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Not Much Happening in Hard Drives This Year

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  • by liquid stereo (602956) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:41PM (#11379646)
    No more technology is needed. How about reliability?
    • by Coneasfast (690509) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:48PM (#11379681)
      there is not much demand for higher capacities (very few people would need >160gb).

      as for reliability, most HD's are acceptable, but you can never fully rely on them to never fail, you must always have a backup system for important data.

      speed is one of the areas which is always welcome for improvement (until of course it reaches the max interface speed, eg 150mB/sec for SATA)
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:54PM (#11379723)
        very few people would need >160gb

        Surely you meant to say 640k?
        • Hi, I am working for a company that in the next year is going to be purchasing at least 525 Terrabytes of hard drives. You think size doesn't matter to us? The larger they get the more we can fit into our raid server. And the cheaper per GB it will cost us. And yes, we plan to be operating at nearly full capacity of the drives. We do need that amount of space.

          As for me personally? I keep a couply things on my computer that so far has lead me to install 400GB worth of disk space in my computer. Music
      • Acceptable my ass. I haven't seen a hard drive last more than a year since, oh, single-digit capacities.
        I bought this box in mid-2001. I'm on my 4th HD and 3rd graphics card. The rest is all very much alive and kicking.
        A hard drive is a critical component. Its emphasis should be on reliability FIRST and then everything else.
        • What are you doing to your hardware?
          Some of my IDE-drives are 2yrs and older and still ticking fine.
          • Probably letting them melt. I've had more than one HD problem with a drive that was simply overheating. My tips: get cases where the drive bays sit in front of the case intake fan and get some modest airflow over them, or use 5.25"->3.5" brackets so they have room for air to circulate.
        • That sounds unusual. What's the temperature inside your PC case?

          Or maybe you're buying cheap hardware...?
          =Smidge=
          • What's the temperature inside your PC case?

            Agreed. I had a 200 gig drive that kept locking up on me... I added a large (but quiet fan) inside the case to just move some air over it. It hasn't given me any trouble since.

            Actually, I've not had a hard drive failure in any of my machines (3 in my home office) since I started getting a little air flow over them. Before that I was seeing fairly frequent IDE failures as well.

            I wonder if it would be cheaper for manufacturers to start putting small fans on the

        • by sevensharpnine (231974) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:13PM (#11379831)
          Four hard drives in four years? I'll admit modern disks are built poorly, but that seems excessive. It's possible that you have had a string of bad luck, but if they all failed in the same machine, you might want to check you power supply and/or cooling setup. The drives might have been killed.
          • by wernercd (837757) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:21PM (#11379881) Homepage
            No doubt. I've had an external for 2+ years that has been dropped, around the world twice now (Second deployment to Iraq for me), taken apart, put back together, reformated a couple times... Needless to say this thing should have died a long time ago

            I think reliability is fine in a majority of drives. No different than operating a car. Gotta take care of it to get it to last 100-200k+ miles.
        • Really?

          Most of my hard drives are a couple of years old and I have no problems with them. And this is coming from a guy that uses his machines non-stop. Some are on all day processing data or converting shows I recorded on my PC DVR to a more compact format.

          You get what you pay for. I don't skimp on my hard drives, I buy well reviewed models from manufacturers I trust.

          But, I guess some people are just unlucky.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I've gone through about 12 hard drives on my dektop PC because of increasing storage needs, and I use the hell out of them, they truly get a workout...

          and yet I've never had a single failure. Not one. Not one HD failure in the many laptops Ive had either.
          Not one back in my mac days.
          In fact, since I started using systems with HD's back in the 80s, not one.

          What the heck are you DOING?
        • Just out of curiousity is it an ATI video card? I went through 5 9500's (under warrenty) until I got my Nvidia 6800GT which's I've had ever since. Its never drawn one pixel wrong.

