WD Debuts World's Thinnest 1 TB Hard Drive

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May 30, 2013
Focus more on speeding up your mechanical hard drives, being thinnest is cool until you see the 5400 rpm speed spec. More like thinnest and slowest in a ever growing world of SSDs.and 550 mbs read/write speeds.


Aug 4, 2008

Fundamental physics:

These guys are reducing the number of platters of the drive to achieve 7mm... Reducing platters = higher platter density.

Increasing platter density while maintaining RPM means an increase in overall read/write speeds as there is more data passing by the head - The side benefit is the drive's power requirements stay low and it stays cool...

This is why higher density drives with lower RPM have been trumping the coal hot 7,200 and 10K drives of past...



Jun 13, 2008
SO WD, Seagate and Hitachi are cramming 1 more platter into the same thickness, while introing 5mm with 1 platter. All this without being Helium filled I think. Cool.
But yeah, 3+ platter laptop drives in the past have always had very slow average access times, about 20ms but their sequential transfer rates aren't bad.
Would like to see a 4 platter 12.5mm thick drive, even if slow.
The reason why they are cramming another platter in is because they are having heaps of trouble developing higher density platters and/or head technology. Hopefully HAMR will take off soon so platter density starts to go up again and sequential transfer rates very slowly see some improvement (it's an uphill battle vs density; double the density, transfer rates only increase maybe 15-20%).
If you want speed, buy an SSD. New laptops are coming with 2 and sometimes 3x mSATA SSD slots that you can RAID together for 1GB/s+ speeds!



It is all in what you are willing to pay for. You can get a decent (but not 550MB/s) SSD with 1TB for ~$800 (and it won't be 7mm until the next die shrink and controller refresh). Or you can get this 1TB HDD for ~$150 or less.
The difference in price of $650 alone is more than I am willing to spend on the total cost of a mobile product. There is no way that most customers are going to look at a $1200 ultrabook and think "but for only $1850 (plus markup) I could have the same thing but with an SSD". That is just crazy!

As mentioned by danwat1234 these are not going to be slow gutless HDDs. Rotational speed does not effect throughput all that much, it only has some say on seek time, and now that just about everything supports tech like NCQ even seek time is that terribly affected by rotational speed anymore (especially on mobile drives). No matter how you slice it HDD tech is quickly finding it's peak. High seek times are inherent in the design of HDDs, and no amount of tech thrown at it is going to fix the physics of the issue. They can employ caching to mask it, they can try new storage patterns in an attempt to make more common operations sequential, but try as they might drives can only spin so fast, and read write heads can only move so quickly, so those high seek times and poor multi-tasking will always plague the platform.

But again, this is not a bad drive, and it is going to be WAY cheaper than any SSD which will make it very appealing to a very wide audience. Next gen ultrabooks (which is specifically what this drive is marketed for) should have plenty of space for a 64GB buble-gum stick style SSD for OS and programs, and still cram this in for mass storage. You would get the best of both worlds!


Jan 27, 2012
Yes, I too would love to be able to buy a 2 TB SSD for under $100. But until that day comes (maybe never), I will be happy to see even incremental improvements like this one in the HDD industry. This looks like a great improvement for supplying high capacity storage for portable devices where small size and low power consumption are critical.
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