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100GB, 9.5mm thick HD from Toshiba 269

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-whole-lotta-nekkid dept.
zmcnulty writes "Toshiba has announced their new hard drive today with a 100GB capacity. It's a 2.5 inch drive, is only 9.5mm tall, and supports ATA/100. The (Japanese) Impress Watch article I translated offers a couple more details, though not many. The OEM sample price is about $1,092 USD...but don't ask me what that means for consumers. The previous capacity title was held by IBM with their 80GB Travelstar."
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100GB, 9.5mm thick HD from Toshiba

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  • by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:13PM (#8942914) Homepage
    It's not the size or the thickness that counts--it's the speed with which you can spin it and still read what's on the surface.

    Wait...

    • Re:Remember, Kids! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cozziewozzie (344246) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:16PM (#8942961)
      This drive will be important for laptop users. Currently 60GB on a laptop is considered good, 80GB a luxury. The laptops have displays, processors and RAM to match the desktop computers, but HD capacity is one area where they're severely lacking. It's nice to see that Toshiba is pushing the envelope here.
      • by billstewart (78916) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:21PM (#8943043) Journal
        Dropping the power consumption by 20% sounds like a win.
        • by Tenebrious1 (530949) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:28PM (#8943146) Homepage
          Dropping the power consumption by 20% sounds like a win.

          Well, it doesn't hurt, but it's not a huge deal. When I'm unplugged and working, the hard drive is sitting idle so lowering power consumption doesn't significantly affect battery life.

          Now, having a low power DVD player would be much better, watching movies really sucks the life out of a battery.

          Of course, with a 100GB drive, I can finally store a decent number of movies on the drive. Still, it'd be better to store movies in smaller sections, load up to a RAM disk and watch from there instead of keeping the drive spinning.

          • by ron_ivi (607351) <sdotno&cheapcomplexdevices,com> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:44PM (#8943375)
            You can (technologically, perhaps not legally) always rip the DVD to HD before your trip.

            Your battery life will be much improved watching the video from hard drive. Also if you recompress the video to something smaller (say, VCD-like) your CPU won't have to do as much work playing it back either.

            • Isn't VCD a more complex algorithm to decode since most (many?) video cards have hardware MPEG-2 decoding?
              • by mst76 (629405) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:07PM (#8943702)
                > Isn't VCD a more complex algorithm to decode since most (many?) video cards have hardware MPEG-2 decoding?

                A VCD is MPEG-1, which is pretty trivial to decode. (I'm not sure but I think most hardware MPEG-2 decoders will also decode MPEG-1. At least, every DVD player will also play VCDs). MPEG-4 (divx, xvid, wmv9, etc) are much more processor intensive (and there is little hardware accelleration widely available).
              • VCD(MPEG1) vs MPEG2

                YMMV - Your mileage may vary. Some systems (200MHz Dell Inspiron 6000 from 1998 or 1999) had a dedicated hardware MPEG-2 decoder (from LuxSonor).

                More recently, I think both MPEG1 and MPEG2 is done mostly in software w/ MMX&SSE.

                However MPEG1's 1/4 size and less complex algorithm probably makes it less CPU intensive. Buy as I said , YMMV.

                It's easy to test, though. Just bring up the task manager and watch the CPU levels decoding MPEG-1 at VCD size vs MPEG-2 at DVD size.

                Whiche

            • by Kynde (324134) <kynde@ i k i.fi> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:10PM (#8943733)
              Also if you recompress the video to something smaller (say, VCD-like) your CPU won't have to do as much work playing it back either.

              Eh? Wouldn't the compression into something smaller result in more CPU work during watching (decompressing)? Storing it into something bigger and simpler, that might help...
              • That only works for lossless compression. As an mpeg video (VCD) has lower resolution than the original DVD, it will take a lot less time to compute. It is like the difference between mp3s at 128kbps and 320kbps. The 128kbps mp3 will take a lot less cpu to convert than 320kbps. This is noticible on an old pentium I for example where winamp can play the 128 fine, but will choke on the 320.
            • You're half-right, half wrong, so I'm posting this to clear some things up. Compressing to something smaller *as you describe* (from ~720x480 DVD to 352x240 VCD) will result in a file that can probably be played with less CPU usage plus it'll only have to read 1 GB off the HD instead of 4 to 8 GB of a ripped DVD.

              *However*, ripping to a smaller filesize with the same dimensions (720x480) with a codec like DivX will *greatly* increase CPU usage--the CPU has to decompress ~5x as much to play back. The CPU met
          • by Gossy (130782) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:44PM (#8943378)
            Now, having a low power DVD player would be much better, watching movies really sucks the life out of a battery.