          I can't explain the HDD's though - I've got 6 ide drives on a raid and I've only had one of them fail in the last two years.
        • You should really think about cooling your HDDs, heat kills them, in my experience. You know those screws they come with? make sure you put all 4 in, tight. They help with the heat transfer. I have not had one hdd die in 5 years in my CoolerMaster case. The HDDs run room temperature to the touch. Cheap cases though.. I've had many HDDs die. I sense a pattern.

        • by Lord Kano (13027) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @04:50PM (#11380361) Homepage Journal
          Acceptable my ass. I haven't seen a hard drive last more than a year since, oh, single-digit capacities.

          If that's the case, seriously, you're doing something wrong.

          My linux machine is using a 20GB hard drive that I bought in 1999. It still works flawlessly.

          Basically, all new hardware goes into my main machine first, what comes out of this one gets passed down among the other boxen. So, most hardware is at least a year old before it gets passed down.

          If you haven't had a hard drive that lasted for more than a year, there is something about your setup that is simply not right. Maybe you have dirty power. Maybe you shouldn't use your computer on tha back of a moving go cart. Whatever it is, such a short lifespan out of any of your hardware should tell you that there is something out of the ordinary with the way you're using it.

          LK
        • by benna (614220)
          Until a month ago, one of my harddrives was the only remaining part from my computer that I originally built 5 years ago. I have replaced all of the other parts. Finally a month ago I got another 250gb drive and took out my IBM 30gb only because I didn't have room for it anymore.
        • Might be the environment, do you smoke?
      • by Znork (31774) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:10PM (#11379810)
        "very few people would need >160gb"

        Dont have a media system yet, eh?

        Let me tell you, when you start recoring video and storing your DVD's on disk for easy access, not even multiterabyte disks will seem enough.

        Add to that storage for backups which doubles or triples your needed space and you start seeing the problem. Then add mirroring and longterm archives...

        "but you can never fully rely on them to never fail"

        I'd rather say you can fully rely on them to eventually fail. Which is why you need so much space for backups.

        "speed is one of the areas which is always welcome"

        Welcome, but not essential. For actual system performance you're often better off with more memory for disk caches. If you have some very intensive applications needing very high speed you can improve performance with striping anyway, and in desktop systems it's often a better solution as heat and noise from faster disks make them unsuitable.
        • I'm sure the original post realizes that.

          However, I think he's speaking as a whole. If you take all of the PC owners, how many do you think actually need THAT much space? Sure, there's a alot of people (including myself) that need that kind of space. But as a whole, we only make up a small percentage

          If you take into account all of the people that just use their machines for email, web browsing, taxes, and maybe the occasional game of solitaire then they really don't need that much space. Most people d
        • Let me tell you, when you start recoring video and storing your DVD's on disk for easy access, not even multiterabyte disks will seem enough.

          This is why i said 'very few'. Only a small percentage of people actually do video editing/storing on their computer.
          • by Znork (31774)
            PVR's are simply so useful that the average joe will have them soon enough. Wether they'll buy them as tivo's or as a media pc doesnt really change the fact that it's the same disks and the same needed storage volumes. And if you count non-PC pvr's I'd argue it's getting more than 'very few' already.
      • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:43PM (#11379990)
        That's where RAID comes in. I am building a simple data acquisition system at work and it has to have a large capacity for storage and be reliable but have a low cost. I will get 2x 200GB drives for RAID-1 and a nice power supply + good cooling. Don't know which brands to choose for the drives. I used IBM at home and after 3 years I get some corruption once in a while, but I also have RAID-0 at home (good enough for games, web and email).
      • very few people would need >160gb

        Can I quote you in ten years?

    • by Lisandro (799651) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:52PM (#11379715)
      Make that both reilabilty and speed for me. PATA/SATA disk are still lagging horribly behind stuff like SCSI disks and their 10k RPM offerings.

      PS: If you want reilabilty for cheap, check the Seagate Barracuda series (i own this one [seagate.com]) - cheap, VERY reliable and also damn quiet. I can't tell if the thing is running or not by listening to it.
      • I still have a system with a 20 gig 5400 rpm hard drive. What does SATA do? I see it everywhere, with the 8 meg buffers. It has been a long time since I upgraded or built systems. Is SATA as over-rated at IDE-133 was when IDE-100 was the standard. Is it just another marketing term, or does it produce results?

