back to article Our new 1.5TB lappie drive isn't thick, it's just the densest - HGST

Western Digital subsidiary HGST is touting a 1.5TB notebook drive with three platters inside a standard 9.5mm-thick 2.5in form factor. HGST claims the drive has the highest storage density of any hard disk drive available, in terms of megabytes per cubic millimetre. Generally 9.5mm-tall, 2.5in drives have two platters, not three …

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I would tend to agree with him actually

Although I have both in my laptop - a 512GB SSD and a 1TB spinner, until the price/capacity of SSD starts to come closer to HDD, I can't see mass take up of anything other than where you can use two drives - one for the OS and speed, and one for the apps / data.

That 940(?)GB at around £400 the Reg had the other day is at least heading the right way, but it still has a long way to come down.

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Stop

People who want to store this much want faster drives

Silly that they're still punting 5400 rpm drives. Anyone who needs to store hours of video wants 7200 rpm.

There's not much point in storing HD video source files if the drive can't play it back fast enough to edit with.

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Re: People who want to store this much want faster drives

Yes - your HD video stream will really struggle when the transfer rate is a mere 990Mbs....

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EFI BIOS

When will laptops get EFI BIOS. 3 TB will be the norm then.

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Re: EFI BIOS

My Asus laptop _does_ have UEFI...

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Meh

Cost per Gigabyte? Yes.

Bu then performance got a mention.

There, the hybrids pee over bog standard disks from a great height and the difference in cost isn't that much.....

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Re: Cost per Gigabyte? Yes.

Actually, having used both SSD and HDD in both power-user and regular user scenarios, I can tell you this much:

For the average user, the performance difference between SSD and HDD is close to nil: slightly faster startup, almost unnoticeable program load improvement.

The average user would get much more benefit at a lower cost by increasing the RAM to have more caching.

And since when is a 500%-900% price difference not much?

SSDs are still very much a power-user proposition. Even in the enterprise space, the price differencei is still enough to relegate SSDs to caching and high-demand scenarios.

Right now, end-user HDD sellers have more to fear from the death of the PC than from the rise of the SSD.

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JC_

Re: Cost per Gigabyte? Yes.

For the average user, the performance difference between SSD and HDD is close to nil: slightly faster startup, almost unnoticeable program load improvement.

The average user would get much more benefit at a lower cost by increasing the RAM to have more caching.

No way is this right. Wait until the average user's anti-virus or backup kicks in and see how responsive their laptop is. Try searching for a file at the same time and tabbing between windows. This is hardly "power-user proposition" and the difference is huge: with a HDD, the experience is awful; with a SSD there's no noticeable slowdown at all.

Even cost isn't much of an issue now: HDDs have high fixed costs, whatever the capacity. Very few laptop users need anything like 1TB, and as fewer of them are purchased, the economies of scale will fall away, giving SSDs the advantage.

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Linux

Re: Cost per Gigabyte? Yes.

> Wait until the average user's anti-virus or backup kicks in and see how responsive their laptop is. Try searching for a file at the same time and tabbing between windows. This is hardly "power-user proposition"

Sure it is. You're just out of touch with the vast bulk of PC users out there.

Although the two batch jobs there should not be interfering with user responsiveness. That's just poor systems software engineering. A lot of the hyped benefits of SSDs come down to certain operating systems doing poorly at what is basically 70s style multi-user concurrency.

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Re: Cost per Gigabyte? Yes.

Err... if they have proper AV they won't even notice when it's running. And I, for one, set my machine to back up overnight,so I don't _care_ if backing up slows it down.

As for the 'very few laptop users need anything like 1TB'... what planet re you on, mate?

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JC_

@James O'Shea

I, for one, set my machine to back up overnight,so I don't _care_ if backing up slows it down.

Leaving the laptop on overnight is inefficient and forces you to remember to leave it. With a SSD a full system image backup can run at any time without affecting the user - no heat, no noise, no slow down, no risk.

As for the 'very few laptop users need anything like 1TB'... what planet re you on, mate?

Most users don't have 1TB drives and what they do have is nowhere near full. 95% of users could fit their entire music, photo and video collections in a few hundred GB. Whenever I fix the laptops of family and friends the hard drives are mostly empty.

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JC_

@JEDIDIAH

"You're just out of touch with the vast bulk of PC users out there."

The vast bulk of PC users run Windows on a laptop with a fairly fast CPU, a slow HDD with not much on it, and quite a few crapware installations that thrash the disk and make it even slower.

