Hitachi has started shipping the world's first hard drive with 4TB capacity. There has not been an official press release from Hitachi yet, but a Japanese site Akiba has spotted the hard drive on sale. The hard drive carries model number HDS5C4040ALE630 and is branded as Deskstar 5K.

The brand suggests that it's a lower performance drive with rotational speed of 5900rpm (Hitachi calls this "CoolSpin"). The drive comes with 32MB of cache just like the 2TB and 3TB versions, and uses SATA 6Gb/s interface. The drive is priced at 26,800 Yen, which translates to $345. For comparison, the 3TB Deskstar 5K costs 19,780 Yen ($254), so the price per GB is very close. The drive appears to use five platters, so two more platter than the previous 3TB monster.

The release comes at an odd time because hard drive supply is still very limited due to the floods in Thailand. The components of this drive are manufactured in Thailand according to the product packaging, meaning that the supply may be very limited in the short term. There is no word on global availability, though. 

Source: Akiba (Google Translation)

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  • RussianSensation - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    The same was said when 80GB drives transitioned to 160GB, then to 500GB then to 1TB then 2TB then 3TB. This exact concern of putting "too much data on such a large drive is too risky" comes up all the time. The thing is though, it makes no difference how large a drive is in terms of its failure rate. You can have a 7200.11 series that were garbage OR excellent Samsung F3/F4 series. It more depends on what internal components are in the specific drive.

    But all that aside, you should be backing up your data anyway. In that case, if a 1TB or a 4TB drive fails, it wouldn't matter to you. If you have 1TB of data, you probably have a 1TB drive backing it up (at least). If you have 4TB of data (assuming you need a 4TB drive), well then you'd need a 4TB backup anyway.

    The only way to ensure data is data redundancy. Even if you find a drive that's less likely to fail, would you risk not backing up your data?
    Reply
  • Tchamber - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    You're right of course. I have an external drive and a large storage drive in both laptop and desktop for redundancy. I guess for my own use though, if i had a 4TB drive i would want something comparable for backup, and that is more than i want to spend on a drive. My next build will be my file server with RAID5. Reply
  • p05esto - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    You're right, which is whenever I by a new "storage" drive I ALWAYS buy three of them. One is the main drive in the home server which backs up nightly to a second drive in the system with the same capacity. Then every 3 months I plug in a 3rd drive and backup to that which I then store off-site at a relatives house (next store to me actually).

    So yea, you should NEVER store any important data on just one drive without backups.
    Reply
  • Choppedliver - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I'm still shell shocked by the IBM deathstar of early 2000's. No way I will ever buy anything that bears that name. If any of that technology filtered down, I will stay far far away. Rational, or not, I don't care. Reply

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