        And I thought I saw 10k rpm ide drives?

        • SATA is every bit as good (or bad :) as PATA... on a thin, easy to manage cable. Otherwise, the interfases are structurally very similar; you can even get PATA -> SATA convertors for cheap.

          As for the 10k RPM IDE drives, they're out there (parent post suggested one by Western Digital), but they're prohibitely expensive. I mean, c'mon, 10k RPM SCSI drives have been avaiable since what, 1995? It surprises me IDE drive manufacturers haven't catched up.
    • by BobPaul (710574) * on Sunday January 16, 2005 @05:06PM (#11380506) Journal
      I want a drive with more features for notebooks...

      Sure 4200rpm may save battery life, but they're so god aweful slow. Why don't they make a drive that has variable rpm? You could even have the OS control the speed: 4200 when on battery and 7200 when plugged into an outlet. Maybe even have an override so you can make it fast at the expense of battery life, should you want to.
      • Remember guys - RPM per se means virtually nothing. I have 5400 Samsung drive and it has sustained read/write speed (>50 Megs/sec from Windows filesystem) more than all the 7200 Seagates I've seen (at similar volume). Also - don't forget than notebook drives are 2.5" and since have much smaller platter radius. Even if you have 7200 RPM drive with the same density you will have (much) lower data xfer rate than with the "big" drive. Actually, it mostly comes down to the density (roughly you may say that it
  • by christopherfinke (608750) <chris@efinke.com> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:42PM (#11379652) Homepage Journal
    I can't wait for the next two Slashdot stories: "The sky is still blue" and "There's nothing interesting to report."
  • by sulli (195030) * on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:43PM (#11379662) Journal
    Not much happening in hard drives this year. [slashdot.org]

    The calculated scores don't carry much weight. [slashdot.org]

    Nothing particularly surprising here. [slashdot.org]

    Did anything happen today that does matter?

  • Storage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spike hay (534165) <blu_ice@@@violate...me...uk> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:44PM (#11379665) Homepage
    I'd like to see more speed, but capacity hardly matters to anybody these days, now that 200+ gig drives can be had for ridiculously cheap.
    • Re:Storage (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GreatDrok (684119)

      I'd like to see more speed, but capacity hardly matters to anybody these days, now that 200+ gig drives can be had for ridiculously cheap.

      You know, 200+ gigs isn't going to go very far once you start storing your DVD collection. Certainly mine would occupy over 2TB if I were to rip it to disc and use a network media player to access it.

      Video, especially HD, is going to eat these discs pretty quick. I remember my first PC (previously I had avoided x86 boxes) had 200MB of disc and that seemed huge at

    • I'd like to see more speed, but capacity hardly matters to anybody these days, now that 200+ gig drives can be had for ridiculously cheap.

      What I would like is cheap and reliable harddisks. Too often I've got problems with IDE disk that starts failing for no good reason. When I buy a harddisk it seems like lottery if the drive will last or not. (Yes, I do cool the drives)

      So, I've finally bought a good SCSI controller and is in the process of buying SCSI HDD for my home servers. For my servers 74GB is p

      • Re:Storage (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Wolfrider (856) <kingneutron AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @04:42PM (#11380319) Homepage Journal
        I run this test on EVERY new/used hard drive I buy, before putting it into regular use:

        ' hdparm -c1 -d1 /dev/hdX '
        ' time badblocks -c 256 -n -s -v /dev/hdX '

