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WD's Terabyte Scorpio Notebook Drive Tested

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the border-guards-will-not-be-amused dept.

Data Storage 100

MojoKid writes "Recently, Western Digital stepped out and announced their new 1TB 9.5mm Scorpio Blue 2.5-inch notebook drive. The announcement was significant in that it's the first drive of this capacity to squeeze that many bits into an industry standard 9.5mm, 2.5" SATA form-factor. To do this, WD drove areal density per platter in their 2.5" platform to 500GB. The Scorpio Blue 1TB drive spins at only 5400RPM but its performance is actually surprising. Since areal density per platter has increased significantly, the drive actually bests some 7200RPM drives."

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Density (1)

fnj (64210) | about 3 years ago | (#36930284)

And the 2.5" form factor once again pulls into approximately equal volumetric parity with the 3.5" (when you count the actual space consumed by the drive and mounting arrangement for 2-3 2.5" drives compared to 1 3.5" drive). And roughly equal power consumption per GB as well.

Re:Density (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930332)

yeah I like 3.5" drives in my laptop too

Re:Dabang (0)

xiayou (2316372) | about 3 years ago | (#36930408)

Re:Dabang (1)

kakarote (2294232) | about 3 years ago | (#36930426)

i am also using this but there is no problem in my laptop..!! he always giving me better service or the total talk is this:- only this is.

Re:Dabang (1)

michiko (2270072) | about 3 years ago | (#36930598)

i also agree with you because i have 4.5 version drivers too... and his company name is gigabyte and they are the best for me because right now m commenting from that lappy ;)

Re:Dabang (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#36932346)

this. thread. is. hilarious.

gigabyte are the best for me!

I hope this is assassintroturfing, because I really like Giga-Byte.

Re:Dabang (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36932912)

First poster posts a linkshortened link, then the sockpuppets chime in with psuedo-English. Identified at a glance by the fairly recently registered UIDs for each poster.

Re:Density (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 3 years ago | (#36930792)

And the 2.5" form factor once again pulls into approximately equal volumetric parity with the 3.5" (when you count the actual space consumed by the drive and mounting arrangement for 2-3 2.5" drives compared to 1 3.5" drive)

Actually, two 2.5" drives (70x100x9.5 mm) will fit perfectly on top of a single 3.5" drive (102x146x25.4 mm) (wikipedia entry on dimensions [wikipedia.org] . By volume, one 3.5" HDD = 5.3 2.5" HDDs. So 2.5" drives surpassed 3.5" drives in volumetric data density long ago.

I suspect the main constraint on 3.5" HDDs right now is heat from putting too many platters inside. The 2.5" drives demonstrate that they can squeeze in a lot more platters and heads within the same height. They could probably cut the 3.5" HDDs to half height if there were a market for it. But it looks like the market is heading towards 2.5" HDDs and SSDs.

Re:Density (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930840)

they make 3T 3.5" drives.

Re:Density (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#36930914)

Actually I'd say they have already licked the 3.5 heat problem by dropping the speed to 5400 or 5900 RPM. As TFA shows once you get to a certain level of density the slower speed drives keep up quite nicely with the faster drives, especially if it has a decent sized cache and Windows 7 is given a decent amount of RAM to use for Superfetch.

Personally I never thought I'd own a drive slower than 7200RPM, as I still had bad memories of the late 90s 5400RPM drives but after building several kits for customers that came with new 5900RPM drives as the only drive I have to say I was wrong. I took the plunge and bought a 5900RPM Samsung EcoDrive to replace my gaming drive and damned if it didn't whoop the 400Gb Seagate 7200RPM drive it replaced on benchmarks. I guess that 32Mb buffer really makes the difference.

I'm only sad we have lost Samsung and Hitachi as hard drive manufacturers as they really made great drives.I hope WD keeps their quality up as Seagate has already turned to shit since buying Maxtor. After having three Seagate Tb drives die in less than a year I wouldn't touch their crap again. So congrats WD, please don't pull a Seagate and turn to poo, okay?

Re:Density (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 3 years ago | (#36931886)

Unfortunately I'm seeing the same pattern with WD. When did Hitachi stop making drives? I bought one not long ago. I agree those were good drives.

Re:Density (1)

bluegreen997 (2096462) | about 3 years ago | (#36933940)

That is the thing with anecdotal evidence it is not factual. And as such when people bash Seagate/WD/Intel/AMD/Ford/Chevy whatever unless they back it up with fact it has no weight.

For some reason it is popular to bash Seagate, I see this all the time on the hardware forums. But it is important to take that for what it is. Nothing.

Re:Density (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#36934760)

IIRC WD bought Samsung's drive business, and Seagate Hitachi. It may be the other way around. Either way bye bye two of my favorite manufacturers. If I was you I'd look into snatching another drive before they run out. As soon as this customer pays me next week (just waiting on his wireless card so I can finish up his build) I'm gonna grab me the 2Tb Samsung EcoDrive while they are still out there. They really are top notch.

And as for the poster that says Seagate is all "anecdotes"? Bullshit, total bullshit. Go to Newegg, go to Tigerdirect. look at the comments for ANY Seagate above 750Gb and you'll see fail after fail after fail. Seagate just can't seem to build anything over 750Gb that doesn't end up killing itself. some are saying their firmware code is shite, some are saying their are cheaping out on the motors, personally I don't give a shit WHAT is causing it, all I know is that 3 different Seagates with different batch numbers ALL shit themselves barely 4 months down the line. Considering I have not seen a failure of a Samsung or Hitachi drive in ages having three in a row by a single manufacturer was enough for me.