            Is it necessarily the DVD drive sucking the power though?

            Surely CPU usage goes up somewhat to decode & handle the video, which (I would have thought) would be the more significant drain.
            • Is it necessarily the DVD drive sucking the power though?

              Surely CPU usage goes up somewhat to decode & handle the video, which (I would have thought) would be the more significant drain.


              I woulda thought it was the screen, personally.

              (yes, it's a joke, laugh :)
              • Is it necessarily the DVD drive sucking the power though?


                Surely CPU usage goes up somewhat to decode & handle the video, which (I would have thought) would be the more significant drain.

                I woulda thought it was the screen, personally.

                I woulda thought it was the screen, personally.

                Oh, no it won't be that. I turn that off to save power.
            • Not much, though, if you've got an at all recent video card (even some laptops from 97-98 have MPEG-2 decoding for DVDs). It's the video card that you need to look at as the power drain.
          • by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:40PM (#8944061) Homepage Journal

            Of course, with a 100GB drive, I can finally store a decent number of movies on the drive. Still, it'd be better to store movies in smaller sections, load up to a RAM disk and watch from there instead of keeping the drive spinning.

            You should look into the Linux 2.6 kernel's laptop mode and xine's big readahead patches.

            Laptop mode will spin down your drive and buffer all writes rather than spinning it back up. When you do a read that requires data from the disk, it will spin up the disk, perform the read, perform all pending writes and spin the disk back down. After a user-defined interval (default 10 minutes) it will spin the disk up just to flush writes -- I prefer to set it to an insanely long time and then just tell it to flush manually at appropriate times (by toggling laptop mode off for a moment).

            I'm not sure if it's made it into the main line yet, but a while back someone put together some patches for xine that would cause it to allocate huge RAM buffers and fill them with data from the source drive to allow the drive to spin down while the video keeps playing. This may or may not be useful when you're playing straight from DVD, since if your DVD drive may not be able to deliver the data much faster than it plays anyway. However, if you rip the DVD to disk (which is very reasonable with a 100GB drive) while connected to power, you should be able to watch your movie without spinning up the hard drive more than a handful of times (assuming plenty of RAM). Then dim the screen, use a very CPU-efficient video player (like xine), and you should be able to get lots of movie-watching time out of a battery charge.

          • Well, it doesn't hurt, but it's not a huge deal.

            It is a huge deal (well, large-ish, maybe not huge) from the POV of those little portable external drive cases. I'm using a bunch of the firewire (AUD$60) version of this [usbtech.com.au] and also these [usbtech.com.au]. The 60Gb and 80Gb drives (Fujitsu from memory) that I'm using now draw just a little bit more power than USB1.1 and USB2.0 can supply, so I need to use a plugpack power supply or one of those silly little parasite cables that draw keyboard port power to provide the extra po

            • I have an external 2.5" Toshiba 60GB that runs off the USB2 power w/o the PS2 adapter... good thing since my laptop doesn't have a PS2 adapter. Sucks on my ultralight which doesn't have a PS2 nor does it have enough power through the USB, have to plug the drive into an external power source. So is it the USB port itself that doesn't provide enough power?

        • Unfortunately @ 4200 rpm it's going to be slooow.

          If I could find a 7200 rpm drive that didn't destroy the battery life in my PowerBook I would be very happy.
          • by shamino0 (551710) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:40PM (#8943341) Journal
            Unfortunately @ 4200 rpm it's going to be slooow.

            If I could find a 7200 rpm drive that didn't destroy the battery life in my PowerBook I would be very happy.

            Which brings to mind an interesting idea. I wonder if anybody's tried making a hard drive with a variable-speed spindle. Provide a bunch of speeds that your operating system can select from. So you can run at 4200 RPM (or maybe even slower) when you're on batteries and spin up to 7200 when you're plugged into an external power source. Make it configurable through a power-management control panel.

            Given that drives already have power modes where they completely turn off at times, this might not be a big stretch for an HD company to design.

          • As capacity goes up, so does data density, which means that there'll (most likely) be more bits stored in a given track.

            Disks with higher capacity will naturally have a higher transfer rate at the same RPM.

            The RPM helps a lot when it comes to average seek time though.
          • Toshiba claims that this design sets "a new benchmark for areal density: 80-gigabits of data per square inch."