        --Using this method on newly-delivered HDs has allowed me to RMA them right away, before they fail with MY data on them.
        • Re:Storage (Score:3, Interesting)

          by runderwo (609077)
          A better approach would be to use smartctl -t long /dev/hda and let the drive test itself. Modern drives will mask many errors from the user, so your badblocks test will gloss over problems that a firmware test would report.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:45PM (#11379668) Homepage
    What I would like to see is more and cheaper network attached storage devices like the Ximeta Netdisk. With networks being so popular in homes, it's amazing that they don't have one place to store their files without a actually having a specific computer turned on. And most people, including myself, don't see the need in devoting an entire computer to serving files.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, the Ximeta disk requires a computer to share the disk before it's available on the network for other computers. This is a serious flaw in the engeneering!
      • wrong.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Benley (102665) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @07:37PM (#11381453) Journal
        I don't think that's right. I've got one of those Ximeta thingies, and it just does some USB-over-ethernet trick (I assume) to be attached to any machine. I hear there is multi-write support (for windows only of course) now, perhaps that requires a machine to be the "master" host.
    • The Linksys NSLU2 is pretty cheap (around $80) and provides computer-less file sharing on home networks. As a plus, it runs Linux and can be hacked fairly easily. tk
  • by filmmaker (850359) * on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:45PM (#11379670) Homepage
    Part of the reason why hard drives haven't kept up with other components is because consumers don't demand more features. Seems like people don't want their hard drives to do more - though I know that I'd like better performance when working with large video files.
  • by coupland (160334) * <`dchase' `at' `hotmail.com'> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:46PM (#11379673) Journal

    This article is terrible. Looks like nothing more than a usenet rant to me. The author decries the terrible progress of the storage industry, obviously completely ignorant of the fact that the storage industry has consistently bested Moore's Law for at least a decade. If processors increased in speed at the pace that hard drives increase in size, we'd have processors in the tens of gigahertz today. Besides moaning about the slow pace of one of the fastest-paced areas in the industry, what is it the author thinks they should be focusing on? In his own words:

    we would certainly like to see a set pattern where users can expect something significant in this industry

    "Something." That's as specific as the author gets. Storage capacity is doubling every 12 months, but we need to see something significant. Nothing in particular, mind you. Just something. Go figure it out, come back to us when you're done. That's 5 mins of my life I'll never get back...

    • This is a good point that you bring up. The author of this article leaves a lot of angles out. Such as the development in smaller hard drives such as 1.8" and less. The increase in speed for 9mm 2.5" drives. The fact that more corporations would like to remain on drives that don't impact images when changed. Compaq plans on offering their 15K 146.8 GB drives until mid-07 that's production. They'll be around for longer than that. Desktop side too - the bandwidth hasn't really increased - the new Intel chipse
    • well, in fact, the speed increase HAS slowed.
      They guy is just spoiled because the introduction of GMR read-heads started a storage density explosion that now is slowing down to normal levels.

      The biggest hd you can buy now is 400GB. 250GB hds have been availabe more than 2 years ago.
      Thats A LOT slower than doubling every year...
  • by Dzimas (547818) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:49PM (#11379689)
    I somehow doubt that HD manufacturers have pre-announced all of their little secrets. That said, there comes a time with every technology when things mature - there are a limited number of bits you can fit into a finite space. My feeling is that solid state drives will be the next extremely big thing. 1GB flash memory is no longer a "big deal" and I suspect that with a few significant innovations, solid state might dominate. It would certainly reduce power and space requirements (I can just imagine Steve Jobs demoing the headless Mac Shuffle right now: Smaller than a stick of gum, except for the port adapter...)
    • I, for one, can't wait until solid state drives replace the current hard drives. The big advantage I see would be noise and vibration elimination. Combine that with a cool-running processor with a passive heatsink, a fanless power supply, and videocards/motherboards without fans, and we might just be able to have a truely silent computer that does not get louder over time. Given that we can find a good case design with appropriate convection of course...
  • by astebbin (836820) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:50PM (#11379697)
    I think that what the industry should focus on in this point in time should be the miniturization of such memory storage devices so as to fit them into smaller devices such as cell phones, PocketPCs (ugh), etc... most of the technology is already out there, it just hasn't been utilized to its full potential on a widespread commercial level. The most notable exception that comes to mind would be Apple, with their 40gb iPod.... if only we had as much storage on our Palms as well!
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:55PM (#11379726) Homepage Journal
    Most of the best news for most HD consumers is price drops, which will probably accelerate. Most of the HD price reflects recouping investment in R&D and retooling factories, not a per-unit cost. So HD companies aren't spending lots more money this year - that means they'll be charging even less, competing on price without other differentiators.

