Western Digital shipping 3TB internal hard drives - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-22, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Western Digital shipping 3TB internal hard drives

This week Western Digital announced that it had added a 2.5 Terabyte (TB) and 3 TB hard drive model to its Caviar Green family of Internal SATA drives. The company says they are the world’s largest capacities to date on a single drive.

While the thought of having more disc space on your computer is appealing, Digital Home readers should note that these high capacity drives may not work with their present computer systems.



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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-22, 03:29 PM
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With these drives you can disable the 6 Gbps speed and operate at the still insanely fast and compatible 3 Gbps speed by jumpering pins 5-6.

http://support.wdc.com/images/kb/ssc_desktop.jpg
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-22, 05:20 PM
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These WD drives don't use Sata 6Gbps, and even if they did, that isn't the cause of the incompatibility issues.

The main issue is lack of support for 64-bit Logical Block Addressing. Currently you'd need a 64-bit version of Windows or Linux, or an Intel-based Mac to even use the drive. 32-bit versions of Windows don't support the GUID Partition Table (GPT) needed to work with these drives.

You would also need SATA drivers that support 64-bit LBA (AMD's recent ones do, Intel's don't). That's why WD is bundling a separate Highpoint SATA card with these drives for now.

Furthermore, most PC users won't be able to boot to these drives at all, since the BIOS can't boot to GPT-partitioned drives. Aside from Macs, motherboard manufacturers have been slow to switch to EFI. Once that eventually happens, then we'll be able to boot to these drives.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-22, 05:39 PM
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Even if these drives worked perfectly out of the box, most people will still manage to fill the sucker up in about six months.

I'll have to check the specs on my broadcast servers. They're already running 64 bit Linux 10.04 LTS in RAID-1 and RAID-5 configurations with four 1 TB drives each. With 3 TB drives, that would give me a total formatted storage capacity of 7.8 TB per server, and would delay the need for me to get a 12 drive box for archive purposes.

Still, imagine this for a moment. A 2U high RAID-6 or Raid-Z rackmount file server with some 26 terabytes of formatted storage! Or about 57 terabytes for a 4U high file server!

I remember a long time ago when 40 megabytes was a milestone! And in a 5.25" form factor to boot! The progress with storage devices is really starting to be mind boggling!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-22, 05:45 PM
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Though, who's going to buy a massive, slow hard drive for their main disk?

Considering the price point, it's more likely someone would buy a 1tb fast drive + a 2tb green (slower) drive for less. (~$200 vs $250+ for the single 3tb)

Or an SSD for high speed booting and loading and then the slower drive for bulk storage.

Chances are (at this point, anyway) these drives would only be used as add-ons by enthusiasts, considering the current price.
By the time they are affordable, there should be adequate support in new motherboards
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-22, 07:27 PM
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True I was not considering the boot restrictions. So the interface will be 3 Gbps. And I suppose 64 bit must be the norm for the typical buyer.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-23, 05:04 AM
 
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I would have trouble filling a 3 TB drive...I just checked and I am only using 23Gb of 500 Gb on my current machine and just over 100Gb on a NAS that backs up 3 machines and is the general storage place for everything. No movies, no music and not that many photgraphs.

My next home built PC will undoubtedly have a SSD drive for Linux and a big cheap drive for /home. I will also look for a new style mb with UEFI provided they are not too expensive.
Current PC s were built in 2000 and 2006 respectively so it is past time for a new one!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-24, 05:37 PM
 
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I've got 6tb in my fileserver now and need to expand (replace a couple 500gb drives)

Adding a couple of 2-3tb drives would be nice as I rip more and more blu-ray
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-25, 05:32 AM
 
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Does that mean they can't be used on XP or DOS? I can make SATA drives work on those systems. What about PartitionMagic?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-25, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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arththe1, see the WD links in the article. It explains what OS, you can use the device with and the limitations.



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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-25, 07:42 AM
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Thumbs down

Right now they aren't supported under Windows XP according to Western Digital. Partitioning software isn't likely to help either.

To correct a point I made earlier, the drives can be used as a secondary drive under 32-bit windows Vista & 7 with the supplied SATA card. The need for a 64-bit OS is needed (along with UEFI support) to boot off such a drive.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 2010-10-25, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
You would also need SATA drivers that support 64-bit LBA
Just to clarify. Will support be added to the existing Intels? Or is it a hardware limitation?
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