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Seagate Announces 750GB Hard Drives 532

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the totally-unintentional dept.
Hack Jandy writes "Seagate documents have leaked out the two 750GB 7200.10 Barracuda hard drives. The drives are the first desktop hard drives to use perpendicular recording, feature a 16MB cache and 7200RPM spindle."
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Seagate Announces 750GB Hard Drives

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  • by amcnabb (682951) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:33PM (#15170511) Homepage
    Check out the Seagate Barracuda [seagate.com] for more info.
  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dcapel (913969) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:33PM (#15170514) Homepage
    We can finally Get Perpendicular!" [hitachigst.com]
    • Re:Great! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AK__64 (740022)
      That was actually a very unique form of advertising. I'm curious how many people know about perpendicular because of that effort. The question is, what will the marketers come up with for future forms of storage?
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:47PM (#15170587)
      I see how it works! A magical disco ball is allowed to emit it's soooper groovy radiation over the surface of the disc, which liberates the bits to stand up and boogie! It's so obvious!

      Of course, you have to thicken up the dance floor, but that's elementary.

      Still, I can't believe that there wasn't a single black bit there at the Super-Para-Magnetic Disco...
    • I admit it. My brain went immediately to "Get Perpendicular!" ... AND THE HITACHI BRANDING ... as soon as I saw the reference to perpendicular in the story. It's been months since I saw that animated short -- if not more than a year.

      Someone needs to give the guys who thought that up, a bonus.
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:36AM (#15172069) Homepage
      They really should make more cartoons like that. We complain that nobody knows anything about technology, or how computers work, but then we don't try to teach them at a level they can understand. I think people would learn a lot more if they had advertisements like this on during commercial breaks instead of the usual low level crap.
  • by ScaryMonkey (886119) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:34PM (#15170519)
    We all know 16k of storage is more than enough for anyone.
  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:34PM (#15170520) Journal
    Now I have to go to Costco and buy 3 250GB drives!
  • wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by bensafrickingenius (828123) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:35PM (#15170529)
    that will hold almost half of my porn!
  • Wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:36PM (#15170533)
    Wow, and here we thought that 640k is enough for everybody!

    Each time the capacity of hard drives goes up a few gigs, I think back to the day in the mid 90's when I got my first "gig" hard drive for $500. Wow, it was the most incredible thing to be one of the first people in my neighborhood to have so much storage... I didn't think I'd ever run out of that much space. And today, the OS won't even fit into such a thing.

    But let's put this huge capacity into perspective: Having once had to reverse engineer an obsolete 3.5" floppy drive to repair an obsolete piece of industrial machinery that was down (the customer couldn't afford to replace the whole machine because of a failed floppy drive, and the OS loads from floppy of all things), I learned that this contraption, which was on the market in the 80's, was really incredible, if you take a step back and think about it for a minute. Then, all it takes is a moment to realize that hard disk drives are several orders of magnitude more complex. First, the density of a floppy drive is nothing compared to that of a hard disk even from a decade ago, and secondly, the linear motion of the reading head on a floppy is controlled by a simple stepper motor, whereas the round motion of the reading heads on a hard drive is controlled by servo. I mean, just stop to think about it for a moment. All those gigs of MP3s, videos, and pr0n on someone's hard drive, and what an incredible piece of engineering behind them.

    • I recall the price of a 1.1 gig Mi(crap)olis drive for 1995.00 USD, yes 2 grand. It was loud, it was 'fast' and we thought it was going to last. It died promptly right after warranty ran out (as I recall was 2 years back then)... That was in 1991 or so, and it went into a NeXT Cube enclosure. The machine itself cost me via the Firesale at BusinessLand, about 3500 USD. So adding an upgrade to a retail item of value at 7000 USD was not a big deal. What if only I could have that money back and have not l
    • Re:Wow! (Score:2, Funny)

      by NitsujTPU (19263)
      Whoa dude, you totally blew my mind. It's soooooooo amazing.

      Oh man! Have you ever wondered how they get the cream filling in a twinkie? I mean, sure, you can see the holes in the bottom but, I mean, they're empty on the inside! I wonder how they make the space for the cream to go into. I wonder if they sell the part that they take out of the inside,

      Oh, man.

