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back to article Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster

Seagate seems set to replace its desktop Barracuda brand with the Desktop HDD brand and introduce a 4TB desktop drive with it. The Desktop HDD 15 line runs up from 250GB through 320GB and 500GB all the way to 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB. It uses 1TB/platter technology, spins at 7,200rpm, has a 64MB cache, transfers data at up to 160MB …

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But at what price?

High time the EU looked into the uniformly astronomical prices of hard drives.

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jai
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Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

really? Amazon are selling the Hitachi 4tb Desk for £150 and the 4tb Pro for £175

those prices don't seem astronomically high to me. i remember when an 80gb drive would cost that much!

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Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

And I remember when a 300Mb HDD cost that much, and if I care to think even further back I can remember when a 300Mb HDD cost AU$10,000. Some people expect to much for their money.

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Re: But at what price

My first hard drive was a 52MB SCSI effort for my Amiga.

It was £350 as I recall, circa 1991. I have used a PC/XT with a 5MB Hard drive though..

4TB for £150 is a bargain (although oddly I can only see this price for USB drives, the bare drive itself is more??!)

I suppose you would just buy the USB drive and pull it out of the case for a sata-III install.

:)

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Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

Looks like someone's enjoying the great El Reg app débâcle

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Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

That is cobblers. These HDD companies do R&D and that ain't cheap.

Storage is getting exponentially cheaper. and has been for decades. If you want to save money, buy the not-quite-the-latest model.

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FAIL

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

"Looks like someone's enjoying the great El Reg app débâcle"

Indeed. The app cut off the last half of my post, too.

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Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

That's the price of living life on the cutting edge of science and technology.

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FAIL

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

Don't know about the cutting edge as I'm on the bleeding edge most of the time ;)

The last half of my post, which El Reg's sparkly new app didn't post, said something along the lines of if the current prices had continued to be on a par with the pre-flood prices they would be a lot less expensive.

And that's after the fully insured companies have since made record profits.

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Mushroom

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

Curse you Ledswinger. Your quip was funnier than mine. >X(

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Re: But at what price

>I suppose you would just buy the USB drive and pull it out of the case for a sata-III install.

Be careful trying that these days. I have had at least one drive come to me for repair that had the USB3 connector built into the drive's electronics directly rather than the USB -> SATA adapter were all used to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

really? Amazon are selling the Hitachi 4tb Desk for £150 and the 4tb Pro for £175

They were selling for £140 only a few days earlier. £130 in January. And about £120 in the Christmas sale period. Incidentally, ebuyer have increased that "home" version of the hdd from £140 to about £165 or so in the last few days, if I remember correctly.

But hey, we're in the midst of a high flood season in Sahara, you know.

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Re: But at what price

reference "pulling IT out", this appears to be a particularly nasty case of a well-sealed box, that hitachi.

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Pint

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

I live life on the edge. Otherwise there wouldn't be enough room.

My first was the colossal 20 Mb Seagate ST325N SCSI HDD. It came as part of the Amiga A590 for £400 I seem to remember. It was a joy to use after living from floppy disks.

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Re: But at what price

My first was an Amiga 500 add-on drive. About 80MB I think. At the time (1990 ish) we had to drive almost 300 km to Toronto to get one. Pretty sure it was upwards of 800CAN$ (my dad bought it for me). 80MB was incredible to me back then, as such, it's pissing me off to no end that I'm downloading a 158MB(!) printer firmware update package right now.

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Thumb Up

Re: But at what price

My first was also for an Amiga.

I remember saving up a bit longer so I could afford the maximum amount of storage sold by the store at the time: 500MB for £500. Never filled it either and it still works two decades later.

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Stop

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

I remember when a 2TB drive cost £50 ... the prices haven't returned to normal since the floods even though the factories are back to full production. The competition commission absolutely should be looking into the prices and questioning why the Seagate/Samsung and WD/Hitachi mergers were allowed when that left just 3 huge companies to dominate the market which isn't in the interests of consumers or competition.

