Hitachi GST sandwiches Seagate with 4TB big boy

Desks groan under contest of mighty grunters

homeless man with sign

The day after Seagate launched its 4TB external drive, Hitachi GST did exactly the same with its launch of its 4TB desktop whopper.

It gets curiouser in a PR/marketing sense as Hitachi GST announced it had a terabyte-per-platter product the day before Seagate revealed its 4TB product. Oddly Hitachi only announced a single-platter version of the technology, storing up to 1TB, when it clearly had the capability to deliver a 4TB product. Did it want to top and tail Seagate's announcement?

Now Hitachi has announced its 4TB product, in the shape of a twin-drive, 8TB, G-RAID Thunderbolt external storage product specifically for the Mac market. There will also be a 4TB G-DRIVE product. The drives inside are 4TB ones spinning at 7,200rpm, and the Thunderbolt interface enables data transfer at up to 10Gbit/s. The available interfaces are eSATA, FireWire 400 and 800, USB 2.0, but not USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt.

HItachi GST G Technology products

Hitachi GST G-Technology products. G-RAID 2nd from right.

The company says it does not use the 1TB/platter technology, so there must be an unannounced Hitachi GST 4TB hard disk drive inside, presumably a Deskstar 7K4000, which could use 5 platters each storing 800GB. There's nothing on the Hitachi GST website about such a drive though.

The drives are mounted inside an aluminium enclosure with a quiet fan inside. It looks like a single drive to Mac OS X and can be reformatted to support Windows.

The G-RAID product is the highest capacity, twin-drive RAID 0 system available and Hitachi GST says it can be the basis of a portable editing workstation when hooked up to a MacBook Pro, and users can work with SD or HD video files. Hitachi GST says it can be used to handle multi-stream, compressed HD workflows including REDCODE, DVCPro HD, XDCAM HD and ProRes 422.

To excite video editing professionals further, the company says every terabyte can hold:

  • 84 hours of HDV 1080i;
  • 17 hours of DVCPRO HD 1080/60i;
  • 30 hours of 2K RED;
  • 10 hours of ProRes 422 HQ;
  • 10 hours of 10 bit SD; and
  • 2.5 hours of HD 1080/60i

Hitachi GST will ship its G-RAID and G-DRIVE products – using the 4TB disks – with eSATA, FireWire 800 (FireWire 400 via cable) and USB 2.0 ports in October. The Thunderbolt 4TB-based G-RAID and G-DRIVE products will ship in the fourth quarter and additional 4TB drive products can be expected from Hitachi GST.

The G-DRIVE and G-RAID products are on demo at IBC 2011 (Stand #7.D12a) in Amsterdam from today until 13 September. Pricing was not announced. ®

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