So if you like Hitachi snatch while you can friend, as they and Samsung will be no more by Oct. Both WD and Seagate said they'll honor the warranties so no loss there, and as I said I've not had a lick of trouble with drives from either company. they will be missed.

Re:Density (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930920)

In theory, smaller platters should permit higher rotational speeds (same linear speed), and less stroke per head, so an arbitrarily capacity RAID should be faster with many 2.5" HDDs than fewer 3.5" HDDs. So at the same volumetric density, 2.5" makes more sense. (In practice, AFAIK both 2.5" and 3.5" drives mostly top out at 15k RPM -- I think there were a few 20k?)

But GP's point involved mounting them, which for enterprise RAIDs usually means some sort of hotswap bay, so I think his claim of just reaching volume parity makes sense -- for that application.

Speaking of form factors, anyone remember 5.25" hard drives? I liked the Bigfoots back in the day -- affordable high-capacity, and they were third-height, so you got decent airflow over them in half-height bays. Last one I had was the 19GB model -- case makers had finally given up on spare 5.25" bays for HDDs, and since my compact-tower case had opticals in both front-facing bays, I had to make standoffs and mount it to the bottom of the case.

Comparing that sucker, I'm seeing about 600x increase density in just over a decade. Damn.

Re:Density (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937714)

Speaking of form factors, anyone remember 5.25" hard drives? I liked the Bigfoots back in the day -- affordable high-capacity, and they were third-height, so you got decent airflow over them in half-height bays.

Yes, I remember them. Didn't ever have a BigFoot though, I'm pretty sure. Weird-shaped things, weren't they. I may have picked up one from a corpse pile one time.

Last one I had was the 19GB model

My last one was ... I can't remember the make, but it was 90MB. Absolute bitch because I had to partition it into 2x32 and one 24MB chunks.

Then, just as I was seriously thinking about getting a copy of Coherent (£100, I think it was) I heard about this mad Finn with a project to learn about 386-en.

Re:Density (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 3 years ago | (#36931814)

Actually, two 2.5" drives (70x100x9.5 mm) will fit perfectly on top of a single 3.5" drive (102x146x25.4 mm) (wikipedia entry on dimensions [wikipedia.org].

Yes in principle you can fit four 2.5 inch drives in the space of one 3.5 inch drive by mounting them sideways. In practice though even if you put the screwholes for mounting under the drives you would struggle to get a backplane into the 2mm of space you have next to the drives. Front to back you also only have 6mm for the incoming sata connectors and for the mounting hardware that supports the drives. I'm not sure whether such a mount is possible but if it is then it would require some pretty serious precision engineering and i've never seen anyone selling them.

So in practice you get two 2.5 inch drives per 3.5 inch bay even though this leaves over half the physical volume of the bay either empty or filled with mounting hardware. Even if you did get four drives into a bay and used this new drive then you would still only be getting 4TB compared to the 3TB you would get by using a single 3.5 inch drive.

Re:Density (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about 3 years ago | (#36931852)

Even if you did get four drives into a bay and used this new drive then you would still only be getting 4TB compared to the 3TB you would get by using a single 3.5 inch drive.

Or 3 TB in raid 5. Anyway you put it, you'd get a massive increase in throughput and/or redundance.

Re:Density (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 3 years ago | (#36931214)

This drive puts them well ahead actually. It also gives a good indication about western digital shipping 4 or even 5TB desktop drives soon. These platters have an areal density of around 125GB per square inch. If they can produce that across a 3.5" platter then they'll be looking at 1TB platters, and hence 4-5TB drives.

Re:Density (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939856)

WARNING ! COMMENT BY OLD FART

Why in my day, my first HD was bigger than a shoe box, only came in an external model, weighed about 20 lbs., and had the amazing capacity of 20 Mb. AND WE LIKED IT"

You're Mad Scorpio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930286)

The Simpsons: You only live twice

[Scorpio has a James Bond-style secret agent strapped to a table with a cutting laser edging up towards him]
Hank Scorpio: Ingenious, isn't it, Mr. Bunt?
Secret Agent: Scorpio, you're totally mad.
Hank Scorpio: Hah. I wouldn't point fingers, you jerk.
Secret Agent: So, do you expect me to talk?
Hank Scorpio: I don't expect anything from you, except to die and be a very cheap funeral.
[walks off]
Hank Scorpio: You're gonna die now.

Have a Heart! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930288)

Folks, before you start commenting on this one, take a minute to think about how many trees, whales, children, and owls die to make your special electronic gadgets. Give a hoot, be like me and stop using the internet, before it devours our beautiful, sexy mother Earth! --Underground Commando of the Campaign for a Free Internet

How is that surprising? (1, Troll)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36930310)

The Scorpio Blue 1TB drive spins at only 5400RPM but its performance is actually surprising. Since areal density per platter has increased significantly, the drive actually bests some 7200RPM drives.

Has there ever been a single generation of drives in which the next generation of 5400 RPM drives did not beat the existing generation of 7200 RPM drives? Okay, maybe you have to skip two generations. Either way, it's not unusual by any means. When people ask on audio recording boards whether they need 7200 RPM drives, I'm always quick to point out that a new 5400 RPM laptop drive approaches the speed of the early 15,000 RPM desktop drives, and can spank the 7200 RPM laptop drives from just a few years back.

The only thing surprising about this drive is that normally the 7200 RPM drives come first, before the 5400 RPM drives at that density.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

bazald (886779) | about 3 years ago | (#36930338)

The only thing surprising about this drive is that normally the 7200 RPM drives come first, before the 5400 RPM drives at that density.