      (Haha, sorry, your waxing poetic just struck me. It must be all of the Mountain Dew and Bawls that I'm chugging.)
    • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Brain_Recall (868040) <brain_recall@@@yahoo...com> on Friday April 21, 2006 @01:26AM (#15170962)
      They don't even use servo's anymore (though, servo's and stepper-motors are the same thing). Current hard drive technology (well, for the past 10 years or so) use voice-coils, much in the same way a speaker is moved. Servo drives often required a low-level format to recalibrate the tracks to the current position of the heads, since time/heat could position themselves outside the track boundry. The voice-coil system can do this all on the fly. (And yes, the clicking heard by today's drive is from the heads moving fast enough like a speaker to produce sounds).
      • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:33AM (#15172053)
        Servo motors and stepper motors are *not* the same thing. The first one uses a closed loop system, meaning that it has a sensor to detect how far the motor has moved and adjusts the signal accordingly. Stepper motors are open loop, and while they are just as precise as servo motors in laboratory conditions, there is no way to know if the motor moved the amount that the signal was supposed to move it.

        Example:

        Assume both motors move 360 degrees for every 360 pulses. If the servo motor does not reach the 360 degrees, it adjusts the number of pulses accordingly. With a stepper motor, the control sends the 360 pulses and hopes that the motor rotates 360 degrees. Most of the time it does, but if there is something wrong with the system (motor, mechanical drive, etc) you run into trouble.
    • Re:Wow! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HockeyPuck (141947)
      Hard disk actuators haven't been controlled by servos in YEARS/decades. They use voice coils.
    • Re:Wow! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Erbo (384) <obreerbo@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday April 21, 2006 @02:29AM (#15171145) Homepage Journal
      No kidding. I literally just mentioned to my wife that I remember being thrilled to pieces over getting a 1.2 Gb hard drive (which replaced a 540 Mb drive), and that these new Seagate drives make that old one look "like tablets of baked clay."

      I used to keep track of how cheap hard disks were getting in terms of megabytes per dollar. Well, we've long since hit and blown through the gigabyte-per-dollar mark; for my next upgrade, I'm considering 250 Gb SATA drives, which are already up at close to 3 Gb/dollar (and, if another commenter has the right of it, may well blast through that mark by the time I have the money to buy them).

      Obviously, at this point, it's inevitable that we will see a 1 Tb drive in 2007 if not earlier; that prediction is like predicting an egg will break when you see it fall off the counter and head for the floor. I just wonder what the upper limit is. Will we crack the terabyte-per-dollar mark? Within ten years? Five? And what will that involve, nanoscale-density recording? Gonna be interesting to find out.

  • Great for backups (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mnmn (145599) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:41PM (#15170552) Homepage
    Everyones using USB disks for backups now rather than tapes. So many benefits there. Thats why Lacie and Maxtor are making a killing on selling drive + MCU + USB + casing packages. How many small and medium sized companies have total data exceeding 750GB?

    Even more interesting is who will release the first terabyte drive and (this is what I'm interested in) who will be the first to put one terabyte on a single platter. A terabyte is a lot. It will be a lot 5 years later, and quite a lot even 10 years later. Sure I understand Moores law and how 10MB was huge back then. But there comes a time after which we actually run out of relevant data to put on it. Pictures will go upto 10 megapixels but it will stop there. Video might go upto 1024x768x32-bitx100FPS but will not exceed that. Our humans senses will cease to notice any further difference. Games might require 2 blue-ray DVDs but will not require say 32 blue-ray DVDs in the next 10 years. What will you PUT on it?

    Maybe this will mean I'll finally have as much space in hotmail as I have in gmail.
    • by nblender (741424) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:45PM (#15170574)
      When you buy your TB-iPod, it will come preloaded with the entire history of human musical creativity and you will buy unlock codes with iTunes.

      (from a co-worker)

    • by bensafrickingenius (828123) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:51PM (#15170603)
      "A terabyte is a lot. It will be a lot 5 years later, and quite a lot even 10 years later."