"A lot of the hyped benefits of SSDs come down to certain operating systems doing poorly at what is basically 70s style multi-user concurrency."

The cause of HDD-as-a-bottleneck doesn't matter. It's a lot easier to fix it by installing a SSD than by switching OS or redesigning Windows.

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Re: @James O'Shea

Son, my backup system includes a handy checkbox labeled: "Shut down when done". I click the checkbox. I run the backup. When it's finished it shuts down the laptop. In the morning I turn the laptop back on and check to see if the backup ran properly. So far it always has.

As for the hard drive capacity... my Asus shipped with a 750 GB drive, split into two partitions (three if you include the recovery partition). One the the two partitions filled up really fast (I bought the Asus in September 2012 and by November I had nearly 300 GB in that partition) so I got a 1 TB drive (the biggest then available) and cloned the system over. I currently have over between the two partitions. No-one at the company has a laptop with less than a 750 GB drive, and the guys who have only 750 are usually at 80-90% full and _will_ be getting a 1 TB (or larger, if possible) drive. If my system continues to fill up I'll be looking at this 1.5 TB drive quite closely and may replace the 1 TB drive with one. As it is I've added an external 1 TB drive to my laptop kit and so I have effectively 2 TB of storage, or a quarter of what my main desktop system has...

There are _lots_ of people out in the real world who use quite large hard drives on laptops on a daily basis.

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JC_

Re: @James O'Shea

Son, my backup system includes a handy checkbox labeled: "Shut down when done".

Gramps, you still have to leave it on to start the backup. With the backup running in the background you just close the lid and walk away.

If you have 750GB of data you are in a very, very small percentage of users and nothing like the average user. Everyone in your company might be the same as you, but you're not the same as other users.

As it is I've added an external 1 TB drive to my laptop kit.

So get a SSD for the main drive and enjoy all the benefits of it, since you're already stuck with using external drives.

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Wouldn't touch it...

... with a ten-foot eSATA cable.

Like some other folks here, I'm sticking with spindles until flash attains both cost **and** write/rewrite cycle parity with mechanical drives.

However, as a rule of thumb, I never use a desktop drive with more than 2/3 -- or a laptop drive with more than 1/2 -- the storage capacity of the form-factor's highest-capacity, bleeding-edge spinner.

For me, this means that I currently provision desktops with 2.0TB to 2.5TB drives, and order laptops with 500GB to 750GB units (depending on make/model/use pattern).

Bleeding-edge magnetic storage always seems to pack the bits that much "too close" together to provide the reliability I require, so I like to stay a generation (or two) behind.

Flash and spintronics-based storage technologies hold a lot of promise, and are undoubtedly the future, but are not (in my opinion) quite ready for "prime time" use as primary storage. Once consumer-grade flash can endure 500K writes per cell, at densities to allow a 500GB unit to fit in a 2.5-inch form-factor, and cost less than US$250, I'll switch.

But until then, I'm hangin' with coated flywheels...

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Gaming consoles

Nice to see they've identified gaming consoles as a market for these - this would go great in a PS3. I've put a 1TB in mine only a few months ago and it's down to 70GB free already. Consoles are fine with 5400rpm and the data on them isn't critical enough to get too worried about having all your eggs in one basket (not that I've ever had a console HDD failure).

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I dont know about these drives...

But I just recently purchased 2 Travelstar 7K1000 7200RPM 1TB drives to replace my 2 WD Scorpio Black 320GB drives. Historically I have always used WD Scorpio Black Drive, their performance and reliability have always been top notch, and lets not forget the 5 year warranty. As my 2 320GB drives started filling up I began considering the replacement options, which usually only included the current available WD drives, Seagate has been off my radar for a long time and i've always been skeptical of Hitachi drives. Over my years of doing PC/Laptop repairs one of my odd quirks is that i dont throw old/dead hard drives out. Looking at the stack of dead Hitachi drives makes one at least think twice before buying their drives.

When it came time to actually buy the replacements, the 7K1000's had been out for a while, long enough that chronic failure rates should've started surfacing by now. I had read that HGST had made some major improvements in power consumption, performance and reliability and that these drives were pretty solid, so i decided to give them a whirl.

So far, these drives kick ass. I benchmarked them against my old drives and was quite surprised at how much faster they were, granted the WD's were 5 years old but still. I'm pretty impressed so far.

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