That's patently false for 2.5" HDDs. I can't remember a time when I haven't had the choice of a faster 7200 RPM drive or a higher capacity 5400 RPM drive when notebook shopping.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36930654)

In that case, there's nothing at all surprising about this drive. :-)

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#36931414)

When it comes to hard drives, I prefer them to be surprise free!

Re:How is that surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930362)

in terms of throughput you may be correct because of the higher density but seek latency is dominated by rotation speed. no 5400rpm drive will have seek latency anywhere close to a 7200, 10k or 15k rpm drive

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 3 years ago | (#36930718)

Depends of your definition of "anywhere close". If you compare data sets of the same size, as is appropriate, the larger capacity drive will effectively be short-stroked leading to some effective reduction in seek latency so it really depends. Comparing full stroke seek latency of drives with unlike capacities is misleading; a newer generation, higher capacity but slower spinning drive can absolutely "come close" on real workloads.

Re:How is that surprising? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#36930374)

It depends somewhat on your workload:

Being at the top of the areal density pile will make your nice, long, continuous reads or writes run like a bat out of hell; but it isn't nearly as useful if you are dealing with highly scattered reads and/or writes. If the area you need has passed the head, you just need to wait until it comes around again.

Long run, high-RPM drives are probably on their way out, since high-density, lower-RPM ones do impressive linear performance and absurdly low cost, while decent solid state gear kicks out the I/OPs better than an entire shelf of 15k screamers; but you can certainly construct tests, not entirely artificial, where RPM matters more than density, within reason.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36930636)

True, but just about every passing generation has faster seek/settle speed than the previous generation, too. At this point, that's just a very small part of the total seek time (I think), but IIRC, it used to be a much bigger part.

Re:How is that surprising? (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 3 years ago | (#36930802)

Long run, high-RPM drives are probably on their way out, since high-density, lower-RPM ones do impressive linear performance and absurdly low cost, while decent solid state gear kicks out the I/OPs better than an entire shelf of 15k screamers

It seems like we'll eventually have both a HDD and SSD in our system, with a smart filesystem which automatically puts randomly accessed files on the SSD and sequentially accessed files on the HDD.

Re:How is that surprising? (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#36931556)

The question is really more how and what level will be managing it. On the one end you have pure heuristics based on usage and access patterns, on the other you have a completely fixed split installation between the SSD and HDD. The downside to heuristics is that they don't work until it's gathered statistics, it doesn't use any ex facto knowledge even though we know what the performance critical parts of the game is the launcher and engine, not the cinematics. They're prone to misclassification, move around in a video looking for a particular scene and it could be classified as random access, even though it makes no sense. And worst of all from a consumer point of view, the performance is unpredictable. Suddenly things are much slower because it's been evicted from cache but there's no obvious reason as to why. The current mechanisms also look more to usage than access method, after all randomly accessed files that you never use don't make sense to cache. However this too is an imperfect approach, the MP3 playlist you have running often may lead to all the MP3s being pulled into cache because they're used so often, even though it makes no sense since they're played at 320kbps or less.

Personally, I would like to manage my SSD more by myself, picking what goes where but I find I lack the granularity. There's 25GB games and you can either install it all here or all there, there's no in between. I'd like to be able to pick an application and get a slider bar starting with "Full - SSD only" and ending with "None - HDD only" with settings in between.

Take for example Civilization 5, total size 4,58 GB.
461 MB is the opening movie in different languages.
1,21 GB are UI resources (bitmaps)
959 MB are terrain textures
1,46 GB are sounds.
106 MB are DirectX installers

Subtract that and you got 430 MB that is the "core" of the game - maybe less if you go through it properly. That's small enough I'd like to say just install it, keep it on the SSD permanently. That way it'd take >1 TB of installed applications to fill up my 128 GB SSD, not just a few all-or-nothing hogs. Of course there's a few downsides to this approach, you get RAID0-ish reliability, if one disk failes the entire installation is hosed. And you have to move those in sync if you want your files somewhere else. But overall I'd be pretty cool with such a solution.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

bluegreen997 (2096462) | about 3 years ago | (#36935264)

Sounds like the old option when installing from CDs. Where the game would leave some parts of the data, like movies and sound, on the CD.

Now the question is the SSD market saturation high enough to warrent game makers to program that type of option into the game. My gut says no but it is indeed an intresting idea.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 3 years ago | (#36931340)

Being at the top of the areal density pile will make your nice, long, continuous reads or writes run like a bat out of hell; but it isn't nearly as useful if you are dealing with highly scattered reads and/or writes.

I thought density mattered in the radial direction too, and the less you have to move the head, the better it is for seek latency.

If the area you need has passed the head, you just need to wait until it comes around again.

Agreed. But the way I understand it, this is an argument for high RPM. High density is somewhat orthogonal and improves performance in other ways. So why don't they make 2.5'' drives at 15k RPM? Wait, I think they do, they just package them in 3.5'' cases.

In my understanding, making computer hardware faster has always been about higher densities and smaller sizes. I don't see why storage would be fundamentally any different.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#36933356)

"but you can certainly construct tests, not entirely artificial, where RPM matters more than density, within reason."

You don't need tests, you can definitely notice a quicker boot-up and snappier performance when using a 15,000 RPM drive. Those milliseconds add up fast!

I always wanted a 15,000 RPM drive, so when they dropped to ~$40 on ebay (they're cheaper than that now) a few years back I picked one up along with a cheap PCI SCSI card. The difference was very noticeable, XP booted much faster than normal, and the transfer rate maxed out the PCI bus. I still have it in one of my PCs.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36934094)

You don't need tests, you can definitely notice a quicker boot-up and snappier performance when using a 15,000 RPM drive. Those milliseconds add up fast!