    For consumers, that can mean qualitative improvements through passing quantitative thresholds. Buy 2 HDs instead of 1, make a RAID, and watch both uptime and fault recovery become minor bumps in the road, rather than a job-threatening days-long surprise nightmare. While filling the coffers of the vendors, who can reinvest in integrating that kind of redundancy in the HD unit itself. This year's nonevents might just give sysadmins the chance to become the most obviously important link in the IT chain, eclipsing the usually exaggerated developer rockstars.

    FWIW, HD consumers probably aren't defined by "HDs", but rather storage in any medium, determined by usage. So the real news in "HD" is really Flash memory, which is seeing huge leaps in capacity, cheapness, perfomance and manageability. When will someone ship a $100 SDIO 1GB/WiFi card? With gumpack-sized, 8-SDIO-socketed battery for a pocket-PSAN (Personal Storage Area Network)? Or start sewing these things into hats and sweatjackets?
    • My computer for surfing the web does a very good job, and is very old. I only have a PIII 550 and a 20 gig 5400 rpm hard drive. People had better computers 3 years ago. But it is not slow for what I throw at it. I'v even ripped DVD's for back-ups, and in under an hour.

      I like the idea of price falling. Maybe I'll pull out the mobo, cpu, and update the hard drive. But so far, there is no good reason. The 20 gigs was getting tight, but I spent $60 on a dvd-rw and back up data there.

      I think for most people

      • Hard Drives have always been the bottleneck. The problem is the 10 or so milliseconds it takes the head to seek to another area of the drive. This delay will never go away until they start introducing either multiple heads, or some vastly different mechanism for reading data on the drive.

        By they way, if you were to upgrade to a SATA RAID0 array with 2, 7200RPM drives you would be AMAZED at how much faster your computer is. Loading applications, especially all these 1GB game installs would be at least 250%
  • by PenguinOpus (556138) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:55PM (#11379730)
    Ever since Maxtor announced (but didn't ship) a 320GB drive in August 2003, things have moved too slowly in the PC (3.5") drive market. Maxtor finally shipped 300G and that was king for a while before Hitachi (and now others) shipped 400G. The lack of motion is very unusual compared to the historical size increases we've seen over the last 20 years.

    I think the article doesn't make it clear that manufacturers' focus has moved to several other areas:

    - 2.5" drives for use in servers (density of machines, not data)
    - 1.8" drives for iPods (now up to 80G)
    - 1" drives for mini-iPods and CF cards
    - sub-1" drives (Cornice...) for CF and cell phones

    Even though some of us need TBs of storage, most of the CE world would be happy with 10G for their music/video-recording.
  • by Guspaz (556486) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:03PM (#11379765)
    This year we're expecting the max size on 7200RPM notebook (2.5") drives to jump from 60GB all the way to 100GB, a huge jump.

    And I'd also expect to see a jump in 5400RPM storage capacity from the current 100GB.

    My ideal notebook drive for 2005 would be a 100GB 7200RPM drive with a 16MB cache, SATA(2?), and NCQ. But who knows when that will happen. The best drive available today is a 60GB 7200RPM drive with 8MB of cache, though as I mentioned earlier that will jump to 100GB this year.
    • I'd rather see better technology than faster technology. I want a laptop hard drive that doesn't use any battery power at all and emanotes no noise or heat. I want a truly portable machine that has a full-size keyboard but no wasted space for a trackpad (e-Clit is more efficient, both for use and for space), no wasted power on 7200RPM drives or 17" displays, and about 36 hours of battery life on a 1-hour charge.

