Western Digital is ready to start shipping it’s latest disc-drives – the 6TB HGST HDDs. These are hermetically sealed with helium, which since it has one-seventh the density (mass per unit volume) of air, does not effect the rotating parts as much. These drives are a bump up for their line which previously maxxed-out at 4TB. These also consume 23-percent less power and run 4-5 degrees Centigrade cooler.
The shift to helium sounds like a sage move. Personally, I had to ponder a moment on that capacity-point. Six Terrabytes.
A little while back (in the eighties), I watched the design-engineers at the firm at which I was working, install a new disc drive into a computer we were going to use to control a bit of hardware. My own computer at this time had only floppy discs, with 360 Kilobytes per floppy. I was impressed by the speed and convenience their new disc drive gave them. No more loading floppies to access files. It seemed so fast – the light on the front would blink a few times and boom! the computer responded.
That was a 5MB disc drive. Five Megabytes. You might cogitate upon that for a moment: the new drive that Western Digital is now shipping is not a thousand times greater in capacity. Nope. That would be 5GB. Let’s see.. these rascals are a million times greater! Well, a bit more actually since we’re talking about 6TB and not 5TB.
So, let’s see. You could pile up one freakn million of those 5-1/4 inch Seagate disc drives. One million of them. To equal the capacity of this new drive — which by-the-way is substantially smaller and quieter.