He would just call you a "cyber-hoarder" because there is, of course, no reason anyone would want to use a computer to do work, instead of sorting, searching, and inserting scratch-vulnerable optical media in meatspace.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488218)

Nah, you guys would be hoarders because there is no reason to watch a movie more than once.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488230)

With the new broadband caps, you'll still continue to compress the hell out of them

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488238)

Indeed. The media server for my home theater has almost 40 terabytes of storage and it's just about full.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488532)

You and others are completely missing his point. He's not saying you *can't* find stuff to fill a 3TB drive, but that 3TB is now overkill for most people. Even 500GB is far more than most people use.

There was once a time when no matter how much storage you had, an average person would *need* more. Then it became the average person would *want* more. Now the average person has more than enough space.

That doesn't mean there are those with above average storage requirements. They are generally "hoarders" and/or AV pros or enthusiast. But now, as you are saying, you have enough space for all the video and audio you want, you are now moving onto compressing them less. At some point computer storage will be so vast you will be able to store raw, uncompressed data, assuming storage continues to increase sufficiently to do so.

But for most people? They're already well served by their current drives. They aren't storing TV shows and movies, but as cloud services like Netflix and Hulu mature, and new entrants to the cloud like the rumored iTunes service arrive, these people may never feel the need to store non-personal media locally.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (2)

X-Power (1009277) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486538)

When you watch video on your computer, do you watch it in 100x100 resolution?

My guess is you don't watch it in full bluray quality, but you sure as hell watch it in better quality than they had "back when".

So don't worry, soon 3TB will be on USB 8.0 drives and you will still need to get the 3.5 TB version to install your favorite OS from it.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487666)

You're thinking far too small. By the time a USB 8.0 would come around at the current rate of development, we'll have 3TB in a tiny, tiny little cube due to quantum holographic 3-dimensional storage [zdnet.com] (35bits per electron quantum space x2... seriously!!). A mere 3.76975415 × 10^11 electron quantum spaces :)

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486550)

Nonsense. You're just behind the times. Anyone with any sense is ripping their media to HD for LAN access. It started with CDs, moved to DVD and now blu-rays, all at jukebox instant access from any device in the home. It's called convenience in the modern world. Home NAS with 6TB storage is not for geeks any more, non techs that don't want to piss around with discs are fully up to speed with it. Maybe when you grow up, leave home, have a family, you'll want to manage your media pretty quickly, unless you're so late in the day, we have a genuine streaming options beyond the pathetic offers of today.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486552)

I'm in the boat going the opposite direction. 1 tb drives are nice but 10 tb drives would give me so much more room for what I need without the hassle of having multi-disk arrays.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487672)

While sacrificing reliability and performance? Nah...

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486702)

Was it the word "Cyber-hoarders" that managed to tick people off so much? I'm pretty sure no one is offended by being called a porn addict. Personally, I'm moving most of my data off-site but it is true I don't rip videos all that often. I generally don't buy them and streaming here is fast enough that the quality difference is negligible. Point to those with crappy bandwidth and massive (non-porn) movie collections.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487494)

No I think what ticks some people off is some half-wits who assume that just because they have no need for something that no one else will. Or that just because someone's needs are different than theirs that those people are somehow abnormal. Funny thing is usually when it comes to computers its the person saying that what we had yesterday was good enough is usually just behind the times and cant see the future when its staring them in the face.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487704)

Actually, my generalization (and yes, like almost all generalizations there will be edge cases) may hold true, thought not quite yet, which is why I didn't slam the door shut unequivocally. It is interesting to me that my comment triggered such emotional responses in a few people here. While being a little trollish, I really wanted to see where a lot of people would run with my admittedly obtuse statement. To many people Moore's Law is an unalterable universal truth but many of the current projections have it falling apart soon, if it hasn't been dis-proven already. I feel the same way about the hard drive issue. In general, the majority of computer users today are not saddled with a need that demands steadily larger and larger storage mediums. People who compress large movie libraries to a single hard drive or store vast amounts of astronomical or scientific data are not the norm. With the advent of cloud computing and increasing bandwidth across the states, I just feel that eventually client-side data may even go into decline for the majority of users. There are a lot of maintenance and risk associated with storing everything locally without good fail-safes or a clear backup plan that cloud-based services will eventually offload from many users as well. Certainly, this is a long-term theory that will be played out over the next ten years or more, but to say that we will continue to expand the need for hard drive space infinitely seems to be more obtuse (at least to me) than even my original provocative thought.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (3, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487740)

Because it's a stupid idea encouraged by the mindlessly fastidious to map a concept that applies in one domain (i.e. hoarding stuff in the real world) to another domain without really considering whether it even makes sense to do so.

