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  • chartguy - Friday, October 16, 2009 - link

    The Barracuda 7200.7 was introduced back in 2003. It quoted a sustained transfer rate of 58 MB/sec. Six years later, they're only up to 138MB/sec with the Barracuda XT. That's nowhere near "Moore's Law" growth.

    Sadly, storage throughput has become the chokepoint of computing performance. Given the massive increases in areal density, it's hard to understand why transfer rates haven't gone up more, but that's the reality of it.
  • sgoyeche - Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - link

    Speaking of Moore's law, why not do what AMD has done in going from 1 processor on a die to 4 processors on a die? In the case of mechanical hard drives, why not build striping into the internal workings of a single hard drive? Have each platter of a multiple platter hard drive perform as if it were multiple single-platter hard drives, but contained in a single 3.5 inch hard drive case? This would no doubt require a new standard (SATA IV / SATA 4 perhaps), new controller and new data connections etc, but could in theory quadruple the speed of 4 platter hard drive... Is this not viable, or is it simply the musing of one who has had too many cups of coffee today? Reply
  • sgoyeche - Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - link

    Further to my previous post, a quick google seach yielded a patent "US Patent 7324301 - Striping data simultaneously across multiple platter surfaces" found at"> that describes striping within a single hard drive. It will be interesting if it is commercialized.

  • Von Matrices - Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - link

    Are there going to be any reviews of any mainstream (i.e. < $150) mechanical hard drives in the future? It's great to know about the best SSD's and top-of-the-line mechanical HDD's, but I would like to see a some reviews of drives targeted toward the lowest price per GB. The reason I say this is that there are so many 1TB drives on the market (5, 4, 3, and 2 platter models) and no other site I know of has any reviews of the 2 platter 1TB models. While the 2 platter drives would be expected to be the fastest of all the 1TB models, a comparison would be great. Reply
  • Akkuma - Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - link

    Agreed. I just got myself two Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TBs and there is next to no news, other than they were going to be released, or reviews about them. Reply
  • v12v12 - Monday, September 28, 2009 - link

    What about I'm glad larger drives are coming out, b/c I have so much media/data coming in everyday from video editing/archiving I do; my concern is defrag times. These drives take extremely long times to defrag, putting lots of stress on the drive while it's essentially not useful till it's finished.
    ___Sure I love how mechanical drives are really pushing maximal capacities, BUT the latency innovations have not caught up with the price of just larger platter densities. It takes forever to do anything with these drives regarding scanning and general maintenance. A full virus scan on a mechanical 2TB drive would be insanely long. I can't wait for solid state drives to archive mechanical drives for good!
  • chizow - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    What's the point of increasing external transfer speeds to SATA 6Gb/s on a 7200RPM mechanical HDD limited to 140MB/s STR and maybe 200MB/s max burst? Its like putting a 200mph speedometer on a moped. SSDs need SATA 6Gb/s, 7200RPM drives may never exceed 300MB/s. Kinda surprised this wasn't mentioned in the blog post at all, its clearly a useless checkbox feature to help sell this drive. Reply
  • afkrotch - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    It's called cost. One interface for all drives, versus 3 interfaces for all drives.

    Features. New NCQ with QoS for audio/video streaming. Something that I'm sure would get a lot of use when it's slapped onto a 2 TB hdd. Better power management.

    I wouldn't consider this like putting a 200 mph speedometer on a moped. I see it as putting a roof and stereo on a moped. It might not be faster, but it's got other perks.

    Gaining higher performance isn't limited in simply adding more speed. If that were the case, the P4 would still reign supreme.
  • erple2 - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    While it is true that there isn't that much of a benefit to adding these 600 MB/s interfaces on a 7200 RPM drive, there is still a benefit. If you break down the time it takes to get from platter to the CPU, there are essentially 4 things that have to be done:

    1. move head to relevant point on platter
    2. read data off platter into data buffer
    3. transfer data from buffer to host SATA controller
    4. transfer data from host SATA controller to some memory buffer for reading by the CPU

    The slowest (by a significant chunk) is 1 and 2 (probably 1 is slowest). They've improved step 3 which does ultimately reduce the amount of time it takes to read the data. However, the first rule of optimization is to speed up the slowest component. In this case, it's moving the head to the relevant point on the platter, and reading the data off the platter. I think that improving that will net far more advantage than just improving step 3 (which is what SATA3 does).

    It's more like putting a high performance muffler/tailpipe on a small-displacement non-turbocharged car. Sure you have all the airflow you'd ever need, but in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn't do that much at all. You're _much_ better off putting a turbo charger on the engine to boost performance. Well, various arbitrary restrictions on what you may or may not do to a car for a particular race may not allow turbos, but that's a different story than what we have here.
  • chizow - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link


    It's more like putting a high performance muffler/tailpipe on a small-displacement non-turbocharged car.

    Ya its like putting a Nitrous banger on a lawn mower. Not the ride-on type, one of those self-propelled 15cc rabbit hoppers. ;D
  • Casper42 - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Also keep in mind that SAS controllers have been upping their speeds to 6Gbps for the past few months now, and with STP in place, you could easily drop a few of these drives into an environment where you have a mix of SAS 15K and SATA 7200. Reply
  • faxon - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    couple of them actually. first off, drives with this interface will have double the cache read/right speed of drives using SATA 3Gb/s, and since a large majority of the IOs hard drives do will fit in this cache, it will increase performance pretty significantly in these situations. as for why they put it on the platter drive at all, my guess would be that they are planning faster products with this interface, and they want to test the controllers out on drives which wont be significantly hindered if the controller isnt capable of performing where they need it to for a higher performance drive Reply
  • plague911 - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Any one know why manufactures don't put a huge cache on their hard drives? I could be wrong but with the battle going on with SSDs and HDs a 256MB cache would be a nice feature that would potentially not add that much to the cost? Reply
  • chizow - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Hehe you guys are funny, the only amount of cache that will make any difference is measured in GBs, and then they'll call them SSDs.

    Seriously, look at current drives and the negligible advantage gained from 8 > 16 > 32. 32 > 64 will be even less significant.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it'll be a great HDD with the 500GB platters, high STR, and high capacity (I have two of the 7200.12 1TB drives), but lets not kid ourselves, if you're buying them for SATA 6Gb/s and 64MB cache and undoubtedly paying a hefty premium in the process, you've been Jedi mind-tricked by marketing checkboxes! ;)
  • Ipatinga - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    "Seagate is also launching a new version of their SeaTools software that will allow users to short stroke the drives for increased performance, at the cost of capacity."

    How is Seagate going to do that? As far as I know, short stroke only increases performance with benchmarks (since you are benchmarking the fastest part (outter one) of the drive (platter) (depending you the capacity you limited the drive)).

    But hey... if Seagate is smart enough to say this XT with 6Gb/s is going to rock your world and there are people that believe blindly in marketing teams... what the hell right?
  • Voo - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Why should only benchmarks profit from using the outer tracks?

    Even modern OS try to install themselves there because it's a noticable performance boost.
  • StraightPipe - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Short stroking is all about increasing access times.

    Affects performance, not just benchmarks.

    The whole idea is to buy a 2TB drive and only use 5 or 10% of the disk (or whatever portion you like)

  • jp7189 - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Call me goofy, but I'm pretty sure short stroke uses the inside tracks. That's how the 15k RPM short stroke drives do it. It's about reducing head movement and rotatational latency. It takes forever (relatively speaking) for data to come back around at the outter edge vs. much quicker at the inner edge. Reply
  • davekozy - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    The whole platter takes the same amount of time to go around so a bit of data would take the same amount of time to come back around on the outer tracks as on the inner tracks.

    Since the outer tracks are longer they are moving faster then the inner ones so more bits pass the head per second increasing the transfer rate.

    At least I think that's how it works and why short stroking uses the outer part of the discs.
  • afkrotch - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Correct. All you have to do is look at the transfer rates of a CD to understand how short stroking works.

    Course if a drive changes it's rotational speeds to keep a constant transfer rate between the outer tracks and inner tracks, then short stroking doesn't work.