            I don't know much about HD design, but I'm assuming that the reason you get faster transfers from drives with higher RPM is that the head passes over more bits per second, which it can read in and hand over to the CPU. So, couldn't you get the same effect from a lower RPM drive with the bits packed closer together?

            e.g., If you double the areal bit-density, you should multiply the number of bits pe
      • Re:Remember, Kids! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Neon Spiral Injector (21234) * on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:30PM (#8943185)
        Capacity is half of the problem with laptop drives. But data through-put is just as big. Sure this has an ATA-6 interface, but what is the actual sustained data transfer rate? With a rotational speed of only 4,200 RPM, I'm betting it is pretty poor. The latency of 12ms seeks won't help much either.

        I'm running 15,000 RPM drives in my desktop machine with average seek times right around 3ms. No wonder laptops seem so many times slower when loading a program from disk.
        • Interesting, I'm in the market for a new box. Got any pointers on your drives - make/model, pros/cons, performance (any quick numbers on real-world read/write)? And, what's your experience with noise and vibrations (not a consideration, or important and influencing your decision)?
          • I have 6 Seagate 36GB 15K Cheetahs. Two mirrored as RAID1 for my system partitions and the other 4 as RAID5 for my home directories. They are on a two channel U320 SCSI card. One system drive and 2 home drives per channel.

            Writes to the system array go at about 50 MB/sec reads approach 100 MB/sec. The home partition can break 100 MB/sec with both reads and writes. This is just the Linux software RAID with the onboard LSI 53C1030 controllers.

            I use SCA-2 (80-pin) drives, so my choices are limited. I'm
        • Re:Remember, Kids! (Score:2, Insightful)

          by dfghjk (711126)
          Sustained transfer rates on 4200 rpm drives can be good. It's the rotational latency, not transfer rate, that's inherently poor. Large sequential IO performance is not a 4200 rpm problem. Power issues conspire to limit seek times as well.

          You won't see any 20+ watt 15K drives in notebooks any time soon.
      • The only reason laptop processor and graphics power mighy match desktop systems is the fact that some twat laptop manufacturers use desktop parts on a mobile platform to make an 8lb toaster brick. I'm surprised they don't slap some 3.5" hard drives in them while they were at it, some of the desknotes are seriously 2" thick, what's another 0.25"?

        Just as much as that performance might be nice to have, I'n happy to take a lighter and thinner unit that doesn't require a heavier battery to keep it alive for mo
    • I heard IBM is going to Incorparate the VIAGRA technology into there travelstars to compete with Toshibas Drive Enchancment technology....
  • by ThomasFlip (669988) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:14PM (#8942927)
    better start saving.
    • The regular iPods use the 1.8-inch drive. The minis use a Hitachi 1-inch drive.
    • by RadRafe (632260)
      Nope. This is a 2.5" drive, which is too big. The iPod Mini uses the Microdrive; the white iPod has a 1.8" drive. This drive will fit in neither device. In fact, it's wider than the entire iPod. Of course, over time the iPod will have more and more capacious drives. But this isn't one of them.
    • by 4of12 (97621) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @05:09PM (#8943728) Homepage Journal

      Mr Consumer, you are out of line!

      Don't you realize that you're not supposed to desire or legally need more than 1000 songs! [com.com]

      ...the report states. "Hard drive players with such large capacity for content go above and beyond not only the music that most consumers want on their portable music player, but also beyond the digital music that they own."

      I'm sure you'll come around real soon and agree with us on this. Our good friends at RIAA heartily endorse this point of view for Responsible Hardware Manufacturers United Against Piracy, Pedophaelia and Terrorism. You're not a pedophile, are you?

      Besides, why do you think popular radio stations play from a repertoire not to exceed 1000 songs? Like, duh!

      Sincerely,
      The Man

      P.S. Don't be thinking about becoming too attached to non-DRM formats and interfaces like USB 2.0, Ethernet, neither. It upsets us.

      • Don't you realize that you're not supposed to desire or legally need more than 1000 songs!

        Gahaha... I'm already up to 2890 songs on mine, and I'm still working my way down one side of the cd tower. Perhaps they should replace "Rip. Mix. Burn." with "Rip, Swap, Rip, Swap, Rip, Swap, Rip, Swap, Argh, RSI."

        YLFI
        • Be glad you have CDs. Right now I'm going through the process of "Set, Record, Flip, Record, Cut, Encode, Swap".