Computers are machines to organize data. The whole point of a computer is that you don't have to delete the seldom used stuff, it won't get in the way of your other stuff. You just put it on your endless array of back shelves, and let the machine worry about finding it again if you ever need it. Storage is cheap. Stop deleting stuff. You don't have to keep your drive under 5% usage. That's not neat, it's wasteful.

Rsync backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486716)

I use my 2TB drive as a backup device, using rsync-backup. A nightly backup of 400GB takes around 20 minutes (after the first time), I always have the current revision available and nightly snapshots going back for as long as I want. So far, 6 months of nightly backups has consumed around 600GB. When I run out of space, in a few years time, I'll just buy a 10TB drive (or whatever is available) and keep going.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486728)

Well, for the average desktop with traditional inputs, maybe.

Of course, if you process high quality photos, simply store your movie collection, or work with uncompressed/lossless files, you could probably always use space. Science will always want more space too for their data and more precise data. For the rest of us, the excessive size is probably a good thing, as the move to a smaller SSD with an HDD simply as an archive would be easier.

But I don't pretend it will be good for all time. With the trends of the last decade (iPods, iPads) we're seeing computing trends of the future - more and more in our lives, more personalized. One day, we'll be wearing iShirts and iUnderwear that has a bunch of health related sensors and will download that data to our drives. Or the standard home security system will have 8 camera feeds at 1080p all going to a 100TB harddrive that saves weeks of footage while we're on vacation.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487124)

but aside from cyber-hoarders, porn addicts, and legitimate business uses, the supply of hard disk space has clearly exceeded the demand.

Several years ago, I would have agreed with you.

I'm hardly a 'cyber hoarder', but between photos, MP3s, and movies (ripped from DVD, not downloaded), and a couple of vmware images with snapshots ... I'm actually finding my 1TB drive is filling up, and the second 1TB I back up to is filling as well.

I'm very seriously pondering adding another a couple more terabytes. I can remember being incredulous at the idea of a gigabyte, and now I'm looking at more terabytes ... It truly amazes me how much ones storage needs simply grow over time.

Give it a decade or so, and you'll be buying terabytes from a hook in the checkout lane next to the Weekly World News. ;-)

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487224)

...I forget what is on it all the time. Sometimes I wander across some forgotten directory and it is like discovering a secret treasure trove, but usually it is junk. I'm not prepared to say "We'll never need more than 3TBs of hard drive space," but aside from cyber-hoarders, porn addicts, and legitimate business uses, the supply of hard disk space has clearly exceeded the demand.

What a fancy way to say you have no imagination, and poor organisational skills. Just because YOU don't have a use for large hard disks, don't try and dictate what others want or need. You'd be better off spending the time organising your files.

I've got several tens of terrabytes worth of data. No porn, sorry. I don't have any problems with finding data on my drives because my directories are organised well.

My wife and I have taken a couple of terrabytes worth of pictures over the last decade. And now that i'm doing advanced photo editing, an image that starts out life as 12MB ends up at 200MB with multiple layers etc. (Sure I could throw the intermediate away and start from scratch if I ever want to re-edit, but why?). Anyone with even a bit of common sense makes multiple backups. Hard drives fail.

Then there's my collection of Linux distros and free software for various operating systems. I'll have to clean that up one day because even I don't have a use for a 10 year old Linux distro. But they're legal and they take up a LOT of space.

Then there's science data. I'm aware of (but do not have a copy of) one astronomy catalog that is 80GB in size (USNO-B1.0). I do have ones that are large but not as large (USNO-A2.0, UCAC-3, Hubble catalogs etc). They work well with freeware astronomy software. Do I _NEED_ them? No, but no one NEEDS movies or pictures either.