Depends on the OS you're running. Mac OS X does a lot of work to make sure that booting consists largely of long sequential reads (the kext cache, etc.). If you saw a huge difference in boot times with Mac OS X (more than a couple of seconds), then you're probably seeing a sequential throughput difference rather than anything to do with seek penalties.

As an aside, I'd be curious to see boot time comparisons on an Air, just to see how much those boot caches contribute to Mac OS X booting almost twice as fast as Windows 7 on typical (spinning-drive-based) hardware.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 2 years ago | (#36941174)

--If you don't mind my asking, which SCSI card did you go with? I'm still using an Adaptec 2940, but I know there are faster ones out there that may still allow booting...

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#36933282)

"I'm always quick to point out that a new 5400 RPM laptop drive approaches the speed of the early 15,000 RPM desktop drives"

True, but no one buys a 15,000 RPM drive for transfer rates, they buy them for access time, which you can't increase with higher areal density. Even our modern 3TB drives are no match for a 10 yr old 15,000 RPM drive.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36934214)

The random read performance depends on four factors, not one: the areal density, the seek/settle time, the rotational latency, and whether the data is in the drive's buffer cache already.

The modern 5400 RPM drives have higher areal density, making the actual read slightly faster and putting a lot more data in the buffer faster, faster head arm motors, making the seek/settle faster, and probably larger buffers, though to be honest, I don't remember the buffer sizes of the early 15K drives because they were out of my price range. :-)

Thus, the performance comparison is going to vary based on workload, and for many workloads, the new 5400 will beat the older 15k. For audio purposes (which is the context I'm usually describing performance in terms of), it's fairly sequential reading (of multiple mostly sequential stripes in alternation), which is why the modern 5400 RPM drives spank older 7200 RPM and 10k RPM drives.

I think you might be surprised how infrequently computers actually do highly random access to data that isn't coming out of a buffer cache these days (apart from application cold launch times, and in some OSes, boot times). There's a whole lotta cachin' goin' on (at least in Mac OS X; YMMV).

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956118)

"The random read performance depends on four factors, not one: the areal density, the seek/settle time, the rotational latency, and whether the data is in the drive's buffer cache already."

About 99% of random read performance depends on RPM, the other 1% is everything else. As for areal density and buffer: Techwarelabs short stroked a 7200rpm 1.5tb to 300gb and only got 10.3ms [techwarelabs.com] while 2004's (ok 7 yrs not 10 like I originally said) Fujitsu MAU3147 15,000rpm SCSI drive has a average random access time of 5.7 milliseconds. [storagereview.com] That Fujitsu is a 73gb drive with a much smaller buffer (8 vs 32mb) and much lower areal density than the 1.5tb drive and it's still nearly twice as fast at accessing data randomly. In case you think that's some kind of fluke Tomshardware tested a 450gb 15,000rpm SAS drive. It got 6.0ms. [tomshardware.com]

I've tested 15,000rpm drives on xp, vista and 7. Boot-up and starting programs is night and day difference, but you don't really notice the difference any other time.

"it's fairly sequential reading (of multiple mostly sequential stripes in alternation), which is why the modern 5400 RPM drives spank older 7200 RPM and 10k RPM drives."

True, but very few people do a lot of sequential reading, unless you're doing a lot of video editing with large-ish files, ~100+ mB, where a older 50mB/sec 7200rpm drive would be beat by a modern 5400rpm 100+ mB/sec drive due to the areal density, but you have to go back several years to find a 7200rpm drive that only does 50mB/sec.

Re:How is that surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36938232)

I'm sure a modern 3TB drive would match or beat a 10 year old 15k RPM drive if you used short stroking* [tomshardware.com] on the modern drive.

*Wikipedia has very little info on this subject, but this link was from the references in the disk partitioning article, and it is quite informative.

Re:How is that surprising? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956056)

"I'm sure a modern 3TB drive would match or beat a 10 year old 15k RPM drive if you used short stroking* [tomshardware.com] on the modern drive."

You would be wrong. 2004's (ok 7 yrs) Fujitsu MAU3147 15,000rpm SCSI drive has a average random access time of 5.7 milliseconds [storagereview.com] . Tomhardware short-stroked a 7200rpm 250gb SATA drive down to only 12gb and only got 8.5 milliseconds. [tomshardware.com] They also tested a 15,000 SAS in the same test and got 6.0ms.

Techwarelabs short stroked a 7200rpm 1.5tb to 300gb and only got 10.3ms [techwarelabs.com]

There is no replacement for RPM.

Still Crazy for Capacity? (0)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | about 3 years ago | (#36930372)

I don't know why there is still such craze with high capacity drives for laptops? For me the capacity seized to matter once the drives touched 200 GB. I would opt for 160 GB SSD over 1 TB HDD any day for my laptop. I was just checking out laptops on Internet this evening and when customizing laptops, most sites list 640 GB 5400 RPM drive as an upgrade over 500 GB 7200 RPM drive. i consider that as a downgrade. I would rather have high speed than high capacity. Though in this particular case they do say that in spite of being 5400 RPM it has good performance. But that is a one off case.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930418)

Your needs don't represent everybody. I use a laptop as my only machine, and if possible I want to have all my files on said machine. An external drive is used for backing up only. So for me, the larget the drive the merrier.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

brxndxn (461473) | about 3 years ago | (#36930684)

Seriously.. 'I don't know why there is still such craze with high capacity drives for laptops?' That is because you have a myopic view of your single career from your single life experience. You are not a walking market. Why make such sweeping statements?