          Most of the time it's just easier to download the album with bittorrent, but when I can't find it, I have to go through this process (I can find about maybe 5% of what I have).
      • Well, 500 cds ripped to 256 mp3 would get you between 60 and 80 gigs. I have a little over 300 cds, plus my some of my parents's and sister's cds that i listen too (is that legal, or does the RIAA say i have to buy my own copy?). Plus most players can double as portable hard drives.
  • ...by the size of his hard drive.
  • Too Costly (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jtoxification (678057) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:16PM (#8942968) Homepage Journal
    The OEM sample price is about $1,092 USD...but don't ask me what that means for consumers... It means that five years from now, it'll cost $10.92 or less.
  • The OEM sample price is about $1,092 USD...but don't ask me what that means for consumers

    It means not many will care to have one for a while. At least not until they are comperable to today's 2.5 inch drives (+/- a 100 USD).
    • The OEM sample price is about $1,092 USD...but don't ask me what that means for consumers

      It means not many will care to have one for a while. At least not until they are comperable to today's 2.5 inch drives (+/- a 100 USD).

      It means absolutely nothing. Engineering samples (especially for a product with an expected high demand) are often very expensive. They're not meant for you to stick in your home PC. They're meant for PC makers like Dell and Compaq to use for testing, so they can ship the drives a

  • by michaelnz (701047) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:17PM (#8942976) Homepage
    I'll get these out of the way early: Why would I buy an iPod for $250 when for 800 dollars more I could get 25 times the capacity with this... Does it support .ogg?
  • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:17PM (#8942977)
    "It's a 2.5 inch drive, is only 9.5mm tall"

    I thought I was the only one who used English measurements for measurements longer than 1 inch, and Metric (millimeters, centimeters) for smaller than 1 inch of length. It sure does look odd in print: "The car wash? Oh. Go 2 km down the road. Turn right, and go 100 feet. You can't miss it!"

  • by chrisopherpace (756918) <cpace@NOsPaM.hnsg.net> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:19PM (#8943018) Homepage
    Toshiba gets over the 80GB mark for laptops with their new hard drive. It's a mere 2.5 inches high, and only 9.5mm thick. Don't ask me why they use both metric and imperial measurements for these though. Seriously, I just had "inch" and "mm" in the same sentence! Toshiba Corporation will begin OEM shipments in May of their 9.5mm thick 2.5 inch HD with a capacity of 100GB, called the "MK1031GAS." With a 35% miniturization of the Femto Slider in the head unit, and an improvement of the thin film technology of the media, a recording density of 124MBit/mm2 has been achieved - making for a larger overall capacity. This is the highest recording density in the world for a 2.5" HD. The disk rotation speed is 4,200rpm, and there are two platter, four heads, and the average seek time is 12msec. The supported interface is Ultra ATA/100. The main body size is 70 x 100 x 9.5mm, and the weight is 99g. Apart from the capacity, however, there have been other improvements to the drive. First of all, the spindle motor rotation control system has been changed, a lower power consumption has been accomplished with the use of a DC/DC converter on the power component, allowing for a decrease of 20% versus previous models. Also, the shock protection is about 1.5x that of previous models, with 325G(2msec) while operating, and 850G(1msec) while not operating. The operational sounds while the drive is idle has also been pushed down to 21dB.


    Images available Here [hnsg.net]
    and
    Here [hnsg.net]
  • Cool...but no thanks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hdd (772289)
    definitly not for average laptop user, i rather bring a 300GB external drive with me if i need all that extra space on the move. imagine putting one of these babies in the ipod or a mpeg4 camcorder.(patent pending idea!)
    • by Misch (158807)
      Yeah, that's nice and all, but what if your laptop has only a USB 1.0/1.1 interface and no firewire adapter? Have you ever tried moving 300 GB of files over a USB 1.x connection?

      Then again, I'll admit that I ran out and bought a WD 120 GB external Firewire/USB 2.0 drive a couple of days before a business trip and my project had its butt saved when one of my cow orkers showed up with a Firewire->Mini Firewire adapter... Firewire moved the files so much faster than the USB 1.1 did.
      • what if your laptop has only a USB 1.0/1.1 interface and no firewire adapter? Have you ever tried moving 300 GB of files over a USB 1.x connection?

        My laptop only has USB 1. Oddly enough, I've never tried transfering 300GB to or from it, because it only HAS 20GB in it. I find that 90% of the time, I'm moving over a few dozen/hundred MB at most. Takes a minute or 2 tops, maybe 5 if it's a big job. For everything else I do, I just run the files off the external. USB 1 is more than fast enough for pretty much
  • About damned time (Score:3, Informative)

    by dulinor (42115) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:20PM (#8943029)
    80 GB has been max for far too long. When you throw 50 GB of that at your music, it fills up fast. I haven't seen anything on the speed of the drive, but generally higher-density data at same rpm should be faster throughput which is all that matters.

