Western Digital’s HGST have announced the world’s first 10-terabyte hard drive and it’s helium-filled to boot. The Ultrastar He10, comes just a couple of weeks after Seagate announced the initial availability of their 8TB air-filled hard drive. The company has failed to disclose any pricing structure as yet but Western Digital have said that the 10TB drive will have the lowest cost-per-gigabyte and power consumption-per-gigabyte of any HDD drive that is currently available on the market.
In a recent press release, WD’s HGST announced a load of new products and initiatives. Here we will take a peak into the top three.
1) HGST is sampling a helium-filled 10TB hard drive.
2) 8TB helium-filled hard drive that will come to market a bit earlier than the 10TB unit.
3)WD now has a standard air-filled 6TB hard drive (the Ultrastar 7K6000).
Let’s take these in order:
First up is the new new 10TB hard drive uses the same HelioSeal technology that has its debut back in November 2013. HelioSeal basically means that helium is hermetically sealed inside the drive (it is unable to escape) And because of this, air and any contaminants cannot get in. A drive which operates in a helium environment provides a lot less resistance than normal air, thereby allowing more platters to be utilised (
while still using less power. Apparently the power consumption of helium-filled drives at 23% less than their own conventional air-filled drives.
HGST’s 10TB drive uses shingled magnetic recording (SMR) to increase areal density, while the 8TB drive uses standard magnetic recording (PMR). HGST says the performance of SMR is not yet up to that of PMR. Because of this, the drive is being marketed for cloud and cold storage, where access and read/write speeds are not as significant.
The following video from Seagate explains SMR:
While the 10TB drive is not going to be on the market for a few months yet, WD also has a helium-filled 8TB Ultrastar He8 drive that’s being “qualified by Netflix, Promise, and “other top OEMs and cloud customers around the world.”
The He8 uses seven big platters of 1.2 TB each, in respects is no different from the earlier He6 6TB or for that matter the upcoming He10 10TB models. I would imagine that this is the drive that WD is pitching against Seagate’s own 8TB drive.
Finally, WD is currently shipping a standard air-filled 6TB drive, the Ultrastar 7K6000. This drive has just five platters, of 1.2TB. This makes Western Digital the “areal density leader” apparently, implying that Seagate has not yet discovered the secret to producing drives with 1.2TB platters.
Again there is no concrete pricing structure. The air-filled Ultrastar 7K6000 should start around $400. The original helium-filled 6TB Ultrastar He6 is now down to around $500. But there’s no price yet on the 8TB Ultrastar He8, but you are going to be looking at around $1,000 .