      I'm sorry, but I really think you're mistaken. I and those in my field are caught in a seemingly unending storage excalation war. We provide 500 megabytes -- the users fill it up and demand more. We provide 50 gigabytes -- the users fill it up and demand more. We provide 500 gigabytes -- the users fill it up and demand more. Sure, they're wasting A LOT of space, and we could slow down the rate of growth by running scripts to delete MP3s or whatever every night, but that's a stopgap measure, and in the end is probably more expensive in terms of costly technician time than the cost of just slapping more drives in our Promise array. Currently we're backing up all of our servers to a 6.5 TB array via rsync -- and it's getting full. Give me a petabyte disk, please!
    • Yes there's a limit to how big one movie will be. But how much limit is there on the number of movies you would like on there? How would you like an entertainment unit with 5000 HD movies sitting on the hard drive and ready to run off the menu??

      And then, how would you like the same on a portable ipod or PSP-like device you can take around with you?

      I don't see any shortage of uses to which more storage could be put.
      • Unfortunately a 1TB drive can only hold 50 movies at 20 GB each. Now that's hardly a library, is it?
      • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb&gmail,com> on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:49AM (#15170847) Homepage
        Yes there's a limit to how big one movie will be.

        Actually, I don't think there is. A quick Googlin' turned up this site [hdforindies.com] which informs us that uncompressed 1920x1080 video at 24 frames/second takes up space at around 400 GB/hour. So, one of these new 750GB drives maps to about one uncompressed high-definition movie, and it can't even be two hours in length (the site also tells us that this drive wouldn't even be capable of playing back such a movie - not enough bandwidth). Now, yes, we may not "need" to see uncompressed movies, but it could easily be argued that we don't "need" quality better than good old NTSC, either.

        In 20 years, we'll be watching all our movies in digital form with no compression applied and/or the resolution/frame rate will be so high that we really won't be able to tell the difference between looking at the screen and looking out the window. :)
    • Re:Great for backups (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hao Wu (652581)
      "What will you PUT on it?"

      Expect a massive migration away from compressed formats, for example - JPEGs going to PNGs and TIFFs.

      Your music collection of MP3/OGG/AAC may be re-sold to you in 32-bit (regular CDs use 16-bit, which was always just barely acceptable to critics of the format).

      • Expect a massive migration away from compressed formats, for example - JPEGs going to PNGs and TIFFs.

        Having larger disk doesn't make my Internet go faster so JPG-s are here to stay. As for photos, all mid-range and hi-end cameras already use RAW formats.

        Your music collection of MP3/OGG/AAC may be re-sold to you in 32-bit (regular CDs use 16-bit, which was always just barely acceptable to critics of the format).

        Yep, DVDA is such a hit! :)
      • by pilkul (667659)
        Nonsense; that would only happen if there were great improvements in bandwidth as well.
      • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:20AM (#15170737) Homepage
        That's just dumb. We won't throw out compression just because we have big drives.

        I mean if I install a 750GB drive does that make my network any faster?

        And besides, 16-bit is 96dB of dynamic range. Anyone who says that's not enough is just an ass. They're the sort who claim they can see noise at 200fps and the like [especially on 75Hz monitors]...

        One good use for this is a relatively cheap huge store. 4x750 in RAID-6 gets you 1.3TiB of storage for $2700 [with tax]. It allows upto any two drives to die simulatenously without losing data. If you're a software shop who needs to have access to large amounts of data and code at once without fear of it dying one day this is an idea solution.

        For my personal use I got 3x250GB last year for about $600. It gets me ~465GiB of usable space [RAID-5] and any one drive can die and I won't lose my data. Typically if drives do die they don't die all at once. So for personal use it's an acceptable risk. Currently I have ~50GB of music and 200GB of movies on it. As well a 20GB Windows virtual drive [for QEMU] and copies of my CVS [archived]. Suprisingly it's 62% used considering when I bought it I thought I would never go over 10% use.

        Anyways, I can see these being used for small to medium businesses which need large file stores for cheap.

        Tom
        • Best Buy will simply "X" out the number 16 in its store displays, and write "32" in bold red figures. Believe me, it works.
          • Re:Great for backups (Score:4, Informative)

            by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:33AM (#15170783) Homepage
            That's right up there with the Monster cable displays...

            Yeah cuz you need 2000dB of S/N to listen to a movie soundtrack... Oh but come on, 30$ per foot of copper is worth it!

