Seagate's 6TB Helium-filled HDDs Coming in Early 2Q 2014

Status
Not open for further replies.

Kelthar

Honorable
Mar 27, 2013
640
0
11,360
101
If the HDD is sealed, won't that cause damage under higher/lower pressures due to pressure differences? Normal HDDs have a hole to equalize pressure, and I assume that if no damage would be caused then this hole wouldn't be necessary: yet it's there.
 

minerva330

Honorable
Dec 27, 2013
449
0
10,960
58
Their justification for using helium is interesting. I wonder how much real life difference it makes versus marketing.

I have only filled 2tb of my 3tb home server, one of these and I would be set for a good long while
 

racistpancake

Honorable
Nov 12, 2012
13
0
10,510
0
Damn, that's a good hard drive. Um, can you guys help me out? Pc gamer to pc gamer. My friend has very little money and is not exactly in a good place right now. I want to introduce him to the world of pc gaming, so I started a fund for him. If you can donate anything please do, as it is much appreciated. If you cannot donate however, I understand that you are most likely in a situation similar to my friends. Thank you all for your support. https://mobile.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/wapapp?cmd=_flow&CONTEXT=X3%2d7SZn2ExXucINxlliZ%5f05NdFsrIIpaV9TcRYNLL%5fGiOwm9XgEZzWKQeV0&SESSION=5NCG%5fHmzmS9zquY7nmfeM8BiaGH6CS%2d2lv6gRaFyizqQWNl6w%2dzEIdF31B4&guest_xo=#m
 

wdmfiber

Honorable
Dec 7, 2012
810
0
11,160
94

If you sealed something at sea level and tossed it out in space. It would only have ~14.7 psi of air pressure in it. You could over inflate a car tire by that much and it wouldn't blow. Ever take a HDD apart? The frame is impressive. Typically a block of aluminum that has been machined out. If it was sealed up, it would likely take more than 1 bar(atmospheric) to blow the metal cover off.

I could drill a hole in the frame of one. Tap it, screw in a standard male air compressor adapter and pressurize the thing up to 130 psi. But this 6tb drive is probably going to be several hundred dollars. Kind of a waste just to see how "over built" it is(& satisfy curiosity).

 

SirGCal

Distinguished
Apr 2, 2010
310
0
18,780
0
If the HDD is sealed, won't that cause damage under higher/lower pressures due to pressure differences? Normal HDDs have a hole to equalize pressure, and I assume that if no damage would be caused then this hole wouldn't be necessary: yet it's there.
Helium is 1/7th the density of air. That's the whole point. They can seal it up and it still cools nicely but acts much closer to a vacuum to the moving parts inside.
Their justification for using helium is interesting. I wonder how much real life difference it makes versus marketing. I have only filled 2tb of my 3tb home server, one of these and I would be set for a good long while
There is an actual difference. And as for the size, that is only YOUR situation. I have a 36TB total array size (one 12, one 24, both Raid 6) for my house. And I'm still running out of room. It depends if you're actually storing information or hacking files from the internet. Are you using real data or making your private movie theft storage? etc. (Everything I do is legal BTW, I'm anti-piracy). It's all about your specific needs. I have 2TB drives laying around for my quick-swap external drives that get filled and dumped regularly. (right now I see 4 on my desk, a few 1.5TB drives, etc.)If I could make it out of 6TB disks, I would have, but not at $800/each when my 4TB disks were $200-300 each. Too much premium even for me. I guess there are some other businesses that still go for it though but prices will drop rapidly once other manufacturers start spitting out the drives.
 

gm0n3y

Distinguished
Mar 13, 2006
3,441
0
20,780
0
If they want less drag couldn't they just remove all gases from the enclosure (i.e. a vacuum)? Is that too difficult/expensive/failure prone? Or do they need a gas in there to aid in heat transfer?
 

minerva330

Honorable
Dec 27, 2013
449
0
10,960
58


I hear ya, it really goes without saying it is need based. I just can't stand clutter. My server is a family one, all legal too. Pics, HD GoPro, videos, digital books, back-ups, etc. One large drive like this or two or three smaller drives would meet my needs.
 