    I'm assuming CAV is how these drives would rotate.
  • Nihility - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Short stroking should be a feature of the file system. Put data that is mostly unused at the end and so the drive spends most of its time in the high performance area.

    That way you get high performance and the storage capacity you need. Long term archives of documents and photos that you only need once a year will be kept on the inner tracks where they prevent data that is used more often from being placed there. Could be done as a part of the weekly defrag.
  • apriest - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Shouldn't a good defragmenter put data on faster parts of a drive already? I would also expect a well designed controller to do the same. This seems more like a way of avoiding an issue than brilliant engineering. Reply
  • Casper42 - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Not to mention all you have to do is create 2 partitions on the drive to achieve the same thing.

    Rather than Short Stroking the drive to something like 500GB, just create a 500GB partition and then another 1.5GB partition.
    The 500GB will be fast and the 1.5 will be slower.

    Don't want the 1.5 to get in the way? (steal IOPs) Then don't partition it and just leave it unused.
    Its not rocket science.
  • Tuor - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Excepting an unexpected failure, I don't intend to buy another HD. My next drive is going to be a SSD. It seems to me that by next summer, maybe earlier, SSD prices will come down to the point that there will be little reason to buy a HD.

    Yeah, this drive is 2 TB, which is huge... but I don't need that much space. Even if I stuck all the games I own on my HD, I doubt I'd even hit 1 TB. Yeah, there are certainly people that can make use of such a drive, but I think most people, when they look at the transfer speeds and other factors that a SSD brings to the table, are going to forego a bigger drive in favor of a SSD that is faster and has no moving parts.

    Next year I think the SSD will come into its own, and I'm putting off any purchase of data storage until then. I'm sure I'm not alone.
  • afkrotch - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Little reason for you to buy a regular hdd, but not little reason for me.

    I currently have 7 TB of storage with 4 TB of external storage for backups. I already need to purchase some more external storage, as I've broken the 4 TB mark in data. I give it another year, before I'll need to increase from 7 TB.

    I can't even imagine getting an SSD for my OS drive. I couldn't feel a difference going from a 7,200 rpm drive to a Raptor. Maybe games loaded faster or something, during loading, I'm watching a TV show on my other comp during a load sequence. I usually notice well after the load has completed, that it actually completed.

    I'd rather build a new computer with a 2TB hdd, than buy multiple SSDs just to hit 2 TB. Then the leftover money, I'd buy some hookers and play blackjack.
  • Tuor - Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - link

    I did mention that I know others will actually find use for such a huge amount of storage space. It's just that I think that the vast majority of people will not need that much space any time soon. Maybe I am underestimating the amount of data most users need, so you guys could be right and I am lowballing things.

    But if I am right about this, then it seems to me that Seagate and those that follow are going to find it increasingly difficult to market HD drives over SSDs as the latter begin to mature and the economy of scale begins to take effect. I think we'll have a good idea by next summer.
  • Fanfoot - Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - link

    Actually, I agree with you. Personally, I'll be putting at least two drives in most of my systems--an SSD boot/application drive, and a spinning disk media drive. But I don't think I'm remotely typical. I think most people's needs will be fulfilled by a single drive, and that drive will be an SSD reasonably soon. The prices still need to come down quite a bit though.

    Will a typical user choose the $100 500GB drive, or the $300 80GB drive? I thinks its obvious they'll choose the 500GB drive for now. Eventually though as prices come down and capacity creeps up, they'll realize they'd rather have a $100 SSD even if its 1/2 or 1/4 the size of that rotating platter, given that they probably don't need all the space that platter offers...
  • strikeback03 - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Anyone who keeps lots of photos or rips/downloads videos is probably not going to be using SSDs for all their storage anytime soon. That may not be you, but I'm sure there is a group with multiple terabytes worth of videos on HDDs. Reply
  • QChronoD - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    I've been ripping all my DVDs to hdd so that I can easily browse through everything. (still looking for a better interface box, 360-MCE is slow and doesn't play the majority of my anime)

    Right now I have 3x 1.5T hitachi's that are each about 60-80% full.
    I think I'll hold of on upgrading those until they either fail or there are 10TB drives out.

