Western Digital is announcing - and commencing volume shipments of - their first 2.5" 500 GB drive. Hey, didn't Hitachi and Samsung get there first?
The 12.5mm Hitachi drive was too big to fit in most notebooks. Samsung's 9.5mm drive fits - but it is 3 167 GB platters.
Why should you care? With an industry leading 250 GB/platter, the WD drive offers 2 advantages:
- Lower costs - at least to manufacture - which should help drive all 500 GB 2.5" drive prices down.
- Higher streaming performance. Cram more bits on a platter and more bits fly by the head.
Platters aren't expensive, but heads are. 4 heads instead of 6 should save WD $8-$10 direct manufacturing costs per drive - a big number in the cut throat world of hard drives. The MSRP is $220, but let's see what NewEgg does with it.
They may also squeeze some power and weight advantages out of it too. Every little bit helps.
The Storage Bits take Darn, I just bought a 320 GB drive for my notebook. Don't really need the additional capacity, but it is American to want something better.
The more interesting question: presumably WD could stick 3 platters in the drive to create a 750 GB notebook drive. Stick 100 DVDs on your laptop, plus 100 GB of MP3s and, oh yeah, Office and all your work stuff too. I like it!
WD is on a roll. Seagate seems to be chasing after all kinds of maybe, someday markets like encrypted and hybrid drives. WD is sticking to leading edge disks and it is working for them. And for consumers of massive amounts of storage.
Comments welcome, of course.