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Seagate first with 1.5TB hard drives

The pitter platter of beasts

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One terabyte hard drives still cramping your decadent data storage lifestyle? No more tears. Seagate is rolling out 1.5TB HDDs this August.

Seagate's 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 will use four platters to cram the scale-tipping new raw capacity into an eleventh generation of its flagship drive. The storage firm points out its the single largest hard drive capacity bump in the last 50 years.

As the name suggests, the HDD spins at 7,200RPM. The 3Gb/s SATA I interface has a sustained data rate of up to 120MB/s.

Seagate artist's rendering of what the drive would look like in space

1.5TB = this image x 119,434,242

The disks are also sold in 1TB, 750GB, 640GB, 500GB, 320GB, and 160GB varieties with cache options of 32MB and 16MB.

Yesterday, Hitachi rolled out its second generation of 1TB hard drives, using three platters of 375GB each. A bit of basic arithmetic then suggests both Hitachi and Seagate are dealing with platters of roughly the same density.

Hard drive manufacturers absolutely adore keeping pricing details mum until zero hour, and this case is no different. Expect some damage to the billfold, but the upshot is the price of 1TB HDDs may drop as a result.

Seagate also announced a new pair of 500GB hard drives for notebooks. The 2.5-inch Momentus drives will be offered in 5,400RPM and 7,200RPM variations, with 8MB of cache and 16MB of cache respectively.

The drives are offered with a free-fall sensor technology that helps prevent damage when dropped. According to Seagate, the sensor detects any changes in acceleration equal to the force of gravity and parks the heads off the disk to prevent contact with the platter in a free fall of as little as 8 inches and within 3/10ths of a second.

Momentus 5400.6 and 7200.4 hard drives will begin shipping in the fourth quarter of 2008. ®

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