    9.5mm means this will fit in the Powerbooks (and presumably most standard laptops as well) Sign me up for one as soon as they're available to consumers.

  • by LordFoo (518001) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:20PM (#8943032)
    From the article:
    The key to achieving this was replacing the Pico Sliders attached to the drive's heads, and which maintain the appropriate distance from the disk during read and write operations, with Femto Sliders that are 35% smaller and much lighter.
    To echo the sentiments seen in some posts on other topics -- aren't these naming conventions getting a little ridiculous? I know it's been a while since "milli" was cool for referring to small things (and was replaced by "micro"), but it hasn't been that long since "nano" became ubiquitous.

    Looks like atto/zepto/yocto aren't far behind. Maybe we should go back to the naming convention where the metric prefix actually referred to the scale of the item in question; i.e. nanobots on the nanometer scale.

  • by phr1 (211689) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:22PM (#8943060)
    I saw some mention somewhere of a trade show demo of an ultra-thin subnotebook that had a 100GB 1.8" drive, like the drive in an iPod (those are currently available up to 40 GB and the 40GB drive is about $200 retail from dealers). I figure the 100GB version will be available by the end of the year.
  • ata/100 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coneasfast (690509) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:23PM (#8943079)
    whether it supports ata/100 is irrelevant, considering the RPM is only 4,200, which is the more important fact. the transfer rate won't even get anywhere close to ata/100 speeds at 4200rpm.

    • the transfer rate won't even get anywhere close to ata/100 speeds at 4200rpm
      did you forget the world's highest density?
  • Value proposition? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by merlin_jim (302773) <James.McCrackenNO@SPAMstratapult.com> on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:24PM (#8943088)
    Let's see... 2.5 inch... less than 1cm tall... I've got a drive in my laptop that's 30 GB that size. 100GB is impressive, but is it really worth $1000? I mean if I've got portable storage requirements (video, maybe?) that big, I'd probably be better off with a USB 2.0 external... higher transfer rates and a third the cost...
  • by Seekerofknowledge (134616) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:26PM (#8943129)
    ..but don't ask me what that means for consumers

    What this means for consumers is that, after prices come down, we are talking about some serious storage capabilities in portable devices. Something like the ipod mini, except more on the order of 150gigs, 200gigs, who knows by the time the price comes down.

    It would be a mini personal server, where you could carry around with you almost all convenient data you would want, really. Your entire music collection...your entire divx collection...both? How about something like your resume, all of your email, some source code you are working on. Whatever. This idea has been thrown around here on slashdot before, it's nothing new. But at least now it would be more applicable.
    • by phr1 (211689) on Thursday April 22, 2004 @04:38PM (#8943302)
      Ehh, no not really, the iPod Mini uses a drive that's more like 1". This 100GB drive is 2.5" 9.5mm thick, which is the standard form factor these days for laptop hard drives. Drives in that form factor have already been available with 80GB for several months, and with 60GB for a while before that, so 100 GB is just another incremental improvement over the previous 80 GB. Anyway, these drives are for laptops including subnotes, and largish audio players like the old Creative jukeboxes. The regular (40GB etc). iPod uses a 1.8" diameter drive which is about half the size of this 2.5" unit, and the mini-iPod's drive is the size of a CF card.
  • An upgrade for my iBook!
  • Given that... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gillbates (106458)

    My Toshiba CD-RW can only burn ~500MB of a 700MB CD-R without errors, the writable capacity of this drive is probably closer to 71 GB.

    And considering that said CD-RW drive can't read a burned file larger than 133MB, the read capacity of this hard drive is probably closer to 19 GB.

    I, for one, could care less about the size increases of the newer drives. I would rather have something that works as advertised for longer than the warranty period.

    Why would I ever buy a 100 GB hard drive if it was goin

  • $100 / GB? (Score:2, Funny)

    by biz0r (656300)
    Welcome to 1997 (I think?).

    (yes, I know it will be cheaper in the future with demand/etc...)
    • Re:$100 / GB? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Derang() (318404) *
      Um....this thing has a retail price of about 1000 dollars, and it stores roughly 100GB of data.

      Last time I checked, $1000 / 100GB = $10/GB
    • My guess it only costs $ 1 092 each now because of limited production runs. Once they ramp up production the price per unit should drop dramatically.

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