            Some people are just highly stupid.

            At best I can see the drive for 20-bits [and 24 just because it's a nicer multiple of 8] but 32-bits would imply 192 dB of dynamic range which is FAR FAR FAR beyond the average hearing range. Given that the "noise polution" in the average house sits at a constant 30dB or so ... the finer range isn't noticeable even with the best ears.

            Just like pixels the human eye fuzzes out around 10 to 12-bits per channel [depending on the eye and channel, for instance most people are more sensitive to green than red or blue]. Just like the audio case there are masking effects with light. After 12-bits or so of range it's just academic.

            Tom
        • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Friday April 21, 2006 @01:59AM (#15171065) Homepage
          "Typically if drives do die they don't die all at once."

          You must not use Maxtors.

          Good man.
    • Re:Great for backups (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Compuser (14899)
      I once ran this calculation trying to guess what excess we could
      possibly envision and where it ends.
      So, let's consider movies. Now, we will assume that people in the future
      watch movies on large screens. Let us assume drive-in size 300" diag.
      Also let us assume that 300 dpi is enough and 16:9 screen ratio.
      That is 3.5e9 pixels. You assume 100 fps. OK, then we get 2.5e11 pixels.
      Three channels for color give us roughly 1e12 bytes. Per second.
      Of course no future snob will watch compressed movies so we will
      assume
    • But there comes a time after which we actually run out of relevant data to put on it.

      Video will consume that much space. I shoot a lot of live music footage, and on an average night the storage requirements of the downloaded DV video will be 70-100GB. If I were to take the step up to HD formats, that would increase to about half a TB for a night's work.

      The only real question is whether a niche purpose like video production can generate enough revenue to continue driving the research.

    • you don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thepotoo (829391) <thepotoospam.yahoo@com> on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:03AM (#15170663)
      You just said that 64megs of memory ought to be enough for anyone, in so many words.

      Video might go upto 1024x768x32-bitx100FPS but will not exceed that

      Right. Tell that to any gamer running @ 1280x1024. Higher resolutions will always be in demand. Games will continue to have better and better textures, more units, bigger and more maps. I wouldn't be supprised to see 1TB games in the next 10 years.
      You make a good point, but just don't put finite limits on things which are likely to change quickly.

    • What will you put on [a TB disk]?

      After installing Windows and Office, you'll only have room for a few hours of virtual reality porn.

      Seriously though, HD video is "already" 1080x1920. Up the bit-depth and frame rate, and an uncompressed video stream is pretty huge. 10 years ago who would have thought of 60GB of (compressed) music in your pocket?

      I have no doubt that we'll find a way to fill a TB disk. The more serious question: will one be in control of one's own data, or will the MPAA/RIAA/MSoft charge you $
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:10AM (#15170698)
      2006:
      A terabyte is a lot. It will be a lot 5 years later, and quite a lot even 10 years later.

      1996:
      A gibabyte is a lot. It will be a lot 5 years later, and quite a lot even 10 years later.

      1986:
      20 megabytes is a lot. It will be a lot 5 years later, and quite a lot even 10 years later.

    • >What will you PUT on it?

      A never-delete file system that will let you keep and revert to every version of every file you've ever had on the disk. (Don't run a file system like that if privacy has any meaning for you).

      Backups of the the most important 1G of the other 1000 machines on your network while they do the same for you.

      A test server farm with a hundred VMWare partitions.

      A brute-force solution for any algorithm with a time-space tradeoff.

      Every program on TV so you don't have to program your TiVo in
    • by pcgabe (712924) on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:22AM (#15170741) Homepage Journal
      Pictures will go upto 10 megapixels but it will stop there. Video might go upto 1024x768x32-bitx100FPS but will not exceed that.

      Haven't you seen Blade Runner [imdb.com]?

      What will you PUT on it?
      "You've got a Friend in Porn" by Sean Cullen

      When you're feeling blue,
      you don't know what to do,
      sitting all alone,
      waiting by the phone...
      The world seems so unfair,
      no one seems to care.
      When your worlds are ripped and torn
      you've got a friend in porn.

      Thank you for the porn!
      Though other folks may scorn
      the constant mindless sex
      and the crude special effects,
      it gets you through the day
      whether bi or straight or gay.
      When you wish you were never born,
      you've got a friend in porn.