For my career, I am expected to have virtual machines and various software with me for different scenarios when I am called in emergencies (industrial programming)... No matter how much space my laptop drive has, I keep it filled.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | about 3 years ago | (#36930422)

Personally above 200gb, I tend to err on the side of power consumption for my laptop any more.  As it is, with 4gb of ram most of what I do doesn't touch the disk when I'm on battery.  Of course if all other things are equal I will pick the larger drive just because it gives me more for my money.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 3 years ago | (#36931894)

Personally above 200gb, I tend to err on the side of power consumption for my laptop any more. As it is, with 4gb of ram most of what I do doesn't touch the disk when I'm on battery. Of course if all other things are equal I will pick the larger drive just because it gives me more for my money.

What's up with you and other people routinely posting comments in that fixed-space "tt" font (rather than the default) for no apparent reason? Is there some rationale I've missed, or is it just an annoyingly lame attempt to get attention?

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36932636)

Or the very bizarre use of "anymore".

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 2 years ago | (#36964910)

Actually it was because for some bizarre reason, slashdot decided that my comments are supposed to be formatted as "code" rather than Plain Old Text like I have told it numerous times.... I don't know how why or when it fucks that up but it seems to happen to me somewhat regularly.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930496)

For digital DJs who do video mixing, this thing is a godsend.

(yes, I used to play on vinyl. yes, I still play on vinyl)

State of matter... (2)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | about 3 years ago | (#36930498)

For me the capacity seized to matter...

Does this mean you now have a solid-state drive?

Re:State of matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36931218)

No, he meant "since my disk locked up". Seized, that is.

Re:State of matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36932716)

Please show me a hard drive that uses vacuum tubes? ALL drives are solid-state.

Re:State of matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36932852)

Conventionally, solid-state devices don't have moving parts.

Re:State of matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36933068)

Neither do vacuum tubes. Want to try again? "Solid state" means that electric current is controlled inside a, well, solid, as opposed to a vacuum, gas, or liquid. Period. That's all it's ever meant.

Re:State of matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36941390)

I didn't say vacuum tubes were solid state. Moving parts aren't the only disqualifier. "(A) is a member of (X)" doesn't imply "(B) is not a member of (X)."

Sorry, but you're wrong about hard drives. A platter might be considered solid-state, but the whole drive is not. That's just the way the term is used in common parlance, better get used to it!

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#36930544)

A 1 TB drive in my laptop and it is wonderful. I have a 512 GB SSD and a 1 TB HN-N101 Samsung. Don't know where TFA got the idea that this is the first 1 TB 2.5 inch drive, this particular Samsung has been around at least a couple of months. Anyway, having that large a drive allows me to 1) have a hot backup on the machine - if the SSD dies, I can option boot into the other drive and off I go and 2) have tons of storage for video and digital images. A terabyte just doesn't go too far these days if you do graphics / video.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36930722)

I actually looked for 9.5mm terabyte drives just a few weeks ago and did not find any evidence that anybody had built one, so reading your post about the Samsung came as something of a surprise. Thanks for the tip. I was hoping somebody other than WD built one, as my previous experiences with WD drives have been acoustically unpleasant....

I still wish somebody built a 1 TB SSD drive (commercially available, as opposed to the pureSilicon hardware that seems to be vaporware), but at least SSDs have almost caught up now, so I'm hoping the Samsung I'm about to buy at Fry's tomorrow will be my last mechanical hard drive.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

DeathSquid (937219) | about 3 years ago | (#36930884)

FYI Intel has 600GB 2.5" consumer grade SSDs on the market right now. Not quite 1TB yet, but come back in 12-18 months...

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930994)

The number of consumers that can afford a 600GB SSD is approaching 1 at this time.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36933982)

Yeah. They were the ones I was referring to when I said that they had almost caught up, Unfortunately, I'm pushing the limits of my 500 GB drive at the moment, which means that would only give me a paltry 100 MB storage gain.

The big problem is that I take photos. Lots of photos. In RAW mode. They add up rather quickly, to the tune of ten or eleven megs apiece. On my last vacation, in a week, I shot somewhere on the order of two thousand pictures. There went fifteen or twenty gigs. Most vacations just net me one or two hundred pictures, but that's still a gig at a time. And, of course, I like to keep all my photos on my laptop.

With that in mind, I'd go through an extra hundred gigs in a matter of months, or maybe a year. Thus, if I'm going to move up to an SSD, it needs to be a lot more than a 100 gig bump. It doesn't really make sense to increase capacity by less than doubling at this point, and particularly if it costs more than a grand to do it.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | about 3 years ago | (#36935254)

Why would you use an SSD for long term storage of RAW images? That's like fueling your yacht with whale oil 'cause diesel isn't expensive enough.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

bluegreen997 (2096462) | about 3 years ago | (#36935740)

Why would you use an SSD for long term storage of RAW images? That's like fueling your yacht with whale oil 'cause diesel isn't expensive enough.

Grin.

I think the reason would be that most laptops only have the one hard drive port. So if someone wanted the benifits that using a SSD plust some storage space they would have to get a big one.

Of course his particular issue seems like it screams for a nice big USB drive solution but shrug.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

DeathSquid (937219) | about 3 years ago | (#36930878)

I bought two of these WD drives mid-June (i.e. 1.5 months ago) from Amazon. So they aren't exactly new or hard to source.
So far they are proving to be fast, quiet, cool and reliable. Standby mode works well, unlike some earlier WD 2.5" drives.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#36930584)

I'd rather have the slower and cooler and less power hungry drive...

