back to article 2TB Caviar drive too good to be true?

A Czech website is listing a 2TB WD Caviar drive for sale, although the current largest capacity WD Caviar drive is 1TB. Don't bother trying to order one of these 2TB whoppers though - they aren't available yet. What's happened is that someone in receipt of a non-disclosure presentation has disclosed the information to the …


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  1. Paul Hurst


    620GB/platter for a 3GB unit

  2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge


    "suggest that the capacity is actually measured at 1000B/KB instead of 1024 bytes/KB, which would make the drive capacity about 1.86TB and not 2TB"

    Hasnt this always been the case with harddrives?

    If you check the capacity of any drive (and I mean before partitioning/formatting) you will find that the size is closer to the SI unit than the computer unit. A 500GB drive will be closer to 500,000,000,000 (500 x 10^9) bytes than 536,870,912,000 (500 x 2^30) bytes.

    Hard drive manufacturers have used SI units for years. This is why there is confusion. Hence, many refer to 1024 bytes as a KiB (kibibyte). So, in these terms 2TB=1.86TiB.

  3. RichyS
    Paris Hilton


    Since when has any hard drive manufacturer measured space in anything other than multiples of 1000?

    That's why my 1TB drives are 931GB (formatted).

    Although don't get me started on what the correct terminology is (kibibytes vs. kilobytes, binary prefixes, etc. meaning my 1TB drive is a 0.93 teribyte drive!) .... Suffice to say that the drive makers are technically correct.

    Paris, 'cos it confuses her too.

  4. Jamie
    Paris Hilton

    For heavens sake would someone think of the porn

    For heavens sake would someone think of the porn.

    Honesly I could keep all my "unlawful" porn away from the prying eyes of the gov't and my wife all at the same time.


    Need I actually explain the choice for avatar.

  5. Mark Broadhurst


    Some manufacturers use 1024b/kb some use 1000b/kb its a bit of a lottery ATM.

    And the wise consumer would check first.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    if € == £

    €230 or £230

    Gah! *weeps.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Erm, quite

    "suggest that the capacity is actually measured at 1000B/KB instead of 1024 bytes/KB, which would make the drive capacity about 1.86TB and not 2TB"

    Much like every drive in history then? This is a revelation to the editor's desk??

  8. Mike

    @Dr. Mouse

    >Hasnt this always been the case with harddrives?

    Nope, (almost?) everything computery based thing worked on powers of 2 since (al least) the early 80's it wasn't until Apple (I believe bought MiBi sold MB) started using the power of 10 numbering, this made them look better, so the other manufacturers followed (my 20Mb Amiga drive was 20MiBi unformatted i.e. before the KB/KiBi debacle).

    I believe that it wan't until 1992 (IEC 60027) that these new definitions were ratified, but I don't know for sure.

    Interestingly, this doesn't always happen with flash drives, RAM and other sizings so the HD manufacturers are "all in on it", at least we generally compare apples with apples now.

  9. E

    1024 Bytes

    I think the author is being nostalgic.

    Back in the day, pre-1995 or so, hard drive manufacturers all used 1K = 1024, 1M=1024^2, and 1G=1024^3. Gigabytes were gigabytes.

    Around the mid-90's some marketer noticed that bigger capacities could be claimed by changing the unit from 1024 to 1000. It was borderline dishonest and rather deceptive, and some people (like me for instance) are still irritated by it.

    If you've been buying disks only since about 1995 you may not know about this.

    Imagine if tomorrow they decided to quote disk capacity in GB defined as, oh I dunno, 976^3 bytes. You might find that to be questionable.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    The hard drive of the beast?


  11. C


    So what have Seagate, Samsung and Fujitsu been up to?

    Maybe Seagate can get some decent firmware out for the 1.5TB drives :-p Maybe Samsung has something up their sleeves :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    and your telly isn't 40 inches

    except on the diagonal and your todger isn't 15 cm long except in your imagination.

    paris knows

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power-of-10 prefixes are more common in the computer industry

    Contrary to common belief, power-of-10 prefixes are much more commonly used than power-of-2 prefixes in the computer industry. The only few places where the latter are used are to refer to RAM capacities and file sizes, whereas power-of-10 prefixes apply to most other areas and all units (not "only bitrates", as some claim): storage capacity, clock frequency, stream bandwidth, baud, pixel numbers, data throughput, processing power, etc.