So movies aren't the only use for large hard disks. However someone who takes video instead of stills could use about 100 times as much room and still run out. Someone who keeps movies (and this can be done legitimately) also would run out more quickly.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487864)

I have been prediction for some time that still photography will actually become rare. When a single frame of a video file gets to be the resolution of a reasonable snapshot, the idea of taking single shots will start to become silly. Why try to catch that 'just right' still frame when you can just record the scene and pull the 'just right' picture out in post.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488004)

I have been prediction for some time that still photography will actually become rare. When a single frame of a video file gets to be the resolution of a reasonable snapshot, the idea of taking single shots will start to become silly. Why try to catch that 'just right' still frame when you can just record the scene and pull the 'just right' picture out in post.

There are several reasons why still photographs will continue to be taken
- Space to store video will always be 2 or more orders of magnitudes larger. Capturing 200GB instead of 2GB isnt' appealing even if the hardware is cheap because it takes ages to process
- A still can freeze action at 1/1000th of a second and less. The equivalent high FPS video would be more like 4-5 orders of magnitude the size
- Stills are easier to manipulate and edit. Even stills from video would require finding the right moment
- You only need a moment of a person's time to show them a still. You need a chunk of time to show them video

You will continue to see increasing frame rates on still cameras, and the occassional slow motion capture video camera for a while. But there are physical limits.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488166)

The only reason that space and processing time matter is because hardware is just not up to snuff yet. Give it time. It will get there.

Stills are not easier to manipulate and edit than stills from video. They are exactly the same. The only difference is that with video, you don't have to hope you got the right moment. It is obserd to think that getting the original shot would be easier with a still only camera than it would be via a video.

I never suggested that you would show someone a video. If you wanted to show them a video, we are already there, but that isn't the point.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488312)

Stills defintely are easier to manipulate than video. To extract the still image you want , you have to find it. Lets say you know to within 4 seconds. That's 100 frames you have to review to find the right one.

A 25fps still camera would make much more sense. You take short bursts when you think there's going to be action. We're already at 10-11 fps on pro bodies at much higher resolution than HD video.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488328)

25fps isn't a still camera. It is a video camera. And it is much easier to edit a picture that actually exists as opposed to one that doesn't because it happened 1 second after you snapped your single shot still image.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488176)

What a fancy way to say you have no imagination, and poor organisational skills. Just because YOU don't have a use for large hard disks, don't try and dictate what others want or need. You'd be better off spending the time organising your files.

Well, aren't we angry? Seriously, talk to a counsellor. This kind of anger is being needlessly directed at others. Whatever your problem is, deal with it yourself.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488318)

What a fancy way to say you have no imagination, and poor organisational skills. Just because YOU don't have a use for large hard disks, don't try and dictate what others want or need. You'd be better off spending the time organising your files.

Well, aren't we angry? Seriously, talk to a counsellor. This kind of anger is being needlessly directed at others. Whatever your problem is, deal with it yourself.

I don't appreciate other people telling me my legitimate use is not valid.

Love it when an AC tells you to seek help (usually it's the OP or a friend).

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487918)

...I forget what is on it all the time. Sometimes I wander across some forgotten directory and it is like discovering a secret treasure trove, but usually it is junk. I'm not prepared to say "We'll never need more than 3TBs of hard drive space," but aside from cyber-hoarders, porn addicts, and legitimate business uses, the supply of hard disk space has clearly exceeded the demand.

Using your own use of hard drive space to represent what everyone needs is a pretty flawed way to make an argument.

Re:My 2TB hard drive is so big... (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488184)

You think 2 TB is big? I have a 500 GB drive, and after two disk crashes (and much lost data), I'm still finding porn^Wmusic I saved years ago.

WDC - WTF?! (3, Insightful)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486548)

From someone whose Hitachi backup drive just saved his bacon when his 4th WDC drive this year failed, I'd say this is bad news.

Maybe its time to buy a shedload of these 3Tb drives before WDC gets their hands on them and they become Deathstars again.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486596)

From someone whose Hitachi backup drive just saved his bacon when his 4th WDC drive this year failed, I'd say this is bad news.

Maybe its time to buy a shedload of these 3Tb drives before WDC gets their hands on them and they become Deathstars again.

