back to article WD to crash down five terabyte desktop job, mutterings suggest

A Russian tech website has revealed what appears to be Western Digital's roadmap for 5TB desktop and NAS drives. Always More Digital has images of what it claims are two WD presentation slides for its Green desktop and Red NAS 3.5-inch drives, which show 5TB models coming in the fourth quarter of 2013. WD Green 5TB drive WD …


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  1. Ragarath

    WD declines to comment on rumours or speculation about forthcoming products.

    Is it just me that sees that as tacit admission that the info is correct. If it is why not be honest and come out and say it. If it isn't, ditto. Any mistruths will come out in the wash anyway when the map is met (closely) or not.

    What does a company gain from not commenting, I am sure their rivals will now be working toward this roadmap (as close as they can at least) anyway.

    1. Jedit

      "What does a company gain from not commenting"

      Plenty. It's a certainty that every HDD maker is developing drives above 3TB, but they'll want to have as much time as possible to do R&D and reduce the failure rate. If the rumours are true, then by admitting it WD let their rivals know the window in which they can get their drives out first. If the rumours are false, then by admitting it WD give their rivals the opportuniy to say "Well Western Digital may not be able to do it to that timescale, but we can!"

      By leaving everyone in the dark about their plans until they're good and ready to announce them, rival companies are deprived of the ability to plan their schedule based on WD's.

    2. kb

      Never hear of the Osborne Effect?

      If they confirm it'll get picked up by the big sites and not just the geeky places and with Xmas coming up they don't want everybody going "Well I was gonna buy a 2Tb, but hey, they are coming out with a 5Tb next year! I think I'll wait on that!" and watching their sales dry up.

      I just hope that with the release of 4Tb and 5Tb we'll see the return of pre-flood prices on the 1Tb and 2Tb models, because I was paying $35 USD a Tb which was a LOT more affordable, thank you very much. I'm sitting on 3Tb right now and I'd love to double that but not at these prices, i'll wait until they come down.

  2. Silverburn

    Deny rumours = Admit no 5TB in the pipeline, and risk looking non-competitive

    Acknowledge rumours = Admit 5TB *is" in the pipeline, and kill sales of existing drives as everyone waits for the larger drives.

    Decline to comment one way or the other = the only real option.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A five terabyte desktop drive. Now that would be what I call a grumble stash.

  4. An0n C0w4rd

    Perhaps if they stop marking the drives up as a result of the Thailand flooding they may actually sell some 5TB drives.........

  5. The Jester


    I don't understand why they don't develop full height hard drives any more, like the old Seagates. Then they could double the platters and therefore the capacity. Or am I missing something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Capacities

      I suspect it's complexity and cost. If the user really needed more storage they can always put several disks into an array, but for a discrete desktop unit you want the fewest platters possible to keep costs down (and in a data centre, to reduce energy use as well).

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Capacities

        It's also probable that the more heads you try to stack on one actuator, the greater the problems you have taming all the vibrational modes of the assembly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Capacities

      It would more than double since the electronics won't have to double in size, so the usable space within the case would be more than twice as big, they could probably triple the platter count. But the problem may be that with so many platters you would need a beefier motor and mechanical bits to deal with the increased load, otherwise reliability will likely drop. That's going to add to the cost.

      With the old 5.25" full height drives the platters would also have more than twice the area of the 3.5" drives. So with triple the platters that are double the size they could probably stick 30tb in such a drive

      1. Jim O'Reilly

        Re: Capacities

        Of course, you'd wait a week to get 1% of the data off!

        The problem really comes down to IOPS per TB. If that stays the same as storage goes up to times, the system won't perform very fast.

        HDD storage is, in the end, bound by mechanical seeks. The IOPS rate won't go up much, if at all, so more and more these monster data drives will be useful only as archive stores, which will still be a huge business, incidentally. SSD will own the performance end of the market, and , with the Macronix announcement this week, we can expect economically priced 1 TB SSD about the same time as the 5TB drive at the end of 2013.

  6. RichD

    There can't be many people that need these drive capacities nowadays can there?

    I've got years and years of accumulated digital media, being an early adopter of digital photography, music, and video, and I'm only at about 600Gb including backups.

    1. Lunatik

      HD video can certainly swallow up '000s of GB if you're a prolific shooter, but I'm in the same boat as you, <1TB of 'backup-worthy' data.

