Seagate announces 6TB hard drive

Seagate announces 6TB hard drive

Summary: HGST/WD has been shipping their 6TB helium drive for several months, but Seagate is joining the party with their own 6TB non-helium drive.

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TOPICS: Storage, Hardware
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Seagate is staying in the capacity race without resorting to helium. A 3.5" six-platter drive — 1TB per platter — is available in both 6Gb/s SATA and 12Gb/s SAS. It is 4k formatted but also has a feature to emulate 512B sectors.

Not sure how that works — one of the reasons for 4k sectors was to improve ECC efficiency — and the folks who briefed me couldn't explain it either. So take it on faith, or not.

Seagate positions the drive for nearline bulk storage and claims it is 25 percent faster than HGST in sequential read/writes. The drive is available in 6-, 5-, 4-, and 2TB capacities.

It is a self-encrypting drive — a standard and, by default, off feature these days — and is FIPS certified. 

The Storage Bits take

I like HGST's helium technology, but its value is the time-to-market advantage it wins over the competition. Now it looks like six months, which is good but not overwhelming.

It may also be that the Seagate drive will run hotter and use more power, but that remains to be seen.

Bottom line: High-capacity HDDs are still a horse race. Good to see.

Comments welcome, as always. Do you need a 6TB drive? Why?

Topics: Storage, Hardware

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23 comments
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  • 16 GB vs 6,000 GB

    Tablet manufacturers deem 16GB in their entry level models as pretty much enough for the daily chores while hard drive manufacturers seem confident that 6,000 GB is what users are in dire need of.
    Hilarious.
    EnticingHavoc
    • 16GB vs. 6 TB

      Well, a tablet is a toy, there isn't really much work that can be done with those. A desktop is still the workhorse in the real world. And just out of curiosity, how much of that 6TB is actually usable? 5TB?
      trust2112
    • Ever hear of the cloud?

      Most of my tablet data lives on the cloud on big raided, backed up drive arrays.

      Internal storage is great. But the cloud is what matters.
      Henry 3 Dogg
    • Tablets use SSD technology..

      Your talking about 2 different formats here. We do need bigger capacity drives with the amount of data we have these days. Blu ray format takes up more space than a dvd does and even a 6TB drive is meaningless. At this point the only way to gain more space is to raid the drive together, equating to about 100TB depending on how much data storage you need. For movie enthusiasts 100TB might not be enough. For a person that just has a few videos a 500GB hard drive should do it. 500MB used to be a lot. Technology and how we use it changes. I use a PC as a media center for both movies and music. I don't even have my collection on my PC yet. But i don't have enough space, which is most likely 10 or 20TB for dvds, 50-60TB if i want to do blu ray. And an extra 1TB for my entire music collection.
      MidnightDistortions
  • More Space the Merrier

    I currently have a 20 GB (Usable) storage array at home. I would enjoy having a bit more room if I could get it. 6 TB would help me out quite a bit.

    I have a 16GB mobile device and find myself having to tweeze down everything that I have so that I can shoe horn what I direly want onto a device. Granted I am not everyone, but I find more and more people are opting for larger devices.
    nucrash
    • Wow

      20TB usable. My apologies for that major foul up there.
      nucrash
    • Bring it on!

      Yes.. Of course we need 6tb drives.. We need 10 TB drives too, and by the time those come out, they'll also be out of date.. I have 18 TB Usable array at home, so just behind "nucrash" and although it seems ridiculous, the fact is that these days, storage is cheap.. cheaper than the cost of the time to go through and figure out what I can delete.. The bigger the drives, the fewer drives I need, and the lower the power bill... If I could get some 6tb drives today for a reasonable price (~$250) I'd buy 5 of them right now.. I don't need fast, I need big and reliable!
      172pilot
    • A GOOD 32GB MICRO SD CARD...

      ON EBAY,NEWEGG OR AMAZON YOU CAN GET A GOOD 32GB MICRO SD CARD FOR AROUND 19$ WITH FREE SHIPPING.
      AND IF HAVE A MICRO USB TO USB CABLE YOU CAN CONNECT A PEN DRIVE OR A HARD DRIVE.
      USE THE INTERNAL MEMORY JUST FOR THE APPS.THE THE EXTERNAL MICRO SD CARD YOU CAN USE TO STORE PICTURES,VIDEOS AND MUSIC.
      BrazilMan2014gv
      • ?

        A $19 SD card on eBay labelled as 32GB is unlikely to be "good" and also unlikely to be "32 GB"
        Henry 3 Dogg
        • SANDISK BRAND

          I HAVE 2.AND WORKS GREAT WITH MY PHONE AND TABLET.
          BrazilMan2014gv
  • More Space, more movies

    With everything going digital.. even when you buy a movie you get it by downloading.. (not me, I still like having the disc, I can rip it to my RAID Array, or register the code in UltraViolet, or with VUDU, or even just plug it into the DVD drive or Player.) But, movies take up a lot of space if you have any sort of collections.. like all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1, etc. So, for a nice Array with DLNA services enabled on the NAS, I can see 6TB drives..
    Putertechn
    • If only...