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#36930600)

I constantly replace laptop drives and constantly peoples lives on there, I cant for the life of me figure out after someone's 3rd replacement they don't go get some bank dvds or something

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 3 years ago | (#36930730)

I travel for a living. I like having all my tools on-hand (about 300 GB of tools - compilers, FEA engines, CAD packages, schematic capture/board layout), all the datasheets I may need (typically 60-80 GB of data), my last few years of e-mails (another 30 GB), and a few thousand of my CDs ripped for entertainment purposes. Because the Internet connection in my place outside Chaiyaphum, Thailand is a 45 minute drive away...

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 3 years ago | (#36930762)

I always figured 640k would be enough for anyone.

Joking aside, I've got a kid, and while I don't let him watch too much TV, when we're on a long drive or some such, having access to the whole DVD collection is key to keeping things sane. Plus it allows me to put the collection away (not just the kid's stuff, but the rest of the collection, too) but still have access to it disc free via my AppleTV. At today's drive costs, I'd say I use about $35 worth of disk space for this purpose. I don't have a TB drive yet, but I did just move up from a 500MB to a 750MB in my laptop.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930904)

I make music and DJ with my laptop and I can count my total audio files in days. I need a huge drive and I don't like carrying my external everywhere.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (2)

cynyr (703126) | about 3 years ago | (#36932580)

Start taking CAD files with you on the road... along with the 3 years of e-mailing them back and forth, and you will find very quickly that you need that space. Go to a customer site and take photos (lots of photos) with a DSLR and you will like having the space.

Not everything is for those that just want to use the laptop in the living room.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 3 years ago | (#36933986)

Which is why I prefer the Thinkpads where I can sacrifice the optical drive bay and put a 2.5" SATA drive in its place.

Fast SSD as the main drive, big slow magnetic drive in the optical bay for bulk storage.

And maybe a large-format SD card in the card-reader slot for a bit more storage.

Re:Still Crazy for Capacity? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#36954638)

sounds great, I have no need for shiny disks in my laptop.

Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930430)

Actually, actual actuation actually actuates actually.

Actually,
Actual

Fair Warning (2, Interesting)

yamamushi (903955) | about 3 years ago | (#36930698)

These drives have actually been on the market for well over a year now, and I was (un)lucky enough to pick one up last year when my local Fry's Electronics got them in stock. While the drives themselves are handy because of the amount of data you can squeeze into them, making my macbook pro a beast of a mobile studio (at the time I was using it for music production), they seem to be prone to issues. The first drive lasted about a month, before I almost lost several weeks worth of a project I was working on due to the drive crashing. I was able to retrieve my work from the drive by mounting it externally before it became completely unreadable, and I attribute this to the high density drives not being able to handle the average bouncing around of a laptop in a backpack. When I attached the drive to one of my linux workstations, I could hear the disks spinning up but dmesg wouldn't pick up the drive and they just kept spinning endlessly louder and louder. The second drive lasted about 2 months before a similar problem occurred, though by that time I had migrated most of my work to a different workstation. I replaced the drive with the original 500gb drive my macbook came with, and I haven't had any problems since. In short, I'm not sure if the early drives off the assembly line were just prone to failure more often or if perhaps I was just extremely unlucky with the ones I procured. Either way, I am rather uncomfortable about putting any important data on one of these drives in the future until they've been on the market for a while and have been thoroughly tested.

Re:Fair Warning (1)

PayPaI (733999) | about 3 years ago | (#36930810)

Why weren't you using Time Machine?

Re:Fair Warning (4, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 3 years ago | (#36930848)

"These drives have actually been on the market for well over a year now, and I was (un)lucky enough to pick one up last year when my local Fry's Electronics got them in stock."

The 9.5mm, 1TB version? Over a YEAR? Even Samsung's 9.5mm 1TB drive only came out a few weeks back... it only came into regular stock last week. WD's version isn't even showing up in online shops yet.

WTF are you talking about?

Re:Fair Warning (1)

yamamushi (903955) | about 3 years ago | (#36930866)

I didn't see the 9.5mm size mentioned at first, but considering that the larger drives failed so often I am extremely weary about trying out a smaller form factor drive until they too have been thoroughly tested: http://www.frys.com/product/6063518?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG [frys.com]

Re:Fair Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36930976)

Do you mean "leery" rather than "weary"?

Re:Fair Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36931148)

No, he probably meant "wary."

Re:Fair Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36932446)

Leery: Cautious or wary due to realistic suspicions. (as defined by google)
I think he meant wary but didn't know exactly how to spell it.

Re:Fair Warning (2)

willy_me (212994) | about 3 years ago | (#36934410)

But those previous drives were not for use with laptops. They are not rated to handle the physical abuse that is required of a laptop drive. Instead, they are designed as external backup drives or NAS drives. If you put this drive in a laptop and it failed - no big surprise there.... But these newer drives are designed for laptops so they should be quite different in regards to durability.

Re:Fair Warning (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937080)

The issue with high load count on drives without Apple-type firmware could be in play. I've never figured out how one reads the head load/unload cycle count off a disk, but apparently some open-market drives end up cycling at a very elevated rate, which can lead to limited lifetime. It's why I haven't hassled with replacing the 120GB drive in my MBP -- not worth the risk.

And for that matter (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 3 years ago | (#36932336)

How the hell is one person's story at all relevant to overall reliability? "Oh no I had two drives fail, they suck!" As the saying goes "The plural of anecdote is not data."

People need to understand that just because hardware failed for you doesn't mean it is bad overall. You need more data. I cannot name a brand of harddrive I haven't seen fail at work. Every single one, I've seen failures on. None of that indicates they are bad. In terms of systems I use I've seen more WD failures than anything else... Because I use more WD drives.

The only brand of drives that I have any valid data to show has more problems is Maxtor. We have seen a statistically significant number of failures in relation to the number of drives deployed from them (in the case of one particular drive, 50% failed after 2 years).