    2. The Jester

      Digital Video

      1 Hour of raw SD (720x576) video transferred from MiniDV is 12gb. HD (1440 x 1080) is 4 times that. If you shoot a lot of video, or have more than one camera, 1TB disappears very quickly.

      1. Blank Reg

        Re: Digital Video

        The machine I built for video editing has a combined total of 12tb of internal and external storage, so I welcome the upcoming 5tb drives, it would free up drive slots and cut down on heat and power.

      2. Prof Denzil Dexter

        Re: Digital Video

        Yup. I've ripped most CD & DVD's I own to NAS so that i can stream at home to a variety of devices (some which don't have optical drive).

        Thats about 2tb and would be much higher if i had ripped my music as FLAC.

        I'd love to swap out my NAS drives with 4 x 5tb in a raid 5. 15tb of space? thankyouplease.

    3. El Presidente
      Thumb Up

      Can't be many people?

      There's loads of us!

    4. hitmouse

      i went on a two-week hike and road-trip and came back with 6GB of photos and video just from that.

      I started losslessly digitizing my CD collection about 12 years ago, and doing archival scans of photos and documents. I really do have TB of accumulated data even before adding in video from recording friends' musical and theatrical performance events.


      Are you kidding?

      2 hours of HD video in a nicely packaged consumer format is 35GB.

      A few trips to some picture worthy destinations and you can easily eat up a mere 600G just with homemade vacation videos. Never mind accumulating stuff you might have paid for from places like Walmart, Amazon, or iTunes.

  7. Perror

    Oh hell, all I can think about is porn...

    So... what's the Reg Standard Unit for drive capacity?

    1. Steve Evans
      Paris Hilton

      I think it should be measured in the number of 1080HD copies of Paris' only genuine claim to fame it can hold.


      Standard Units?

      Standard units for storage? Try these:

      CD -> 800M

      DVD9 -> 9G

      BD35 -> 35G

      So a kBD would be just shy of 4TB.

      I use 35G for the BD because of the prevalence of BD videos between 25-35G. Never seen one where the main title uses up the full 50G (or even 40G).

  8. Stevie Silver badge


    The WD NAS drives don't seem to have much of a reputation for being home-installation ready, to judge by the Amazon feedback, and there seems to be an awful lot of people upset about the current range of WD NAS products on teh intarwebs.

    Not much point in having a 5TB NAS on the market if your name for such devices is as near mud as makes no difference.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Bah!

      Can't be any worse than my LaCie 5big NAS.

      1. El Presidente
        Thumb Up

        Re: Bah!

        Should have bought a Synology DiskStation. Well happy with mine.

  9. Silverburn


    I foresee a problem - my Drobo only goes to 16gb (4x4tb) and I was actually going to do a storage upgrade in 2013 to the full 16tb. Could it support a 20tb 4x5tb array?

  10. Katie Saucey

    Well I can't wait,

    5tb more to back up/recover before the WD warranty exchange.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i want cheap drives

    and if i dont get them im gunna fuckin shoot the boss of WD in the face

    1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

      Re: i want cheap drives

      Just as well you didn't tweet that...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh Consumer NAS

    A nice big case and an atom board with as many sata ports as possible, works out a load cheaper than most consumer nas systems and ive got multiple big old 140mm fans blowing on the array instead of some piddly little 6cm fan trying to cool the entire thing.


      Re: Meh Consumer NAS

      I have a similar "home built" NAS that's nothing more than a ready made box from a web vendor that has a hot swap rack shoved into it. It has a respectable amount of bays and can easily and cheaply accommodate more. This box can saturate a GigE connection. I wonder if any of the "appliances" can manage that.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Green Drives

    Will these have to have their green function turned off to not die prematurely when used with penguin power?


      Re: More Green Drives

      What's supposed to be the time frame on that? I have one of those drives. When should I expect it to die?

      It seems to be chugging along fine.

      It doesn't host / or /var though.

  14. Kebabbert


    Now there are only three big manufacturers of hard disks left. Shortly after the fourth company was bought, prizes didnt move (it even increased 300% after the flooding) and development grinded to a halt.

    This is clearly a oligpol. Compare how fast prizes decreased before the acquistion and the pace of development, and after the acquisition. Graph it. There is a huge difference which means the big three vendors have got together and split up the market. Is such behavior allowed, by law?

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