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back to article Hitachi GST sandwiches Seagate with 4TB big boy

The day after Seagate launched its 4TB external drive, Hitachi GST did exactly the same with its launch of its 4TB desktop whopper. It gets curiouser in a PR/marketing sense as Hitachi GST announced it had a terabyte-per-platter product the day before Seagate revealed its 4TB product. Oddly Hitachi only announced a single- …

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4tb drives

wow 4tb thts alot of space there hehe gimme one il have one i hope they make a internal desktop type aswell

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Silver badge

Ah the memories...

The cases in that picture remind me of the old SUN SCSI External drives circa 2000....

Way to go.

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Bronze badge

any idea why no internal?

what's special about these 4TB drives that prevents them from making an internal version of them? Do they not fit the form factor? At one point someone (I think Seagate) was shipping a 3TB external product (or was it 2TB) that was actually 2 drives instead of one.. this sounds equally fishy..

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Headmaster

I believe there is an issue with how the MBR works on 32 bit Windows machines. Due to limitations in the MBR drives cannot be formatted to capacities greater than 2GB.

Other partitioning schemes can be used to allow >2Gb drives but Windows cannot boot off them.

Due to this limitation, 3Tb internal drives have only recently come on to the market after being available in external enclosures for quite some time.

I also think that manufacturers can charge a price premium for external drives so newer capacity offerings are offered as externals to get maximum return.

Once production ramps up and they eventually I expect the 4Tb will follow suit.

Another factor might be that large capacity drives with lower bit densities can result in a physical drive that is larger than "standard", which is 3.5 inch half-height. The old fogies amongst us will recall the olden days where 3.5 inch drives *only* came in "full height" form factors so cases were built accordingly. These days computer cases are built to take half height drives therefore any drive that is larger than that will not fit the majority of enclosures.

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@Nate Amsden

I think it depends on warranty issues. I have read somewhere:

External disks have lower demands and lower warrranty period.

Internal disks needs higher reliability and longer warranty period.

But I need someone else to confirm this.

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Anonymous Coward

Market for internal 4TB drives small?

These large drives have 2 issues:

1 - No MBR means they are mainly confined to a secondary (ie non-boot) drive, and only on systems supporting for eg GPT => not the most convenient.

2 - Storing such large amounts of data and losing it is not an appealing proposition, so these drives are backed-up often or part of an array (ideally ZFS of course, bitrot becomes a real issue with so many bits). But speed hasn't kept up with the increase in capacity and backing-up or restoring or resilvering takes many long hours => not the most convenient either.

GPT support has widely improved, but speed will remain an issue for the forseeable future. I'd be curious to see the sales figures for 3TB drives; the market might be small because of these restrictions. I know I prefer more smaller drives that will get my array back to a healthy condition faster.

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