Re:And for that matter (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 3 years ago | (#36932774)

Wrong thread? o.O

Re:Fair Warning (2)

Arrow_Raider (1157283) | about 3 years ago | (#36931752)

These drives have actually been on the market for well over a year now, and I was (un)lucky enough to pick one up last year when my local Fry's Electronics got them in stock. While the drives themselves are handy because of the amount of data you can squeeze into them, making my macbook pro a beast of a mobile studio (at the time I was using it for music production), they seem to be prone to issues. The first drive lasted about a month, before I almost lost several weeks worth of a project I was working on due to the drive crashing. I was able to retrieve my work from the drive by mounting it externally before it became completely unreadable, and I attribute this to the high density drives not being able to handle the average bouncing around of a laptop in a backpack. When I attached the drive to one of my linux workstations, I could hear the disks spinning up but dmesg wouldn't pick up the drive and they just kept spinning endlessly louder and louder. The second drive lasted about 2 months before a similar problem occurred, though by that time I had migrated most of my work to a different workstation. I replaced the drive with the original 500gb drive my macbook came with, and I haven't had any problems since. In short, I'm not sure if the early drives off the assembly line were just prone to failure more often or if perhaps I was just extremely unlucky with the ones I procured. Either way, I am rather uncomfortable about putting any important data on one of these drives in the future until they've been on the market for a while and have been thoroughly tested.

The drive mentioned in the article has not been out for over a year. The drive you likely bought is this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136545 [newegg.com] That drive is 12.5 mm high, not 9.5. They are indeed prone to issues; at work, we have purchased 11 of them for custom NAS servers and 2 of them have been DOA.

Re:Fair Warning (1)

adolf (21054) | about 3 years ago | (#36936456)

DOA is one thing: It's easy to remedy, and it doesn't affect services that are already operating (though it may push back the start date on new services). The solution is easy: Just print an RMA form and label and send it back to the chumps that sold it to you. The causes are varied, but mishandling, ESD, and shipping damage seem like likely candidates.

Dead after a moderate period of time is another thing entirely. It can disrupt services that people are already accustomed to using, and it's more of a pain in the ass because you have to deal with the manufacturer instead of the reseller, and they might end up replacing it with something completely different (but "equivalent") instead.

Of the nine remaining (non-DOA) drives, how many are still in service?

Re: Les Kent and Hard Drive Packaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36937182)

Les Kent told me he was having trouble with hard drive failures and DOA, and he seemed sure it was because of poor packaging during shipment. So he proudly told me he instituted the "roof test". When a batch of hard drives came in, he would take the boxes up to the roof and toss them off. Those that still worked were considered to "pass the test". He said the quality of drive packaging improved almost overnight when he RMA'd the failed drives.

Re:Fair Warning (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 2 years ago | (#36972438)

I almost lost several weeks worth of a project I was working on due to the drive crashing

It blows my mind when people running OS X don't use Time Machine.

My hard drive died a few weeks ago, and it was so easy to restore from Time Machine. I was right back where I left off when the drive died. In my case I bought a 2TB 7200 RPM Hitachi Deskstar. I had heard that those tend to fail, but the price was right, and I have enough confidence in Time Machine and the off-site backups I make every few weeks (rotate external drives which have a complete backup of my entire system) that I can take that risk.

Samsung was first (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 3 years ago | (#36930746)

Recently, Western Digital stepped out and announced their new 1TB 9.5mm Scorpio Blue 2.5-inch notebook drive. The announcement was significant in that it's the first drive of this capacity to squeeze that many bits into an industry standard 9.5mm, 2.5" SATA form-factor.

Samsung announced theirs back in early June [engadget.com] . It's been coming in and out of stock since then. I last saw it on Newegg a couple weeks ago [newegg.com] , though curiously it's now marked as deactivated.

Re:Samsung was first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36931302)

Toshiba already had one as well. I had one in my notebook purchased last January, and it immediately started to fail. Hope the WD is better.

1TB doesn't FEEL like that much... (2)

jafo (11982) | about 3 years ago | (#36930864)

The summary makes it sound like "squeezing" 1TB into a laptop drive is impressive, but with 600GB SSDs in the same form-factor (admittedly at almost 10x the price), I'm just not overwhelmed... Especially with the recent stories about optical discs storing 500GB RSN. And the SSD is going to be able to survive being dropped without losing all that data...

And as far as performance, the summary says at 5400RPM it bests the 7200RPM competitors... That's really only true for raw streaming, say video or audio production work. People seem to be blinded by the MB/sec rate and forgetting the average access latency -- which IMHO is the most important factor in almost all cases. I had a client who was pushing back on the 15K RPM discs I recommended for their database several years ago, because the 7.2K RPM discs had a higher MB/sec number. Not for their database, they don't...

Access latency is what, in most cases, makes a computer feel slow.

Why no 5.25" HDDs anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36931298)

Yes they would be big, loud, heavy and slow, but they would surely hold 20TB+ in no time. You wouldn't want to use one for your OS, but they'd be perfect for video editing, videos in general or just as a dump to hold whatever data you might have. Also scientists tend to have enormous amounts of data. I also see no problem with backups as you just buy another one and mirror your data (please don't start a backup discussion here). Is it because then they would not sell the newest and biggest 3.5" drives anymore?

Re:Why no 5.25" HDDs anymore? (1)

cynyr (703126) | about 3 years ago | (#36932658)

much better to buy 3 3.5" drive and use raid... a single 20TB drive would be a disaster waiting to happen.

What about reliability? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 3 years ago | (#36932092)

It seems everyone is always on about performance and storage capacity. But what about the reliability?