      When the night is long,
      everything is wrong.
      Your heart is on a shelf,
      you have to touch yourself.
      Reach for your old friend.
      The pleasures never end,
      and I think you'll find
      it's a friend you can rewind!

      Thank you for the porn!
      porny porny porn
      porny porny porn
      porny porny porn

      porny porno porni
      porniddly niddly new
      pornography for you,
      pornography for me,

      You've got a friend in porn
      You've got a friend in porn
      You've got a friend in pooooooorn!
      But there comes a time after which we actually run out of relevant data to put on it.

      Trust me, if your "relevant data" includes pornography, you will NEVER run out of data to put on it. Call that "Gabriel's Law" if you will. ^_^
    • A single platter? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      Even more interesting is who will release the first terabyte drive and (this is what I'm interested in) who will be the first to put one terabyte on a single platter.

      "one terabyte on a single platter."

      That ain't happening for a while, even with perpendicular recording.

      If you check out the datasheet for the 7200.10 series Barracudas [seagate.com] (PDF), on page 2 you'll see a row with the heading "Heads/discs".

      I'm going to take a wild guess and say that "discs" refers to the number of platters in the drive. Also, Seagate

    • Pictures will go upto 10 megapixels but it will stop there

      being a photo guy, I'll chime in.

      even an 8MP image, in some raw mode formats, takes almost 16MB to store.

      if you want to process your images in 16bits/channel (48bit color) and you want to save a lot of pshop layer info (so you can go back and re-edit things later), you can easily take 100MB or more per photo!

    • Re:Great for backups (Score:4, Informative)

      by John Courtland (585609) on Friday April 21, 2006 @01:23AM (#15170952)
      Sorry to burst your bubble, but pictures already go to almost 40 Megapixels. Kodak just made a CCD that is like 39MP, Hasselblad uses it for one of their 30 thousand dollar camera backs. Here's a link to one [calumetphoto.com]
    • Re:Great for backups (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcrbids (148650)

      Even more interesting is who will release the first terabyte drive and (this is what I'm interested in) who will be the first to put one terabyte on a single platter. A terabyte is a lot. It will be a lot 5 years later, and quite a lot even 10 years later. Sure I understand Moores law and how 10MB was huge back then. But there comes a time after which we actually run out of relevant data to put on it. Pictures will go upto 10 megapixels but it will stop there. Video might go upto 1024x768x32-bitx100FPS but
  • For someone who knows all the answers:

    Are hard drives becoming cache-starved? 16MB of cache doesn't seem like alot against 750GB on 7200 rpm platters.

    • Re:16MB of Cache? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:53PM (#15170614) Homepage
      They're becoming IO-bound far faster than cache-bound. It takes literally hours to read an entire 500gb hard drive at this point. The cache, on the other hand, is staying roughly on par with the IO speed, which seems like a more natural combination.
      • But as the platter density increases, so does the transfer speeds. I'd expect a drive with 50% more space to be noticibly faster than similarly-specced drives of "only" 500GB.
        • Transfer speed should increase as the square root of the platter density, since platter density is area and reading is linear. So this drive should be about 22% faster, in terms of maximum sustained transfer rate, than a 500gb drive. 22% isn't enough to justify (or not justify) another cache doubling, so let's do some interpolation. The last generation of drives - the 200gb or so generation - tended to have 8mb. The newest 500gb generation have 16mb. If we assume that the 200gb/8mb drives were the "correct"
  • by PrimeWaveZ (513534) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:44PM (#15170566)
    Because I've experienced data loss before. That's a lot of valuable stuff (at least in my case) in a very small space with little to back it up with except for more of the same. It scares the bejesus out of me.

    But I remember saying that about them huge 9GB drives when they came out when I was 12 (or so.)
    • RAID-5 ?

      You wouldn't buy these to be just plomped in. Unless you are doing lab work and just need bulk short-term storage.

      Any home user/developer will need reliability and will need at least RAID-1 if not RAID-5 or RAID-6.

      Of course the retail price is $600 CDN here in Canada. So at a minimum you need 3x drives to make it worthwhile. That's like $1800 plus tax or roughly two grand. Though it is like 1.3TiB of storage.

