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Samsung pips rivals with 1TB internal 2.5-inch drive

Top of the leapfrog league

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Samsung is the first disk drive vendor to launch a 1TB, internal, 2-platter, 2.5-inch hard drive, leap-frogging the other four HDD suppliers.

Western Digital has a 3-platter 1TB 2.5-inch drive, the Scorpio Blue, but its 3-platters and 12.5mm z-height measurement means it can't fit in a standard 9.5mm z-height drive bay as the Samsung disk can. Seagate has a 1TB, 2-platter FreeAgent GoFlex external drive, the STAA1000103, but it hasn't appeared as an internal drive yet.

All these drives spin at 5,200 to 5,400rpm and have a 3Gbit/s SATA interface. In theory Seagate could introduce a Momentus 5400.8, a follow-on to its 5400.7 which has two platters, a 640GB capacity, spins at 5,400rpm and has the 3gig SATA interface – all the elements of a 1TB 5400.8 except the capacity are there,

The 1TB GoFlex spins at 5400, as we understand it, and must have the forerunner of a 1TB Momentus inside it, surely?

For now Samsung, being acquired by Seagate, has top 2.5-inch internal drive bragging rights. Seagate must have known about this coming drive when it was negotiating with Samsung to buy its HDD operation. Is that why the 1TB Momentus is not here yet? But the 1TB FreeAgent GoFlex was announced back in October last year. It's a long time to wait for an internal version of that drive.

Perhaps there is a debate going on inside Seagate about whether Momentus drives should get capacity boosts or performance boosts via hybridisation, the adding of a NAND flash cache to the drive as with the Momentus XT? Seagate surely has the areal density smarts to produce a 1TB 2.5-inch drive, and it's a mystery why it hasn't done so.

Back in December last year rumours emerged of a 1TB Constellation 2.5-inch drive, spinning at 7,200rpm, but Seagate said it had not announced such a drive. No doubt all will be revealed soon enough. ®

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