Newegg sells them in a 20 PK for $3700. [newegg.com]

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487284)

Wow, they sure charge a lot for tat extra TB. The 2TB versions are about half the price.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487456)

It's quite a bit less than half the price. If you wait for one of the periodic markdowns or coupon deals, you can get the Samsung 2 TB for anywhere from $75.99 to $79.99.

And the Samsungs are far superior to any of the other brands.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487514)

They also charge a bundle more for the 20 packs than the singles.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486612)

They really need to change the name. When I first glanced at TFA I read it as "Deathstar" - that's not a good frame of mind to be reviewing hardware with. Give some poor little marketing droid something to do.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487588)

If they were going to change the name it would have been back when they were known as the "Deathstar" drives.
Hitachi bought the hard drive line from IBM. Shortly before that, IBM had a great number of these drives fail and the moniker "Deathstar" was used to describe any of the deskstar line. Things got back on track after Hitachi took over, not that IBM wouldn't have put out a decent drive after that.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488342)

Several of my friends bought the "IBM Deathstars" back in the day and ALL of them failed.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487752)

Surely a droid would find the Deathstar comforting...

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

SilentChasm (998689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488540)

Deskstar [wikipedia.org]

Deathstar was what some people referred to them as.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (2)

Kosi (589267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486754)

I have 6 320 GB WD RE here, running almost 24/7 since I bought them in 06 or 07 (the time when 320 GB was most bang for the bucks). Before, I had 250s from Maxtor, where I had to send in three of them in less than the four years my WDs run without any problem now.

Pity that you can't buy REs anymore, as the price difference to the normal drives went from perfectly acceptable to totally insane (IIRC I paid about 20 or 30 Euros more for each, now they cost more than double of a "blue").

Re:WDC - WTF?! (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486908)

Yea every single WDC I have owned was either dead in less than a year, or a joke, like the one I just tossed (as hard as I could) into the dumpster, only a few years old, PATA but only ultra 100, dick memory, and loud as crap.

Someone gave it to me, I wouldn't trust it to wipe my ass on, that is if I wanted to slow a pentium III down

Re:WDC - WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487394)

From someone whose Hitachi backup drive just saved his bacon when his 4th WDC drive this year failed, I'd say this is bad news.

Maybe its time to buy a shedload of these 3Tb drives before WDC gets their hands on them and they become Deathstars again.

Correction: WDC didn't make the DeskStar (DeathStar) drive and neither did Hitachi; IBM did.

Not speaking about WDC's vs Hitachi quality these days or in the past but WDC was not responsible for the DeckStar drives. Hitachi inherited the problem and the reputation from IBM's failed line and the replacements Hitachi sent worked well after they had some time and addressed the problem.

This was when IBM was reinventing itself as a software/service company... Microsoft screwed them over OS/2.

I recall replacing a good many IBM DeskStars with SeaGate, WDC, Maxtor and eventually Hitachi DeskStars when they became reliable again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitachi_Deskstar.

Re:WDC - WTF?! (2)

YoshiDan (1834392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487894)

Funny; I've had the opposite experience - several Hitachi drives have died on me... I buy WD drives now and they've been fantastic. Although I think I may switch to Seagate if WD does buy Hitachi...

512/4096 sector alignment? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486622)

Did they get the alignment between the old 512 byte and new 4096 byte sectors right for the Caviar Green? I know the performance is average, but mine doesn't suck as much as their benchmarks make out. The Caviar Green misreports its structure as 512 byte sectors, in an effort to be windows compatible. To get full performance out of it, you have to be careful to (possibly manually) align the file system so its 4096 byte clusters line up with the drive's 4096 byte sectors. If not, the Caviar green attempts to emulate 512 byte sectors, and has to do multiple accesses for each 4096 byte cluster read/written. On read, it needs to read the first half of the cluster, then the second half (throwing away portions of each sector). It gets worse on write, as the drive will read in a sector, write the part of the cluster that overlaps it, then write it back, then repeat the process for the second portion of the unaligned cluster. Get the alignment right and its one access per cluster, and the drive actually performs pretty well. Next time, WD might make life simpler by ditching the 512 byte sector emulation, and trusting the user's operating system to actually work with 4096 byte sectors.

Oh yeah, turn off the Caviar Green's "auto head parking" "feature" as well, as under Linux the drive parks and unparks its heads about every 8 seconds, as the default "sleep" time for the drive seems to be marginally less than Linux's average time between disk accesses.