    OT - Does anyone know a site that has a good comparison of the more popular media boxes and has a good list of what does/doesn't work on each? I'm looking at the new PCH C-200 cause it seems to play everything ever invented. (except HDDVD)
  • somedude1234 - Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - link

    Try MPC Club for info on the various devices:">

    I have an iStar Mini (same chipset & FW as a PCH), PS3, and a DLNA-capable Samsung TV. I can stream to all of them using PS3 media server (really really great software):">

    IMHO, from an interface standpoint, it goes PS3 > PCH > DLNA-TV (my sammy at least). It shouldn't surprise you that the more powerful devices have much better & smoother interfaces.

    Also, for some reason the url and quote features aren't working for me right now.
  • afkrotch - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Rip your DVDs into a format that either the 360 or PS3 can read. From there, you can just use the console as your front end. Reply
  • usacodeman - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    I would. I'm feeling the squeeze on a 1.5tb drive now... Reply
  • iwodo - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Come On. We need some super speedy SSD. Last time i heard there are already SSD in Lab doing 700MB/s waiting for SATA 3.0....

    Any news on that?
  • kjboughton - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Hey, what's the operating temperature range specification? Reply
  • omgroflmfao - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    MS Office auto replaces "05" with "May" in certain situations.
    I'm assuming, then, that the operating temp spec is 5 to 60 C.
    This seems to be fairly standard.
    I guess the editor is out on vacation. Oh wait...what editor?
  • TGressus - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link"> Reply
  • Aeternum - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    "While still short of the maximum theoretical 600MB/s transfer speed of the SATA 6G specification, it will provide enough burst bandwidth for these first generation 6G hard drive"

    Well i dont believe anyone expects to hit the theoretical maximum anyway so 500 will just have to do :) Anyway this will be awesome for my home server in 6 months when the price drops and the mobo's are set up with the new 6G.
  • Doormat - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    If I can buy an SSD next summer that does 500MB/s read and write, I'm not going to complain that its not 600MB/s. Reply
  • Anonymous Freak - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    SATA 2.0 (aka SATA 3Gb/s) had a few improvements other than just raw data transfer speed going for it. Does SATA 6Gb/s have any other improvements?

    If not, then what is the point of this drive having the new connection, when the maximum transfer rate from the platters to the host isn't even 1.5Gb/s, much less 3?

    On the newer SSDs, where raw data transfer rates are getting high enough to saturate SATA 3Gb/s, it makes sense to move to 6GB/s, but not for 7200 RPM spinning media. Even 15,000 RPM spinning drives can't even get close to 3 Gb/s. (And barely exceed 1.5Gb/s.)
  • afkrotch - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    [quote]If not, then what is the point of this drive having the new connection, when the maximum transfer rate from the platters to the host isn't even 1.5Gb/s, much less 3?

    On the newer SSDs, where raw data transfer rates are getting high enough to saturate SATA 3Gb/s, it makes sense to move to 6GB/s, but not for 7200 RPM spinning media. Even 15,000 RPM spinning drives can't even get close to 3 Gb/s. (And barely exceed 1.5Gb/s.) [/quote]

    Becausing only making one interface is cheaper than making 3 different interfaces. Why make Sata 1.5, Sata 3.0, and Sata 6.0, when you can just making Sata 6.0.

    If all we cared about is whether or not a hdd can push the bus, we'd still be sitting on PATA 133.
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    It lets them fill the disk cache twice as fast. This is the same primary advantage that SATA3GB had over it's 1.5GB ancestor when it first was supported. Reply
  • Doormat - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Its a starting point. Some drive had to be first to get to 6Gb/s, and it was Seagate.

    The most interesting feature is isochronous transfer mode - basically a mode for transferring data off at a certain rate (for movies or music). USB already has this feature.

    The only other feature is a new standardized connector for 1.8" drives.
  • iwodo - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    One Port Multiple Devices can finally take off. You can use 1 SATA 3.0 port for 2 - 3 DVD / Blu Ray or other Optical Disc Devices without worrying bandwidth.

    Trim for SSD.

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