      Sadly most DLNA enabled TVs have hopelessly inadequate memory or CPU power to handle that amount of storage. A friend tried a 8TB NAS with 30,000+ music and video files on it (filling 6TB of space actually).
      The large expensive Samsung TV just coughed and died.

      On asking Samsung Support why, they said it's limited to 80 folders max. and a few thousand files.

      So TV companies are still years behind folks...
      ProfQuatermass
      • FORGUET ABOUT SMART TV

        USE THE HDMI & USB INPUT TO MAKE ANY TV A ANDROID SMART.YOU CAN BUY AN ANDROID MINI PC OR ANDROID STICK THAS HAS MULTIPLE USB PORTS.YOU CAN HAVE YOUR PEN DRIVE,SD CARD A + HARD DRIVE AND BE ABLE TO SEARCH AND USE ALL FILES WITH THE DRIVE WITH NO PROBLEM TO YOUR TV.THE LAST LINK GIVES YOU AN ANDROID MINI PC THAT HAS A WEB CAM,WIRELESS G + IT IS MOUNTED ON TOP OF THE TV SO YOU CAN USE SKYPE,YAHOO OR ANY OTHER VIDEO CHAT MESSENGER AVAILABLE TO VIDEO CONFERENCE.
        AND IF YOU WANT MORE USB PORTS YOU CAN ALWAYS BUY A POWERED USB HUB.SO YOU CAN HAVE MULTIPLES USB HARD DRIVES CONNECTED TO YOUR HDTV.SO NO NEED TO STREAM THE MOVIES.AND WITH A FREE APP LIKE GROOVE IP LITE AND A GOOGLE VOICE ACCOUNT YOU CAN HAVE A HOME NUMBER AND YOU CAN MAKE AND RECEIVE CALLS.FOR KEYBOARD,MOUSE,JOYSTICK OR HEADSET YOUR CAN USE BLUETOOTH SO YOU ARE HANDS FREE.MOST SMART TVS HAS AN ADROID APP THAT YOU CAN USE YOUR ANDROID SMARTPHONE AS A WIRELESS REMOTE,KEYBOARD & MOUSE. CONTROL USING WIFI
        http://www.tgdaily.com/hardware-features/71993-quad-core-rockchip-processor-powers-this-android-mini-pc
        http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/android-sticks/cx-919-android-mini-pc.aspx
        http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/minix-neo-x5-android-4-mini-pc-launches-for-e99-24-10-2012/
        http://www.laptopmag.com/android-sticks.aspx
        http://www.alibaba.com/products-directory/recommended-rk3188-3g-wifi-router-android-tv-quad-core.html
        BrazilMan2014gv
        • ALSO...

          YOU CAN USE DROPBOX,BOX,GOOGLE DRIVE AND OTHER CLOUD PROVIDERS AND YOUR CAN REMOTE YOUR FILES TO YOUR ANDROID STICK.
          BrazilMan2014gv
    • IF YOU CAN RIP IT

      A 1.6GB MOVIE THE QUALITY IS ALMOST LIKE BLUE RAY.
      BrazilMan2014gv
  • Hmm...6TB

    PORN!!!
    CPT_Underpants
  • 512 byte sector emulation

    Drives have been formatted with 4K sectors for years, and most emulate 512 byte sectors because many OSes can't support 4K sectors. What happens when one of these drives gets a media error is that all eight emulated 512 byte sectors that make up a physical 4K sector return errors on reads. The user sees 8 sequential 512 byte sectors that suddenly have read errors, which can be a bit frightening if they don't check the locations or don't understand what's going on.

    I'm not sure what happens when the user writes to one of these emulated 512 byte sectors when the physical 4K sector it's in has a read error. On drives with a 512 byte physical format, the sector gets reallocated. But with 4K, the drive can't reallocate the 4K physical sector because it doesn't have data for the other emulated 512 byte sectors in the physical sector. It seems wrong for a drive to accept the write without declaring an error but then still have the possibility of knowingly not being able to return valid data in the future because it writes the data to a 4K physical sector with a known media error. And does the host have to write all 8 512 byte sectors in one write command to get the drive to reassign the 4K physical sector? I've seen that work, but again it takes special knowledge of the situation.
    wilback
    • More on 512 byte emulation

      Thinking about it some more, writing a single emulated 512 byte sector requires the drive to read the entire underlying 4K physical sector, modify it with the new 512 bytes, and then write the entire 4K sector. So the host tries to write 512 bytes on a 4K physical sector with a media error, the drive will see a read error when trying to read the underlying 4K physical sector. The host really needs to write all 8 512-byte sectors in the physical 4K sector to clear the error.
      wilback
  • We do need 6TB drives to help make data centers more power eficient.

    Larger hard drives will always be helpful in cutting down the amount of energy needed by storage centers. The power used by 2 * 6TB drives will be less than that used by 3 * 4TB drives. It will also allow for greater storage in the existing space without the need to add more power hungry boxes to hold that extra storage in.
    NZJester
  • Alternative use

    Just in time to store a couple of 4K videos? ;)
    ProfQuatermass