Re:512/4096 sector alignment? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487082)

Linux - User friendly since 2011.

Re:512/4096 sector alignment? (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487486)

Or just buy a half decent brand in the first place. I have 432 hours on some new Samsungs and the SMART data shows power cycles = 6 and load cycles = 6. No brain dead head parking every few seconds. They run cool as cucumbers, too.

Re:512/4096 sector alignment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487510)

Did they get the alignment between the old 512 byte and new 4096 byte sectors right for the Caviar Green? I know the performance is average, but mine doesn't suck as much as their benchmarks make out. The Caviar Green misreports its structure as 512 byte sectors, in an effort to be windows compatible. To get full performance out of it, you have to be careful to (possibly manually) align the file system so its 4096 byte clusters line up with the drive's 4096 byte sectors. If not, the Caviar green attempts to emulate 512 byte sectors, and has to do multiple accesses for each 4096 byte cluster read/written. On read, it needs to read the first half of the cluster, then the second half (throwing away portions of each sector). It gets worse on write, as the drive will read in a sector, write the part of the cluster that overlaps it, then write it back, then repeat the process for the second portion of the unaligned cluster. Get the alignment right and its one access per cluster, and the drive actually performs pretty well. Next time, WD might make life simpler by ditching the 512 byte sector emulation, and trusting the user's operating system to actually work with 4096 byte sectors.

Oh yeah, turn off the Caviar Green's "auto head parking" "feature" as well, as under Linux the drive parks and unparks its heads about every 8 seconds, as the default "sleep" time for the drive seems to be marginally less than Linux's average time between disk accesses.

Currently, its very much geared towards compatibility with XP. Setting up the partitions under XP makes them misaligned, doing so under 7 is fine. There is also the WD align utility somewhere on the net, but again, its for Windows XP users.

slippery insertion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486630)

but can I put my ,.,., in it?

Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (4, Informative)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486734)

Seagate used to be top of the line as far as hard drives were concerned but these past few years have shown a drop in quality. My 1.5 Tb Seagate started acting flakey last summer so I ordered a Hitachi as a replacement while Seagate sent me a refurb drive. We'll see how long the Hitachi lasts.

Back when 80Gb drives first came out I ordered one from Maxtor. Months later it started acting up and they sent me a replacement, which died not long afterward. A few drives later they sent me a brand new retail kit. At this point I knew enough to run the Maxtor diags before even formatting the drives. Well the diags said this drive was also bad. Yes I did run diags on different boxes to rule out a bad motherboard or cable. I decided it wasn't worth the $8 to send back drive number 6 (yes SIX) and bought a Seagate instead which is still in use today.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486860)

there's just no refuting the theory that there are 4 good hard drive
engineers on the planet, and they move en mass from company
to company. the trick is switching brand about 2 years after the
switch. then you have about a 2 year window to find a new supplier.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486944)

I dont know but I wish we had some real data on that subject

as I just stated above every single one of the WD drives I have ever owned was dead in less than a year, or a total joke technology wise. Seagate and maxtor have been really good to me in the past, but here I am with seagate, bought a brand new drive, died within a year and they sent me back a refurb, though that was only 1 drive out of darn near 100 that I have bought over the years, I don't like paying full price for a refurb drive so it tarnished their relationship with me.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (5, Informative)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487316)

We do have real data on that subject. Google did extensive recording of their hard drive failures a few years ago, and they go through piles and piles of HDs.

Verdict: No significant variation in failure rates between HD manufacturers.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (2)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35486950)

Seagate started tanking in quality just after they bought Maxtor.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487052)

It amazes me how much peoples opinion of drive reliability is coloured by their own personal experience of one or two models.

For example, I've got some old Maxtor drives that are still going strong, so Maxtor always gave me the impression of solid reliability just based on personal experience of a single very old DiamondMax model. I had to replace virtually every Seagate Cheetah in every server across multiple servers under warranty multiple times until the model was discontinued because they kept failing, so I got a bad taste from Seagate. Five years later the replacement models are still going strong, so it turned out to be just one bad drive model. Then there was the IBM Deskstar, so notorious the whole business got sold on multiple times.

