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Data Storage Hardware

The First Terabyte Hard Drive Reviewed 495

mikemuch writes "ExtremeTech has a review and benchmarks of the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB Hard Drive, which ushers in the terabyte age. It performs well on HDTach and PCMark benchmarks, though not as speedily as professional-grade drives. It could be just the ticket for digital media junkies. 'One of the first issues to note is that you may not see an actual one terabyte capacity on your system. First, the formatted capacity is always less than the raw space available on the drive. Directory information and formatting data always take up some space. Second, the hard drive industry's definition of a megabyte differs from the rest of the PC business. One megabyte of hard drive space is 1,000,000 bytes: 10^6 bytes. Operating systems calculate one megabyte as 2^20 bytes, or 1,048,576 bytes. Once installed and set up, Hitachi's 1TB hard drive offers up an actual formatted capacity of about 935GB, as measured by the OS. That's still a lot of space, by anyone's definition.'" Update: 05/17 21:52 GMT by Z : Adding '^s' missing from article.
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The First Terabyte Hard Drive Reviewed

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  • Lots of space? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "that's still a lot of space, by anyone's definition"

    I said that when I got my first 6Gb drive a decade ago - that was a hell of a step up from 200Mb - now it wouldn't even fit a quarter of my mp3's on it!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:28PM (#19169923)
    So that I can fill this new drive with pr0n ;)
  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:29PM (#19169933)

    One megabyte of hard drive space is 1,000,000 bytes: 106 bytes. Operating systems calculate one megabyte as 220 bytes, or 1,048,576 bytes.
    That was from TFA (not just the summary). I asked my calculator about that but it just got a headache.
  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:30PM (#19169971) Homepage
    Is there anyone out there who would be buying a 1TB hard drive who doesn't already know the difference between binary and decimal prefixes? I think their target market is well aware of the differences between GiB and GB.

    Actually, it seems some Microsoft programmers still don't know the difference. At least most open source apps properly distinguish between binary and decimal prefixes. Not so for Windows...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      GiBs and MiBs are silly anyway. I happen to prefer Microsoft's usage in this case.
    • I know the difference, but I still fall for it!

      It's like those 49.99 prices that somehow computes in your brain to $40.

      With 1TB being 0.93TB the slack is actually becoming quite large. I remember when I thought 70GB was enormous, and now that just a rounding error? Damn, I'm going to be pissed the next time I fall for it. Just like I was when I lost 35GB on my current drive... damn I'm pissed again.
    • Applying metric prefixes to bytes is simply wrong anyway. Metric prefixes are base 10, why did they start applying them binary values just because of an arbitrary approximation of 1024 (or 2E10) and 10E3? When you call a 1000 GiB drive 1000 GB, you're not using esoteric nomenclature. You're stating something that's wrong. Sadly, it'll probably take lawsuit to change things.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by imsabbel ( 611519 )
        No, it isnt.
        From a user perspective, it doesnt matter shit if a byte is 8 bit. That solves the whole "base 10" crisis you seem to have.

        Next, gather your brain for some thought: you have a CPU that runs at some Ghz, and memory busses/network cards that run at megabyte/s.

        Now guess what kind of "mega" those aspects used from the beginning of time? Yes, SI.
        Just for some strage reason, for memory and disks people thought that 1024 is close enought to 1000 as not to matter.
        Too bad now we are at 10^9 vs 2^30, wher
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Eivind ( 15695 )
          Probably because for certain storage, such as memory, you need to make them binary sizes for practical reason.

          For example, a 1MiB memory-module can be completely adressed by exactly by precisely 20 adress-lines, for which any combination represents a valid address.

          But the "MiB" was only invented in 1998 (and became well-known significantly later than that), so how are you supposed to specify the capacity of the memory-modules you sell in a consumer-friendly way ?

          Are you going to claim computer X comes

  • by Grelli ( 98061 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:33PM (#19170029) Homepage
    Don't complain about the fact a megabyte isn't what you thought it was. Complain about the fact the industry still uses it for labels. But don't try and make the megabyte a mebibyte. [] vs []
    • by linguae ( 763922 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:44PM (#19170257)

      The reason why nobody uses "mebibyte", "kibibyte", "gibibyte", and all of these other terms are because of two reasons: they are new and relatively unknown, and they just sound stupid and unnatural (try pronouncing them). It is commonly accepted knowledge in electrical engineering and computer science circles that we use 2^10, 2^20, 2^30, etc. when describing kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes, respectively, except when dealing with data storage capacities (which I feel is a marketroid invention and a sales gimmick. "10^9 vs. 2^30? Who'll know the difference?"). It's been that way since the 1960s. The new terms like "mebibyte," "gibibyte," and the rest of them just sound silly, hard to pronounce, and unnatural.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid ( 135745 )
        and redundant, don't forget redundant.

        seriously, The computer uses power of two, it's how it measures things. We should use BI prefix, anything else is just cheap used car saleman gimmicks.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The computer uses power of two, it's how it measures things

          It does except when it doesn't. How many flops exist in a teraflop? The answer is exactly 1 trillion flops.

          In any case, hard drives are sold to the public. Most of the public doesn't know how to count in binary. Whether or not the engineers use powers of two is irrelevant when you're marketing something.

          I agree that the bi versions should be used if you mean the version that's a power of two. It's silly to have a kilometer be 1000 meters, a

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Alright, after reading that, I want a yottabyte hard drive in my house server- ought to be good for recording all sensor data, including DVR, for the next century or so....
    • by jdgeorge ( 18767 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:52PM (#19170415)
      Don't complain about the fact a megabyte isn't what you thought it was. Complain about the fact the industry still uses it for labels. But don't try and make the megabyte a mebibyte.