Now, admittedly it's a bit of an edge case but in my home server I have a comparatively ancient 30 GB IDE disk for the system disk and a bunch of SATA drives in RAID-Z for bulk storage and I've been thinking about moving to a new system disk out of pure paranoia (this thing has been in constant use for what seems like an eternity) but I can't seem to find any good statistics for the reliability of current drives.

Is there really no one out there who has said "fuck performance, we're gonna build drives that are good for at least five years"? I know there are a couple of sites out there that have stats collected from users but if I go with the best drives there then I'm still going to have to put a lot of effort into finding anyone even selling those models anymore...

Re:What about reliability? (1)

goodcow (654816) | about 3 years ago | (#36932440)

Is there really no one out there who has said "fuck performance, we're gonna build drives that are good for at least five years"?

They're called Enterprise grade drives. They usually cost 2X more than the consumer level drives.

Re:What about reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36933538)

and smart people came up with the idea of bundling cheap, inexpensive disks together to form redundant, fast and fail-safe storage - RAID, a redundant array of inexpensive disks.

Alas, nothing is new under the sun.

Re:What about reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36932508)

I don't know about data, but note that the warranty they come with differs wildly. Most offer a 1-year warranty whereas both Seagate and WD will give you 3. That used to be 5 though.

Re:What about reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36936468)

Just look on ebay for one with the same model and make as your current 30GB IDE drive, replacing it with the same make and model as the one you are so paranoid about.

I myself have a huge stack of 300MB-2GB-7.5GB-20GB-40GB-80gb drives for exactly this task, super-reliable system drives which have been around longer than my fridge, washing machine, or tv set.

Re:What about reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36936504)

I think the most reliable drive I have would have to be a WD22100 drive from 1997, its been running in constant duty since 1998 as a Pentium III 550 Firewall system drive with only a month of downtime since then for dust-bunny raiding and periodic upgrades. (went from Pentium 2 to Pentium 3 Socket-1 at about 2002, upgraded from 64MB to 256MB in 2004, new Seasonic SII 430W power supply in 2008.)

https://picasaweb.google.com/panam21/HDDWDCaviar

I love the old sound of hard drives, wish they would make it an option to have that again on new drives, that way I can have a huge stack of hard drives spin up like Jet Engines, it might get all of the chicks to come down to my basement :o)

Another option I wish we had aswell, is 5 1/4 inch hard drives, what would be the density then?? 5TB, 10TB? That would ROCK!

Re:What about reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36938674)

The current crop of HDDs are complete and utter garbage. WD claims 0.84% annual failure rate, Seagate claims 0.34% annual failure rate, yet NONE of this changes the fact that I haven't purchased a single drive from either in the last ten years that's actually lasted for a sincere 5-year run.

My last Seagate ran for 8700 hours, roughly one year on constant power, before the heads gave out due to a mfr. surface defect.

My previous two WDs before it died after one year of use due to firmware corruption. They were irreparable without the aid of a very expensive ($1500+) firmware rewriter.

The Seagate I owned prior to that was almost 5 years old when it died softly, giving me time to offload my data.

The point is, current technology is disposable as a result of manufacturing tolerances, the obsession with size, etc. You aren't going to find a totally reliable drive any time soon, and if you think you have, get your eyes checked. Even Google has released research and studies indicating extraordinarily high HDD failure rates for the last several years.

Yes, my 10GB Quantum Fireball still works, has no SMART errors, and for a ball bearing unit, still spins up just fine. But it can't measure up where space is concerned, and right now, quality is the price we pay for this privilege ... we've traded reliable storage for large capacity. Perhaps it will change in the future as an oncoming recession changes the face of the market, who knows.

All part and parcel of playing the tech game, mate. :)

That would be a physical ram-drive. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36933238)

I built a physical ram-drive into my SCSI chain from a actual IDE device that uses battery-backed sticks of RAM to present itself to BIOS as having geometry that will store data. What's nice about it is at the drop of a switch it can be cleared of all data just by losing power. Whenever I am moving sensitive data around where it might be searched by somone that could compromise my intellect or security, I would have another ram-drive offsite attached to a remote power-off switch and an engine that would also power-off on unapproved entry in the case it's location was discovered and approached without the right authentication: then as I carry my data in the first ram-drive I will anticipate when to kill the data in my hand-held. Only problem with a ram-drive is the memmory module capacity are what limit their size, and thus the manufacture of their designers usually limit the size to something consumer-low like 2GB but the recent one I saw allows 4GB using DDR3 memmory modules.

Don't trust transportation companies to have honest security without bonus-incentives, because they all have a price-chart bounty as their motivation to report what kind of data they encounter in their unwarranted searches, thus they are all criminal IP theives despite their municipal HQ having a soapbox of draconian IP laws that respect the author, yet their coduct is nothing short of militant squabbling inquisition that costs too much in terms of breach because even governments are subconciously searching to steal betterIP to improve their international abilities.

In other words, the people ought to secure their group option to privately-renting their own transportation and approving their own security conduct to avoid search of matter that is more private or endemic to the culture. It also never hurts to just be your own pilot and captain of your own vessel and ship at your discretion, as I have already done, but then the Occupational governments tend to monopolize their competition into coerced association again for unapproved regulations that establish punitive fines exceeding your effectiveness of securing your data.

What it all boils down to is the violation of property rights, no-matter how it's addressed through the various schemes of Confidence and Trust misplaced to another by notice and sight. If anyone asks what kind of data I am transferring at such risk of security, then I would say it is the content of my own self-surgeries that I've journaled but confide none to divest my patent and study through so-called searches of unrelated matter. As I've told countless avid street COPS many times before, they should use their own phones and computers to search for their own illegal activity.

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