      I want something that doesn't tie me down with wires, alert the room that its hard drive is
      • I want a laptop hard drive that doesn't use any battery power at all
        Well if we are going to avoid rewriting the laws of physics (no they don't only exist to make money for the evil batter manufacturers) you had better tell me which non-battery source you want to power your non-existent harddrive. I hate to break it to you, but even if I could encode data at the quantum level using some insanely advanced storage technology.... it would still require some power.
  • by Marko DeBeeste (761376) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:03PM (#11379766)
    Everything worth inventing has been invented. We've hit the ceiling. No more unexpected advances. Have a nice day. Smoke if you've got em.
  • 400gb @ 35cents/gb (Score:5, Interesting)

    by purduephotog (218304) <{moc.tibroni} {ta} {hcsrih}> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:04PM (#11379774) Homepage Journal
    Thats what I'm waiting for.

    I have 3x200gb, 2x160gb, 2x120gb, 4x80gb (and more down the line).

    The 200gbs are running at 83% full because... they all mirror each other.

    Yup I know it's particularly anal, but I'll agree with the first post: We need more reliable drives. All of my photos are backed up 2x on DVD- one goes into a jukebox, the other goes onto a spindle, and all are stuffed into something called CDStorageMaster (fun proggy).

    The HDs mirror each other but I've not yet had time to test a catastrophic failure of this. I had a manual raid before and, when my system crashed due to a bad PSU (note: Antec replaced it free of charge) I was eventually able to get all the drives back up and running, but I was left with a very nasty taste of bad-dynamic disks in my mouth.

    So please... more storage at 35cents/gb and I'll be happy. Or 3.5 cents/gb would make me happier, but one can hope.


  • Generalíssimo Francisco Franco is still dead!

  • price (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dickens (31040)
    So the only way for them to move is lower prices.

    Sounds like a good year for consumers. Who needs more than a couple hundred GB anyway ?
  • is all i care about, until we see these i could care less about movable drives.
  • From TFA:

    Hitachi and others will continue to push the limit and introduce a 500GB model to the market very soon.

    I guess very soon means last week, since the MacMall catalog that hit my mailbox last week offers a 500GB drive.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:18PM (#11379864) Homepage Journal
    size increases, but that doesn't count as an improvment..
    I mean, if they would put neon on them, now THAT would be an improvement.

    sheesh

  • by sideshow (99249) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:23PM (#11379894)
    I've had three drives in a row that fail to spin up after 12 months.
  • Traditional HDDs make great workhorses, and they'll be around for a long time to come, but I doubt if we'll ever see any huge improvements over the current top-end drives. Their basis is fifty-year-old technology, and conceptually they do very little. There comes a point when you're pretty much tapped out of revolutionary improvements.

    Prices will continue to improve, and I'm sure we'll see gradual space and speed improvements for a while, but the future lies elsewhere.
  • Sure we'll see one or 2 fantastic things but nothing like 1999 -> 2002 for hardware innovation.

    Incase anyone here hasn't noticed the tech industry IS still slowing down in advancements, especially the desktop PC.

    Anyone who put a tiny bit more effort into buying a PC within 18-36 months ago (should) still find their machine runs most things today perfectly well.
    There's simply nothing to upgrade to worth the $ / performance ratio of 2 or 3 years ago.

  • $/GB (Score:5, Informative)

    by Saeger (456549) <farrellj@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:59PM (#11380073) Homepage
    Just thought I'd chime in with a quick report on the value of various hard drives.

    The best bang/buck EIDE hard drive you can get today is ~40cents per GB for a 160GB drive; any smaller capacity and you'll be paying more for less. For a little less than 50cents/GB you can get a 250,200, or 180GB drive where the increased storage density might be worth the extra few pennies per GB. The 400GB and 300GB monsters are under $1/GB, but still aren't a very good value (unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket and value bragging rights).

    So, IMO, the best bang/buck for your average guy is putting two to four 160GB or 250GB drives in RAID 1 or 5.

