Seagate's new 5TB drive

Seagate's new 5TB drive

Summary: Seagate's unannounced but rumored 5TB drive has finally appeared - in a LaCie announcement. Here's what you need to know and what it means.

TOPICS: Storage, Hardware

LaCie, now Seagate's consumer facing subsidiary, announced a 5TB desktop drive (tip of the hat to Storage Newsletter). The unit is available in its 5big Thunderbolt Series, 2big Thunderbolt Series and d2 Thunderbolt Series.

The drive is reportedly a 5 platter, 7200RPM unit, which remains unannounced by parent Seagate. LaCie can now offer up to 25TB of capacity in a desktop enclosure.

The Storage Bits take
Two takeaways:

  • Capacity increases have slowed from the torrid 40-50 percent growth of the first decade of the 21st century. 25 percent growth is better than nothing, but the slowing makes it easier for flash drives to compete with disk.
  • This may be the beginning of a trend. Drive vendors like the higher margins they get with add-on storage compared to volume OEM sales, especially since early production is typically volume constrained until processes get nailed down. Expect to see WD and Toshiba follow Seagate's lead.

Of course WD's HGST unit - much of the old IBM disk business - is theoretically shipping (haven't seen any in the wild yet) a 6TB server drive. It will be interesting to see if they also offer it as a desktop unit from their G-tech brand.

Comments welcome, as always. Do you need a 5 or 6TB drive? Why?

Topics: Storage, Hardware

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  • Don't need a 5TB drive

    The 1TB and 2TB drives are very inexpensive (I'm picking up a 1TB drive for $60 later today) and I would prefer to split my files up between multiple drives. All your eggs in one basket...?
    • I believe that Lacie also make RAID devices

      25Gig would make a really fun, but expensive, drive. it would be hard to fill . . .
      • 1 TB = 40 x 25GB

        25GB would be easy to Blu-ray movie would probably do it.
        • TB perhaps ??

          I think "One Left Foot" meant "25 TB" (not GB). Lol...
  • Rather have a storage pool in parity mode

    that I can with near zero effort add more storage using the best TB/$ size drives.
  • Percentages don't really work anymore

    A 25% increase is 'better than nothing', but consider how much easier it was (relatively speaking) to do a 50% increase before - 80GB to 120GB is a 50% increase, but a 40GB increase. To keep that proportion, a 4TB drive to a 5TB drive is a 2500% increase (1TB/40GB=25). That is still very impressive.

    On top of that, I know VERY few end users who realistically need more than 500GB of storage. The people who do (a few photographers and gamers with hundreds of games in their Steam library), a NAS becomes a much more viable means of storing things. Fault tolerance becomes something worth accounting for, and the ability to use protocols like FTP and SMB become handy, as does BitTorrent Sync and Time Machine.

    In NAS units, there's a delicate balance between having plenty of space for everything, and ensuring that the rebuilding process completes in some semblance of time. A 5TB drive, writing at 80MBytes/sec from one end of the platters to another, will take nearly 17 hours to rebuild. Used in a standalone USB enclosure, 5TB is a huge amount of data to lose.

    Depending on the situation, smaller can possibly be better.
    • That depends on how things are structured.

      Just a mirror image shouldn't take 17 hours to rebuild... bit over 5 maybe.

      Less in a NAS that handles that for you.
    • You realize that going from 80GB to 120GB isnt a 50% increase right?
      • Oh dear....

        Public schools....
      • Doing the math?

        Taz? If 80 to 120 is not a 50% increase, what is the right answer? Inquiring minds, and all.
      • Really? Seriously?

        So what, in your opinion IS the correct answer?
    • Have to agree with you voager529.

      I've had the 1 tb drive that came in my computer for 4 years and used about 40% of it. Still a long ways to go.

      Have no reason to have 5TB on single drive. A Raid would be much more effective.
    • 5TB / 4TB = a 25% increase, not 2500%

      Someone slept through 4th grade math.
      • Actually, someone slept through 4th grade reading comprehension

        5TB/4TB=1.25; a 25% increase. That was my FIRST SENTENCE in the post.

        What I was addressing was the fact that Robin insinuated that the 25% increase wasn't really that impressive, considering that 50% increases were normal back when Seagate upped the ante from 80GB to 120GB. That was a 40GB increase.

        Now, if we consider a 40GB increase is deserving of accolades, then I am arguing the fact that the 1TB increase on a 4TB drive is TWENTY FIVE 40GB increases in one shot. Sounds pretty impressive to me!

    • DEJA VU?

      I remember someone once saying we'd never need more than 1MB of memory :)
      Personally, I'm perfectly happy with my 9.5TB of storage. I probably do need to increase my 12GB RAM though :)
  • yes I need a 5TB drive

    • All right!

      You the man!

      R Harris
  • I need much more than 5TB drives..

    as I have a plan to back up the internet...nightly.
  • I could make use of them

    I have over 18 TB of AutoCAD files and related engineering files currently on two separate RAID arrays. Once I filled up the first one I just made another one. I'd like to combine them all into one box. My office is small, so the less space the better. I could do that now, but it would take a massive tower that sounds like a jet when it's running. I value near silence when I'm working, noise distracts me.
    • 8x3TB drive RAID6

      ...will give you 18TB of raw storage, and can use garden variety desktop hardware, potentially designed for quietness - there are cases for that.