MojoKid writes: Western Digital announced it has begun shipping its massive 12TB HGST Ultrastar He12 hard drive today, the first ever helium sealed HDD to hit the market. The drive has a total of eight 1.5TB platters, offering massive areal density and it could deliver the faster 7200RPM HDD performance as well, at 243MB/s reads and 255MB/s writes sustained. WD's HelioSeal technology seals helium in the drive to enhance performance and endurance with thinner platters and allowing more of them as a result.The He12 comes in both SATA 6Gbps and SAS 12Gbps flavors, and sport a stout 256MB cache. HGST says access times hover around 4.16ms on average with seek times around 8ms. Other features include the ability to instantly secure erase the drive to redeploy it elsewhere and the option for self-encryption, along with an MTBF (meantime between failure) rating of 2.5 million hours. Pricing has not been set for the He12, but the He10 typically costs around ~$470 USD, so the He12 will likely land around $550 to $600 or so.