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Re: But at what price

Nice. These early Winchesters seem tiny to us but they were superb at the time, compared to using floppies. Like - Wow! The computer just saves all your data without you having to do anything!

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Trollface

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

On the foreskin of technology ...

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Pint

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

I remember when a 10MB drive cost over a grand! :-D

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Holmes

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F@El Presidente

Hmm, I had a 5MB monster, an MFM drive IIRC. I shudder to think what it cost back then ...

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Holmes

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

I remember when 5 MB were 5 1/4 inch, full height and were three grand.

Thing is, that drive will probably still spin up and work today. By reviews on these new high capacity drives the big question is how long with the 4TB drive last? DOA? A month? A year?

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Re: But at what price

My very first purchased drive was a seagate 10MB MFM drive, that's personal purchase not work.

after that it's just gotten insane.. as drive prices fall, i seem to gather more and more unused storage.. a nasty habit I intend to break. I'm around 35TB right now on my NAS.. and it's mostly empty.

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Windows

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

Of course you want to shell out a bit more for a 12 Gb/s 20.000 RPM SAS disc.

This baby will take 7 hours to copy in its entirety (probably longer than that), so it would stand just 1250 cycles a year, and won't last much longer than that. It holds 32 Terabit, so if the Bit Error Rate be 10^--13, that would be one error in just 30 cycles.

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Bronze badge

Re: But at what price

Makes some sense as a power-and-cost saving trick. The reason for SATA (and IDE before that) drives in USB enclosures has always been to take advantage of the economy of scale that comes from the big production lines. But with the increasing sales volume, it might make sense now for drive manufacturers to run a second line for USB-interfaced boards. They can keep the same mechanical side, after all: Same mechanics, different board attached.

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Linux

Re: But at what price?

What price for a shit-box hard drive with a 12 month warranty and a 12th month and one day expiry date?

Seagate drives are shit and so is their warranty.

4 Terror Bites of Seagate Drive = just more time wasted formatting it, more time wasted loading it up with more data, more time wasted trying to get it all backed up with it's starting to fail, and more time wasted buying and installing a new 4 Terror Bite hard drive - and after the 5th one in 3 years... switch to Hitachi Enterprise Quality.

Linux - Don't take no shit from them Microsoft Quality Drives.

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Linux

It's not just time and space that are relative...

...there's also price tags. Amazon sells a 4TB drive for TWICE what it sells a 3TB for. That's still a hefty premium even if you have foggy memories of 10MB drives.

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Re: But at what price

"I suppose you would just buy the USB drive and pull it out of the case for a sata-III install."

Problematically, some vendors have been installing direct-USB controllers onto the drives. It's not USB->Interface->Controller in those cases. Unless they've backed off of that.

With that said, before the floods, I picked up a pair of "Aluratek" 1tb external USB hard drives for $40 each that were just hitachi SATA drives in a case. When those finally die I can slap another in there at least...

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Alert

Re: But at what price

No, you can't use that trick anymore

Typically a USB-3 drive these days have their own controller card. ie the card on the drive has only USB-3 output

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Pint

best buy a couple

I'd certainly RAID those though, id say it was a brave soul running these monsters unRAIDed.

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Stop

Re: best buy a couple

Problem is that recovery would likely take out the remaining disk - copying 4TB at a sustained rate of ~100MB/s will take how long?

40,000 seconds ~ 12 hours of SOLID activity

Assuming a more realistic continuous rate it's going to take a long time to recover that data. I'd go for at least Raidz2, if not more...

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Devil

Re: best buy a couple

RAID 666?

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Headmaster

Re: best buy a couple

Repeat though, "RAID is not a backup, RAID is not a backup..."

The bitrot problem is going to be heeeeeuuuuuge on that array.

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Mushroom

Re: best buy a couple

ohe noes, you mentioned bitrot, now i'll mention ZFS and everyone will start shouting and claiming their file system is better. Some n00b will see the word RAID and use RAID 5

THE END I TELL YOU. THE END.

