Seagate readies its first 2TB enterprise hard drive

Less than one week after Western Digital's 2TB Caviar Green WD20EASD hard drive hit stores Seagate has up-and-launched its own rival hard drive family featuring a 2TB storage titan. The company's new Constellation series of enterprise drives will arrive in 2.5- and 3.5-inch varieties.

Two Point Five

The two hard drives in the 2.5-inch Constellation series are coming in at a boring 160GB and a whopping 500GB. In reality, Seagate has been shipping drives of this size for some time now - the company's Momentus line of hard drives has already hit the 250 GB/platter mark - so this isn't so much an announcement of capacity as it is of feature sets. The two 2.5-inch drives will arrive with either a SATA 3.0 Gb/s or SAS 2.0 (6.0 Gb/s speeds) connection interface. Borrowing a page from Western Digital's Green book, the 2.5-inch drives will incorporate Seagate's PowerChoice technology--allegedly spinning the drives down when they aren't in use. It's not quite the modulating 5,400-RPM to 7200 RPM power savings feature of Western Digital's Green-branded drives, but Seagate alleges that the move will allow enterprise customers to cut power consumption by 54 per cent.

Three Point Five

Here's the meat and potatoes: Seagate is releasing a trio of Constellation ES 3.5-inch drives at sizes of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Since the company has capped out its areal density at 500 GB/platter, expect the three drives to run on one, two, and four platters respectively. This should give the 7,200 RPM drives a delicious amount of speed, as increasing the areal density of a platter allows the drive head to access more data in an equivalent period of time as a disk that uses less areal density. In simplified terms, consider a drive's areal density to be a measurement of how closely the data is mashed together. When you mash more data together, you're only increasing the amount of data that can be read from a single location. Similarly, you're decreasing the length the drive head has to travel to access new data.

More than that, expect Seagate's 7200 RPM drives to pull in faster overall read and write speeds than Western Digital's 2TB drive. That's because the WD drive modulates between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM rotational speeds - it's a function of the drive's power-saving features. What Western Digital gains in constant power savings, it loses in overall performance. By contrast, Seagate's Constellation-class drives spin at 7200 RPM and only power down when the drive isn't being used. We've seen this performance gap play out when all the major drive manufacturers released their 1TB drives, and expect nothing less to happen with the 2TB varieties. Western Digital's Green line just isn't geared for speed when you compare it to its counterparts.

And that's that. The Constellation ES-series drives contain the same features as their 2.5-inch counterparts. Expect the former to ship in the third quarter of the year, with the latter available later this quarter. It's a curious move for Seagate, given that the company could swoop in right now and likely claim the title of fastest-performer for the 2TB hard drive space. Unless Seagate has a few tricks remaining in its sleeve - including the release of a consumer-branded 2TB drive - you'll be waiting a few months to get your hands on one of these enterprise-class models.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags storagehard drivesseagate

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Murphy

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?