      Tom
  • Keep in mind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402 AT mac DOT com> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:46PM (#15170578) Journal
    this absurd habit of confusing 10^9 and 2^30.

    750 (hard drive manufacturer GB) = 698.49 (real GB or GiB, depending on how anal you are).

    As these sizes keep getting bigger the need to settle on one method of calculating GB, for both OSes and hard drive manufacturers, keeps getting painfully clearer.

    • Spot on. Looking ahead to terabyte drives, an 11.0 TB drive = 10.0 TiB. Quite a disparity.

      I really hope the disk storage industry gets its act together before then. Switch to more honest advertising practices, please. OSes have been measuring disk space in binary (not decimal!) for decades now.

    • While your post remind people that different definitions of GB are used, you are actually adding to the existing confusion. Because what you call a "real GB" is not real at all. You should rather call it "conventional GB", as in "conventional Giga prefix used in computing, ie 2**30". The real Giga is the Giga prefix as defined by SI, ie 10**9. Disk manufacturers are just using the standard Giga SI prefix instead of the "conventional Giga prefix". Other people are doing it in the computing industry. Bandwid

  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:47PM (#15170582)
    Come on, there is no way that a 7,200RPM drive will have an average latency of 4.16ms, that's the pure physical latency of the platter! The transfer rate is similarly bogus, it's the burst transfer rate of the interface, not even the outer track transfer speed. Guess we have to wait for someone like storagereview to throw iometer at this beast and get some real info.
    • TFA says that the average seek time will be 4.16 ms. Seek time is the time it takes for the arm carrying the head to swing from track x to track y on average. Rotational latency is the time it takes for a particular sector on that track to find its way around to where the head is waiting for it. Both, along with transfer latency make up the total latency.
      • No, it doesn't:

        Seek time information has not been released yet, which has traditionally been considered the problem area for perpendicular recording devices.
      • It's fun reading comments about seek time and rotational latency -- amazing how useful such stats can be.

        However, a thought intrudes -- why are we still using movable heads at all? Considering the track-to-track density and small radius disk formats we're using, isn't it about time to shift back to head-per-track? Couldn't we make a fixed-position monolithic RW head to cover all tracks of a disk at once? Can we make multiple RW coils small enough to pack at the same density as tracks on a platter? Come to

    • Remember. The higher your data density, the higher your transfer rate will be even if the RPM rate stays constant.
      • Mod parent up! (Score:4, Informative)

        by pointbeing (701902) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:59AM (#15172219)
        The higher your data density, the higher your transfer rate will be even if the RPM rate stays constant.

        Outstanding.

        Doesn't have anything really to do with latency, but I've seen several comments from folks who worship at the altar of rotational speed when the true factors that determine a hard drive's speed are aa combination of rotational speed, track-to-track latency and data density. You can spin an old 10mb drive at 200,000 rpm and it still won't transfer data faster than a modern hard drive.

        As sector density increases so does data throughput for a given rotational speed. If all other things are equal when you double the sector per track density you *almost* double the drive's throughput. I say almost because in order to double throughput you'd have to cut seek times in half as well.

        But - fast drives have dense platters, not just fast spindles.

  • I know people say the same thing when faster CPUs come out, "who's going to need all that speed?", but I think it can be said of hard drive space. I can't even fill up my 250GB HD, and that includes my OS, development database, latest games, and my, um... "collection." Video games are the largest media out there (unless you are pirating DVDs, but that doesn't count). Oblivion takes 4.5GB on my HD. Valve's Steam w/ HL1, HL2, etc. takes 7GB. What else is there? Unless you are doing high-res graphics wor
    • Complete dvd rips of my dvd collection: 800GB.

      My music, ripped to FLAC: 100GB

      2 OSs (Debian and WinXP Pro) + Software for them (incl games): 45-50GB

      Yeah, I could use this drive.... And in all seriousness, so could a lot of ppl. With dvd ripping coming standard in Vista and people's growing digital multimedia collections incl. TV and Music (from itms and others), the space is definately needed.
    • Between digital images, audio recording, and occasional video editing (yes all legit), I managed to rack up about 4 gigs per week of new data, and my parents about 2 gigs/week.