Kewlx25

Distinguished
Oct 23, 2009
2,274
0
20,160
148


You need a gas to act as an air bearing, otherwise the head will crash into the platter. Not to mention a vacuum is bad for conducting away heat.

You can't use hydrogen because it will make the aluminum break apart, yet alone near impossible to contain, you can't use Oxygen because it's a strong "oxidizer", You could use Nitrogen(air is 70% nitrogen) but that's what we're already using and it's a limitation, CO2 is also too thick and probably worse than Nitrogen.

Not many options.
 

qlum

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
195
0
10,690
1
Helium is an interesting choice, keeping the pressure inside the same as with regular air while reducing friction. Sure a vacuum would have even less friction but the problem there would be the pressure difference could degrade the drive over time where the helium would stay far better in place.
 


Vacuum won't work because, as mentioned above, the gas is actually used as an air bearing. It controls, with amazing precision, the height at which the heads "fly" above the platters. No gas, no flying.
 

qlum

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
195
0
10,690
1

Yea I had the tab open for a while before posting so I missed that, I guess that's true though it could be possible tot use other techniques in a vacuum then again that would probably alter a lot of stuff, so who knows maybe we will see them sometime in the future or maybe we wont, maybe running at half atmospheric or a 10th of atmospheric pressure will be the future as you could still use gas then would be the future.
 
Or in a vacuum using the same principal as maglev trains. How you'd do that without disturbing the magnetic domains storing the data is beyond me, but so is figuring out how to store more than 4 bytes per square inch.
 

jase240

Honorable
Aug 4, 2012
116
0
10,690
4
Seagate's solution is expected to have six platters that use Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology (pdf). The solution may also use Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology that would have 25 percent higher density, allowing Western Digital to offer 7.5 TB capacity in a typical 3.5-inch form factor.We've reached out to Western Digital for a comment and we'll update here when the company responds.-----I thought this article was about Seagate's new Helium filled HDDs and not WD's?!?!
 

txgs

Honorable
Nov 26, 2012
10
0
10,510
0
Yay, 6TB HDD, Just in time to not need a 6 TB HDD thanks to cloud storage.
Yeah, have fun with that response time and availability speed.Its kinda trendy, the only ones in favor of solely cloud storage are the ones that do nothing productive with their drives, only store documents.
 

devBunny

Distinguished
Jan 22, 2012
181
0
18,690
1
"We've reached out to Western Digital for a comment"Did you mean to say "We've reached out to the Western Digital massive" or "We've axed Western Digital for a comment"?
 

dosmastr

Distinguished
Jan 28, 2013
187
0
18,690
1
missed prior comments.... why does the head "fly" its attached to an arm.... its like saying stop-lights "fly" over the pavement. Is the arm THAT flexible or the platter not perfectly round that it needs a buffer? Dissipate heat.... where does the heat come from? the spindle motor? the exterior of most driver are already a heatsink... why not modify this?
 
dosmastr

The flying height of the head above the platter is about 3 nanometers these days. It's awfully difficult to maintain that with a rigid system, let alone one designed to put the head in contact with the platter when it is "parked" (disk has stopped spinning). So the height is controlled with aerodynamics - it's like a plane flying low over landscape, or more accurately a wing in a wind tunnel. The rotating disk provides the wind by dragging the gas along. Imagine a plane held in place by a flexible rod while the landscape moves under it.

This allows much more precise control of the height of the head over the disk than a mechanical solution of the same cost.

I can't find a decent article on why this is the most effective way to maintain nanometer separations. The best that I came across is this: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/heads/opHeight-c.html . I've seen illustrations that depict the disk surface as jagged, not smooth, at that level.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY