Large data is becoming more and more prevalent, especially with the rise of the cloud. People are collecting larger collections of music, videos, and files. As Internet speeds continue to increase, the web will become even more media intensive and require larger hard drives to store all of this data.
This is where TDK's new work shines. They have managed to squish 1.5TB into a single square inch, which is really impressive. At this density, a single platter inside the drive will be able to hold 2TB. Just remember how 2TB was hard to achieve just a few years ago. Now, imagine squishing 3 platters into a drive.
That would equate to a 6TB drive, seemingly more than enough for most desktop users, and an increase for servers that are running multiple 2TB drives. The new technology also has implications on mobile 2.5-inch drives. Mobile users will be able to carry more on their internal drive and shouldn't need to rely on an external solution.
The increase in density came from improvements in the read head as well as improvements in the hard disk medium. Mass production isn't expected to begin until 2014, though, so who knows where SSD technology will be by that point.
Lets get the 3TB and 4TB drives ready for consumers first, shall we?
3TBs have been out for a while and are still failing at a horrible failure rate (1 in 3 drives is DOA, 2 of the 3 left are dead within a month).
4TBs haven't been out long (the only one one newegg at the moment is HGST) but it has an even worse failure rate.
Mind you though, these are all made with 1TB or 900GB platters (rather than the new 1.25 and 1.5TB platters) so they are failing within reason, not just because they're awful. 1TB and 2TB drives had these problems too when they were first out (but by this point, in the case of the 3TB drives at least, the issues were resolved.......).
Yeah, that's the speed limit for SATA-III, but mechanical drives just haven't been capable of reading or writing data to/from the platters anywhere near fast enough to reach that throughput capacity. 6GB/s is really only a limitation on faster SSD's. However, with higher data density comes the ability to achieve higher data throughput; it's why a 1TB 7200rpm drive will typically read and write faster than a 250GB 7200rpm drive.
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"No no no no. You no know what you want. Luigi know what you want." -Luigi, Cars
Personally I have trouble using more than 300GB of my hard drive.
I don't really get why people insist on having massive hard drives. I mean, can't you delete something every now and then?
Don't judge the RAID array D:
I cut cable, so all my entertainment must come from the internet now.
It was a wise choice, the money spent on HDD space and bandwidth is FAR FAR FAR cheaper than paying for cable TV.
Also games. My library is around 300-350GB alone, this is just steam mind you, not counting any free to play games, retail discs, older games, games downloaded through other services like GOG, etc.
Also VMs, which can take up 5-25GB of space each, depending on the OS.
Also music and pictures.
Also FRAPS footage and other self-made video.
Also tools and files, program installers, and other things like that.
Also disk images, such as a restore system image for my girlfriend's PC from 1 month ago, and mine from 1 month ago both in ~100GB .VHDs (C:\ drive only).
Also ripped discs. A lot of my physical discs for consoles, DVDs, CDs, PC games, and other things are either scratched to hell, or the media is so old it is degraded to the point where it is completely unreadable (this is a HUGE problem right now for PS1, sega CD and Saturn games, as well as PC games from those eras). I already bought the damn thing I shouldn't need to buy a whole new copy, especially if it's out of print or (in some cases) the discs are selling for $100+.
Also OS install disk images.
Also wallpaper collections if you're like me and have it set to "shuffle" the image every so often.
Also driver backups and system images for relatives.
Also recorded TV from my over-the-air antenna via windows media center (you can get quite a few 1080p HD channels with a digital antenna nowadays, completely free, I made my own out of coathangers and an old rabbit ears).
I have "mood" playlists (comedy, drama, documentary, movie, etc.). Sometimes I'll just throw that playlist on via XBMC or WMC or another program via my HTPC remote (best purchase EVER) and have it start playing. Put all playlists in the media player playlist at once, and you can hit channel + or - to change channels, or skip/back to skip the show/movie.
It's also far more convenient because there are no commercials and you don't need to wait for something to come on. It also doesn't cost me $220/month or whatever the hell comcast was charging me up the ass for.
Of course I don't download everything, there are a few shows I will just stream because I really only want to watch them once.
Not that normal TV is an option anyway, I watch a lot of foreign shows as well, especially from the UK that we simply do not get here (even with the digital cable boxes) and even then I would rather pay for a select ~4 channels than $220 per month for 920 channels or whatever number comcast is at right now.