Derekasaurus Rex

Any reviews of WD's new 320GB drive?

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Well, I haven't come across any reviews on the net about any of the new hard drives! That really makes me wonder what is happening..!

Anyway, I think, I am not sure though, that the WD drive is made up of 80GB-platters! So the 320GB model should have 4x80GB-platters. All competition is at least one or two steps forward! Maxtor DM10 has 100GB platters while seagate 7200.8 has 133GB platters!

Apart from the fact that there is a performance advantage when having more dense platters, mainly in sequential read/write, there is also the issue of noise and heat, since you mentioned that you are worried about noise. As an example, 250 GB WD drive would have 3 platters, but the Seagate and Maxtor drives have only 3. Even the 400GB model from Seagate has 3 platters! That should translate in lower temperatures and noise for the Seagate or Maxtor drive...

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For some reason I was not permitted, or could not find how, to edit my previous post, so allow me to just make a small correction by adding one more post...

This sentence "As an example, 250 GB WD drive would have 3 platters, but the Seagate and Maxtor drives have only 3."

should be:

"As an example, a 300GB WD drive would have 4 platters, but the Seagate and Maxtor drives have only 3."

Sorry!

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Anyway, I think, I am not sure though, that the WD drive is made up of 80GB-platters! So the 320GB model should have 4x80GB-platters.

WD does not have a four-platter platform. The 320 GB drive they recently announced is based on their existing three-platter platform, so it's ~107 GB/platter. (I think Eugene even mentioned this on the main SR page in the news section.) If they *had* a four-platter platform, I would think they'd try to get a 400 GB product out.

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Anyway, I think, I am not sure though, that the WD drive is made up of 80GB-platters! So the 320GB model should have 4x80GB-platters.

WD does not have a four-platter platform. The 320 GB drive they recently announced is based on their existing three-platter platform, so it's ~107 GB/platter. (I think Eugene even mentioned this on the main SR page in the news section.) If they *had* a four-platter platform, I would think they'd try to get a 400 GB product out.

195207[/snapback]

I would think that this is in deed a four platters platform as the maximum sequential transfer rate announced is identical to that of the WD250.

If it had a three platter for this capacity it would have had to maintain the bit rate, which means have taken all the capacity increase by squeezing tracks closer to each other, which in turn makes little sense -but Seagate did similar things in earlier times...

So, my bet is that this is a four platter for the time being until they can increase their areal density (and sequential transfer rate), and if WD is true to form the three platter version will come unannouced.

Yéti

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If Mickey says it's a 3 platter platform and that WD does not have a 4 platter platform... don't argue. ;)

Given that target areal density results in somewhere around 133GB/platter for the top end drives, three platters at ~107GB/platter makes sense. I highly doubt such a drive would be 80GB/platter, as that density strikes me as low for a flagship drive.

Hmm. Your logic does make sense, though.. but we generally don't argue with Mickey about some of these things. ;)

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Apart from the fact that there is a performance advantage when having more dense platters, mainly in sequential read/write, there is also the issue of noise and heat...

195180[/snapback]

Hmm...so the 320GB has 3 platters like the 250GB, but it's no faster (at least on paper). So I wonder if perhaps sacrifices were made to make the drive run cooler and quieter, trade-offs that offset the gains due to increased platter density? On paper the 320GB is quieter than the 250GB by 6 dBA at idle, 3 dBA for seek mode 0, and 5 dBA for seek mode 3. That's a pretty significant difference in volume.

Edited by Derekasaurus Rex

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From a marketing (and cost of manufacture) standpoint, it makes little sense to produce a 4-disk 320 GB drive when all your competitors are doing so with 3 disks. Either wait until you *can* hit >300 GB with your existing platform (keeps costs down) or wait until you have a 4-disk platform that can hit 400 GB.

As for whether bits per inch get increased or tracks per inch do, it all depends on whichever is easier to do. Sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other. I've seen it alternate back and forth the past several years.

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Anyway, I think, I am not sure though, that the WD drive is made up of 80GB-platters! So the 320GB model should have 4x80GB-platters.

WD does not have a four-platter platform. The 320 GB drive they recently announced is based on their existing three-platter platform, so it's ~107 GB/platter. (I think Eugene even mentioned this on the main SR page in the news section.) If they *had* a four-platter platform, I would think they'd try to get a 400 GB product out.

195207[/snapback]

I would think that this is in deed a four platters platform as the maximum sequential transfer rate announced is identical to that of the WD250.

If it had a three platter for this capacity it would have had to maintain the bit rate, which means have taken all the capacity increase by squeezing tracks closer to each other, which in turn makes little sense -but Seagate did similar things in earlier times...

So, my bet is that this is a four platter for the time being until they can increase their areal density (and sequential transfer rate), and if WD is true to form the three platter version will come unannouced.

Yéti

195217[/snapback]

I don't see a sequential transfer rate in their specifications but I do see a Buffer to Host rate that is the same for all of their Caviar hard drives, most likely because that is the most the interface will handle.

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