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Re: best buy a couple @Danny 14

Someone already mentioned it, given that a previous poster mentioned "raidz2"...

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Holmes

Re: best buy a couple

Repeat though, "RAID is not a backup, RAID is not a backup..."

Yes, but if you want to make a backup to disk (which implies large disk storage), you'd rather keep that backup on RAID. Or two (in different computers/locations).

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Joke

Re: best buy a couple @Danny 14

I thought that was a hip plural with a typo..

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Anonymous Coward

Can I format it in FAT16?

I always dreamed to see what would happen if it was formatted in FAT16, and the dog-old OS run out of letters to name the partitions. Would it go Excel spreadsheet style?

z:\>

aa:\>

ab:\>

and so forth.

On the other hand, how do I backup this beast? Oh, nevermind.

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Boffin

Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

Based on the options in "Map network drive" you'd get to Z: and that'd be it.

26 partitions should be enough for anyone, etc. and so on.

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Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

I did this once, with an old Pentium that I had Linux on and had an awful lot of old hard drives in it for archive-access and each had at least four partitions on it.

Windows throws a fit, and won't name the drives after Z:, and Linux just adds more letters to the /dev/ entries. At least, that's how it worked years ago when I did that (think it was XP and early Linux 2.6). Hence, I was able to remove the problem by removing the Windows partitions present on the drives and saving myself several partition names for zero loss.

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Happy

Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

Yep XP runs out of drive letters after Z as well. I regularly map network drives to multiple PC's and have to keep clearing them out when I run out.

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JDX
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Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

You can't use Swedish characters, etc, as drive names? How sad.

Is this still a limitation of Windows out of interest?

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Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

Yes, a quick Google says that still even as of Windows 8, you can mount as many NTFS drives as you like (NTFS allows all sorts of fancy mounting now) but if you want drive letters, you can still only go up to Z:. So, basically, if you want things to "just work", you can still only go to Z:. It won't crash and burn, but you'll have to play about if you actually want to use the data on them.

BTW: My post was wrong, apparently that machine was running a Linux 2.2 kernel. And still allowed more than 26 accessible drives / devices without anything "special" being done. Progress, eh?

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Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

Back in the day of DOS & NetWare, you could run into problems whereby a drive letter wasn't a letter but a character. I seem to remember seeing a "[" as a drive letter...

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Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

yes and netware accepted alt-255 as a character for many things too. Much fun could be had with alt-255

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Re: Can I format it in FAT16?

Under Windows 2000 & later the DosDevices (aka drive letters) are merely references in the registry that point to the actual storage volume which could be an mbr partition, gpt partition or unpartitioned media like a USB stick or optical disc i.e. they are only shortcuts & are completely arbitrary as far as the OS is concerned.

Drive letters are only for backwards compatibility so the limit remains as it has since the DOS age (maybe since CP/M & QDOS):- 26 letters less the one used for the system drive.

Maximum partitions per drive would be a much more interesting question, I've found someone who has managed to create 350 partitions on a single drive inside a virtual machine but the actual maximum eludes me as this may be a limit of the diskpart command.

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Anonymous Coward

Seagate has now produced 2 billion hard drives :(

it's because their failure rate is so fucking high, not because people want MORE of them.

And yes,10 years down the line we will find out - MAYBE - that it was, indeed, an extreme case of "planned obsolescence", and they'll be fined 10 billion rubles (or rupees), of which every Seagate customer (US only) will be entitled to big mac voucher to the value of 10 bucks. And it'll be hailed as another case of "ultimate justice for the customer". Like shit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seagate has now produced 2 billion hard drives :(

Yup... RMAs for sure... but it'll be Yuan we'll be buying our Big Macs with ten years from now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seagate has now produced 2 billion hard drives :(

By which time the uncontrolled trade deficit will have pushed the Yuan to parity with the dollar.

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Pint

Re: Seagate has now produced 2 billion hard drives :(

Not as bad WD or Hitchi. But that's just my personal professional experience.

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