    o A 8 GByte USB flash drive is 8 * 10^9 byte (power of 10)

    o A 50 GB dual-layer Blu-ray Disc is 50 * 10^9 byte (power of 10)

    o A 4.7 GB single-layer DVD is 4.7 * 10^9 byte (power of 10)

    o A 2.5 GHz processor is 2.5 * 10^9 Hz (power of 10)

    o A PC3200 (as in 3200 MByte/s) memory stick is 3200 * 10^6 byte/s (power of 10)

    o A 25.6 GFLOPS CPU core is 25.6 * 10^9 FLOPS (power of 10)

    o A 128 kbit/s audio stream is 128 * 10^3 bit/s (power of 10)

    o An 8 kbaud V.92 modem is 8 * 10^3 baud (power of 10)

    o A 6 Mpixel digital camera is 6 * 10^6 pixel (power of 10)

    o A 4000 MB/s HyperTransport link is 4000 * 10^6 byte/s (power of 10)

    o A 480 Mbit/s USB2 link is 480 * 10^6 bit/s (power of 10)

    o A 2.5 Gbit/s PCI-E lane (after 8b/10b encoding) is 2.5 * 10^9 bit/s (power of 10)

    o A 250 MB/s PCI-E lane (before 8b/10b encoding) is 250 * 10^6 byte/s (power of 10)

    o A 1 Gbit/s ethernet card is 1 * 10^9 bit/s (power of 10)

    o A 54 Mbit/s 802.11g network is 54 * 10^6 bit/s (power of 10)

    o A 3.0 Gbit/s SATA link (after 8b/10b encoding) is 3.0 * 10^9 bit/s (power of 10)

    o A 300 MB/s SATA link (before 8b/10b encoding) is 300 * 10^6 byte/s (power of 10)

    o A 6 Mbit/s DSL line is 6 * 10^6 bit/s (power of 10)

    o Curiosity: a 1.44 MByte floppy disk is 1.44 * 1000 * 1024 byte (mix of power of 10 and 2)

    o And of course, a 750 GByte hard disk drive is 750 * 10^9 byte (power of 10)

  14. tony trolle

    @The hard drive of the beast?

    lol. nearly spat my beer over the keyboard.

    wonder what the Warranty Policy is on vaporware ?

  15. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: 40 inch telly.

    Worse than that even. The "inch" size of a telly is the diagonal size of the panel / tube / magic etch-a-sketch in its entireity, whereas the metric size is usually the diagonal size of the visible picture displayed (often quoted with an accompanying "V" as an indication). Some of your inches will be hidden behind the surrounding casing.

    Not a lot of difference in the flat panels, but old-tech CRTs show quite a significant discrepancy between the quoted size in inches and what's shown on your tape measure when held up to the screen.

    In other words, size is all about how you measure it. Oddly enough, this holds true for todgers too. In the latter case imagination is important, true, it depends on exactly *what* is in your imagination at the time......

  16. Steven Jones


    2Tb will bring about yet another reduction in the I/O density (IOPs and MB/s per GB). It's in the geometry - the Greeks would have understood. Capacity scales by area, sequential read speed linearly and random IOPs scarcely at all...

  17. Dave Silver badge

    Formatted Capacity

    Don't forget that the figure quoted is always the raw capacity as well - typically there will be several percent of the drive space as unallocated blocks, which may later be used to replace 'bad-blocks' but therefore never truly available to the user.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Hard drive in higher-capacity-than-one-released-six-months ago shocker!


  19. blackworx


    It is, actually, since world+dog has been waiting with 'bated breath for a 2TB drive to appear for considerably longer than the sudden and rapid increase in capacities of previous years would have lead us reasonably to expect. Actually. *sniff*

  20. Steve Evans

    @Mike and @E

    I think you'll find drive storage has been given the base 10 spin for many many years, even back to the days of 100K floppy drives in the early-mid 80s... That's as far back as my memory goes, I wouldn't be in the least surprised if it was even older.

    Back in those days the small missing 2.4% wasn't noticed, however now it's been compounded by the rounding of first Kilo, Meg, Gig... 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4... and people notice 13% missing!

  21. E

    @Steve Evans

    Speaking only of 3.5 inch IDE and SCSI hard disk drives, I clearly remember the unit changing in approx 1995. Disks were available in the several hundred megabyte range, a megabyte was 1024^2. When the unit was changed fine print stating that 1MB=1000000 was added to the packaging for retail disks. At the same time the stated capacities did a modest jump. IIRC Quantum did it first and the others shortly followed. This was commented upon in the PC press and by hard drive manufacturers.

    I have no comment about floppies.

  22. John

    Old news

    I remember when 30MB was a *big* hard drive (early '80s) - and even then most manufacturers used million sized mega bytes rather than real ones.

    It was often claimed at the time, that this was due to the drives not being error free, and the process of mapping out bad sectors (ah, the joys of ST506 interfaced drives) would lose some of the advertised capacity. By redefining mega to mean 10^6 freed the makers from claims of false advertising when their 20MB drive did not always give the full advertised capacity.

  23. Ben DAMET


    IBM disk were sold till 2000 in heavy Gb (1024^3 B.)

    The stopped that as I believe they were the last ones and loosing business form it. I do believe I still have 120 GB drives in Heavy GB while the 250 are if I remember right light Gb (10e9 B)

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