      What I really don't understand is this: between 2 backups I did 3 hours apart, I somehow amassed 160 megs of new data - without using the computer. All I can think of is that something somewhere is downloading updates or logging or SOMETHING. Sheesh.

      Anyway, at 4 gigs/week, my 400gig drive will fill up in about 100 weeks or 2 years. Th
  • by DeadboltX (751907) on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:46AM (#15170836)
    the 750 GB hd is really only about 700 GB due to the manufacturers counting 1,000 instead of 1,024..
    Anyway, lets look at how much space that really is, and how easy it is to fill up.
    DVD Movies range from 4gb to 9gb depending on film length and extras, lets settle on an easy middle number, 7GB average.
    That is around 100 DVD's you could store on your hard drive (My room mate owns over 150 DVDs, so while it might be a large number to some, it is not so large to others)
    That is not including TV series, if someone were to store 1 season of the show 24 on their media center pc it would take 45GB of space.
    Also concider that HD movies are going to be around 30GB each

    Video games are getting increasingly large, Recent games like
    The Godfather (4.5gb installed)
    LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth II (5gb installed)
    TES: Oblivion (6.3gb installed)
    World of Warcraft (5.3gb installed)
    Tomg Raider: Legends ( 7.3gb installed)
    Games are only going to get larger too.

    This is not even counting people who dabble with video editing or anything like that, work-wise that consumes monsterous ammounts of HD space..
  • by Grismar (840501) on Friday April 21, 2006 @02:33AM (#15171156)
    An important point seems to be missed by everyone in all the "1Tb won't run out in a few years", "yes it will", "no it won't" discussions. Given more space, engineers will think of new applications for all that space.

    It's not like you were filling up that 20Mb harddrive with text files.

    It's not like you were filling up that 1Gb harddrive with black and white bitmaps and low fidelity samples.

    And you're not going to fill that 1Tb harddrive with JPGs, movies and MP3.

    3D environments (for games or other purposes) will take more and more space, as objects and their textures get more detailed. And that's just an application that's already here. Think of what you can do with all that space and think of something new.

    How about CGI-movies with dozens of selectable camera angles? How about we send you all the feeds of a sports event with a direction script and let you mess with it? I'm sure you can do better than I am, just saying there -will- be new ideas. Wilder and more storage hungry than what I'm proposing here and we -will- be needing Pb drives in 10 years.
  • by rew (6140) <r.e.wolff@BitWizard.nl> on Friday April 21, 2006 @03:21AM (#15171265) Homepage
    The author of the article mis-interpreted Seagate's latency figure. Seagate means: "Average rotational latency". This can be calculated from: 60 seconds/minute / 7200 RPM / 2 = 0.00416 s = 4.16ms.

    Oficially you should add in the controller overhead, and most likely the time to read a sector (it's unlikely they pass-through the sector: in theory you can start to send the sector to the host before you've read it completely, but this complicates things as when the CRC doesn't match, you have to cancel the data sent to the host!), but if you do the math, these are negligable compared to the 4.16 ms.

    I don't expect anything "special" to happen in the "seek times" area. They will be within 10% from the slightly older drives. Either up to 10% better because they did find a way to improve seek times a bit. Or up to 10% worse because the higher density requires a longer settling time, but this is less likely than a small improvement.
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:30AM (#15172048)
    Sorry, I can't get overly excited about a hard drive maker increasing storage space. That is all they have been doing for the last 10 years, certainly hard drive performance hasn't been driving the industry.

    Hard drives are the single biggest bottleneck on today's systems. With multi-core technology and cheap gigabytes of ram all with gigabyte transfer rates, a hard drive plodding along with a 100 - 200mb/s transfer just doesn't cut it. Why should my system seem to hang with only 10% CPU utilization because of intense hard drive activity. I can't even bring up another task that doesn't use the hard drive because the system is too busy with hard drive transfers.

    Either a new I/O standard needs to be invented, something that doesn't tax your system when excessive hard drive transfers are made, or the frigging hard drives just need to start getting up to gigabyte transfer rates.

    In any case, I could care less about hard drives doubling or tripling in size, until they show significant improvements in performance, or move to solid state, then I am apathetic about the whole industry.

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