    --

    • "the best bang/buck for your average guy is putting two to four 160GB or 250GB drives in RAID 1 or 5"

      I recently picked up two 300GB Seagates from Fry's. The price IIRC $139 each, which would make the per GB cost less than 50 cents.

      Also, anyone considering the benefits of 2-4 drives in a RAID array may not want to underestimate the heat generated. Not to mention that if any/all the drives start to develop eletronic whines, you'll have a storage system usable only if (a) you're deaf; or (b) you have a bas
  • Because (Score:3, Interesting)

    by papasui (567265) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @04:02PM (#11380095) Homepage
    They've been focusing mainly of storage space and not performance. The hard drive is still the bottle neck on most machines. I can barely dent my 240 gig HD. I'd much rather have a 80 gig HD that was 4x as fast. Yes, there are pratical uses for a 400 Gig hd, file server, AV, etc. But for the majority (read: regular consumers, not slashdotters) of people it's just unneeded at this point in time.
  • go out of business for making TRASH..
    I have a 120g I bough last year that sounds like a 767 is cranking up for takeoff. I've padded the case with felt pads to absorb some of the noise but it's still intolerable.

    I've also had a LOT of problems with WD drives going into a power on/off cycle, 'clunking' on and off rapidly and of course trashing data..
    I've owned about 20 WD drives over the past few years and now they sit in my drawer, trashed, because they were just cheaply made crap.

    I'll NEVER buy another W
  • by digitalgimpus (468277) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @04:20PM (#11380201) Homepage
    Think about it... storage is pretty fast already. The average consumer doesn't need any faster. Those who need speed are using Serial ATA, SCSI, RAID, and other acronyms.

    What is really *necessary* (marketable)? Size? Do consumers care about the size of the HD in their computer? Nope. Accoustics? Modern drives are pretty quiet. Consumers are used to noisy fans anyway... most don't care.

    What consumers want is cheap. That's why dell makes money. That's why Apple released the mac mini.

    IMHO the thing HD companies need to figure out is how to get the fast large drives they have now, at a lower price.

    *THAT* is the forecast for 2005. Cheaper drives.

    I do think though we'll see marginal improvement in flash storage, and small HD's... for mp3 players, PDA's and other devices. But nothing groundbreaking.

    This year's economy is about *price*. People want more for less...

    the company that delivers it, will be rewarded with customers. The ones that fail: will not succeed.
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @05:24PM (#11380617)
    my harddrive's had lots of changes this year. I added more memory to my harddrive, I added a new video to it to play them new games. Now my computer, that hasn't been upgrade since I bought it from Viewsonic.....
  • Dear Seagate, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @06:06PM (#11380885) Homepage
    Lets take a break for the quest to be first with a small
    form factor terabyte drive. Instead lets concentrate on
    two things:

    a) faster. much faster

    b) self mirroring (ie raid 1) drives in the same form
    factor.

    The first is obviously a desire everybody wants.

    The second is similar I guess to dual core cpu's vs
    dual cpu's. Take a drive and instead of making it 500GB
    give me 2 200GB drives on seperate controllers and power
    supplies with an internal interface that allows one to
    mirror the other. Seemlessly.

    While fault tolerance should never be confused with a
    'backup', something like this would be very useful. With
    giant capacities now prevalent, most consumers have given
    up on backing up. But by offering a self contained
    fault tolerance you allow the consumer to easily chose
    between giant capacity or smaller size but some safety
    built in.

    For the performance crowd, many who now use raid 10 arrays,
    you cut the drive clutter in half. Two bays, not 4 (or 4
    not 8). Perhaps you could even get better thermal
    peformance than 2 independent drives.
    • Re:Dear Seagate, (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SQL Error (16383)
      Dear Lawrence_Bird,

      We have exactly the thing for you! It's called buying two drives.

      Regards,

      Seagate

      Seriously, things like this have been proposed, and even implemented in the past. It's always turned out cheaper, simpler, and more reliable to just buy two standard drives.

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