I'd accept that statement based on stats from say, Google, but what I've learnt is not to trust subjective opinion and make sure drives have a good warranty with good replacement options.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487472)

Yea, small sample size means that the data might not be accurate. For example, I have >10 Seagate drives and they all work great (both the server grade drives and the consumer grade ones), but that could mean that some other guy got a lot of bad drives. Or that the drives really like being on 24/7 and the fact that the computers are connected to a UPS. OTOH, one of my two WD drives is acting up. One of my 4 (3x consumer-grade, 1x server-grade, 15kRPM) Maxtor drives corrupted the data after about 5 years of use, while an older one (5400RPM) still works normally.

Then again, last time I bought a new drive was about 3 years ago, the quality might have dropped after that.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487034)

Got a Seagate 7200 RPM 1.5 TB going out on me too. started off as a single "click" that is supposed to be "normal," but now it's gone to more clicking, stuttering, and garbled text in the terminal. It's going back. I'll try one more, but if I have to do this again, I will be RMA'ing it with the intent of it becoming a backup drive. Perhaps I'll get one of these 3TB.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487434)

If you want a reliable HDD, you're better off going SAS as they're considered classified as enterprise level hardware. Generally, they have a higher MTBF rating.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487506)

Yes. The Samsung 2 TB are superbly high quality, reliable, quiet, low power, and cheap.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488180)

Based on the number of comments you've made about Samsung drives on this article: we get it. You like Samsung.

Re:Does anyone make a reliable drive now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488264)

I have purchased over 50 Hitachi 1TB and 2TB drives in the last few years. I've had no drive failures and 1 DOA. 20 of the 1TB drives have been running 24/7 for almost 4 years. It's anecdotal, but I've had good luck with Hitachi so far.

Drive now cheaper than tape again for backup (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486952)

I worked out (exhaustively) the cost of storing backups on both tape and NAS in our datacentres. Ignoring compression, it turned out that LTO-5 tape libraries worked out just cheaper than 2Tb drives in a NAS JBOD configuration. The electrical cost of keeping all those discs idling barely made a difference, but there was also the cost of rack space to consider. With 3Tb drives, the balance tips back the other way again.

previous math discardead; 1+1 extrapolated (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487476)

deepends on how you interpret it. georgia stone freemason 'math'; the variables & totals are objective oriented; oranges: 1+1= not enough, somebody's gotta die. people; 1+1=2, until you get to .5 billion, then 1+1=2 too many, or, unless, & this is what always happens, they breed uncontrolled, naturally (like monkeys), then, 1+1=could easily result in millions of non-approved, hoardsplitting spawn. see the dilemma? can 'math', or man'kind' stand even one more League of Smelly Infants being born?

there are alternative equations being proffered. the deities (god, allah, yahweh, buddha, & all their supporting castes) state in their manuals that we needn't trouble ourselves with thinning the population, or being so afraid as to need to hoard stuff/steal everything. chosen people? chosen for what? to live instead of us? in the case of life, more is always better. unassailable perfect math. see you at the play-dates, georgia stone editing(s) etc... babys rule.

Power consumption numbers (1)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35487548)

Aside from their shock-resistance, I'm interested in SSD's for their reported energy efficiency compared to traditional platter-based magnetic disks. The power consumption part of the tests [techreport.com] has interesting numbers on power usage that show traditional mobile hard drives being competitive to SSD's.

The most energy efficient 128 GB Kingston SSDNow draws a mere 0.2 watt when idle, but not much higher is the 750GB WD Scorpio Blue, which draws 0.4. On load, the numbers go up to 1.1 and 2.0 watts respectively, less than a watt of difference.

Are smaller (-1.8") SSD's more efficient than notebook-sized (2.5") SSD's? Besides the shock resistance, does an SSD offer that much of an advantage over a traditional HD when packed inside a tablet or smaller form factor computing device?

INteresting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35487612)

This is an interesting development

3TB Hard drive (1)

karanmehta1980 (2016904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488020)

: I personally feel that all the companies are going in for consolidation. And the biggest gainers are the small companies or the ones who have this as side business... Everyone is consolidating and almost every tech company want to get into the Cloud computing space...thats heating up bigtime. Karan Mehta www.iwebsnacks.com
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