      What!?! Next thing you'll be telling me is that a kilometer isn't 1024 meters long. Please, stop this madness before it spreads!
      • by fo0bar ( 261207 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:59PM (#19171625)

        What!?! Next thing you'll be telling me is that a kilometer isn't 1024 meters long. Please, stop this madness before it spreads!
        Don't be silly. As we all know, God Almighty came down from the heavens to decree that Computers must use powers of 2 to describe international standard unit prefixes that were previously defined as powers of 10.

        Of course, we all know this is an evil conspiracy by the hard drive industry. ... and the network card industry (I was shocked to find my gigabit card is not actually 1,073,741,824 bits per second). ... and the processor industry (2.4GHz? Hah, more like 2.23517GHz!). ... and the digital camera industry (blah blah megapixels. they're screwing me out of precious resolution).
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by zCyl ( 14362 )

        What!?! Next thing you'll be telling me is that a kilometer isn't 1024 meters long.

        Don't be silly. Kibblemeters and bits have nothing to do with each other.
    • by Mattintosh ( 758112 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:02PM (#19170621)
      The difference between the two numbers is due to this:

      Manufacturers have an interest in you paying more and getting less, while computers do not. Manufacturers who are successful and have the cash to spend can then lobby international standards bodies to skew "standards" in their favor, regardless of historical context and practical day-to-day usage patterns (both technical and linguistic).

      Don't side with "the man" on /. unless you enjoy tar + feathers, not even if it means bucking the "standard".
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by evilviper ( 135110 )

      But don't try and make the megabyte a mebibyte.

      Don't try to invent a new notation to make-up for corporate marketing corrupting established and well-understood notation.
    • by blhack ( 921171 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:58PM (#19171615)
      We could just simplify the process and start calculating drive space in libraries of congress * elephants of pressure per square postage stamp.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
      I think the new prefixes are irritating, and that the people that made the binary prefixes are of the OCD type. It is best to ignore the OCD types. It usually doesn't really matter to be that precise in talking data storage capacities.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vidarh ( 309115 )
      English is defined by common use, not by edicts. The IEC and others can recommend or make standards, and people can choose to use them, but that doesn't mean that the traditional usage isn't equally valid.

      I doubt most "ordinary people" even know the *bi prefixes. Much less would have any clue what the difference is.

  • Reality (Score:3, Funny)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:33PM (#19170037) Homepage Journal
    when mounted, we want to to say 1 terrabyte, not meh, nearly one terrabyte. The OS is the measureing stick, use it.

    I sure as hell don't want it to say 106 bytes.
  • Ahh Slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by terrymr ( 316118 ) <> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:33PM (#19170043)
    Where nobody R's the TFA but instead spends their time making fun of the summary.
    • I don't have time to read frivolous articles about whatever it is the Slashdot editors decide to pull out of their ass. I have better things to do with my time; like spending nearly ten minutes refreshing the page secure another first post. :P
    • by croddy ( 659025 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:56PM (#19170501)

      eh, you're not missing anything anyway. TFA is just one of those meager gear review sites with 20 words per page spread out onto 8 pages all mostly covered with a bunch of empty rectangles.

      what is the DEAL with all those empty rectangles anyway?

  • But it's still not big enough to hold my pr0n collection.
  • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:41PM (#19170195)
    Initial review March 19th: 49 []

    Follow-up RAID performance April 19th: 49 []

    Follow-up to the follow-up April 23rd: 74 []
  • by Gricey ( 154787 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:45PM (#19170289)
    Come on, look what you're pasting. What you thought was a story about ponies could be the next AACS encryption key!

    Wow, I love ponies.
  • I just vi /dev/sda

  • WOW, 1TB (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:47PM (#19170319) Journal
    I remember when I paid $150 for a 10meg MFM drive! (poke c800:50 ;)
    I remember paying $1000 for my first 1gig drive!
    I remember paying $500 for my first 1TB of drive space (6x300gb drives ok 1.8TB unformatted)
    I remember paying $350 for my second 1.1TB of drive space (4x320gb Just last week)

    I can not wait to get to my first 6TB system! I may have said, many years ago, that I would never fill 1gig, but I know I can fill 6TB It should not take me more than a couple of months.

    Man how things have changed!

    Then 8mhz, 640k ram and 10megs.
    Now 2.4Ghz dual core, 2gig ram, 1.1TB HD

    I wonder what we will say in another 16 years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by radarsat1 ( 786772 )

      I can not wait to get to my first 6TB system! I may have said, many years ago, that I would never fill 1gig, but I know I can fill 6TB It should not take me more than a couple of months.

      There's one big difference though:

      When you bought your 10 MB drive, you were going to store your operating system and word processor documents on it, with a few games.
      When you bought your 100 MB drive, you stored the same, plus a few MP3s.
      When you bought your 1 GB drive, you stored a large part of your music collection on

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Good luck playing back some MP3s on your 33Mhz 386 that came with that 100MB hard drive, heheh. Maybe replace those MP3s with MODs?
      • Re:WOW, 1TB (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @08:20PM (#19172633) Homepage

        What will you store on your 10 TB drive that will take up all the space?

        High quality 1080p video. Animated textures for video games. A massive sample database for a voice synthesizer.

        I'm not actually sure what you would do with a 10,000 TB hard disk - but 10 TB is well within the "use it up with some video" range.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by llZENll ( 545605 )
      "I wonder what we will say in another 16 years."

      1THz CPU with 1024 cores
      6TB memory
      110 Petabyte hard drive

      And yes, you will need that storage and power for the 3D volumetric virtual girl we will all be using as an 'input' device.
  • Math (Score:2, Informative)

    by KrayzieKyd ( 906704 )
    1,000,000,000,000 bytes / 1024^4 = 931.23 GB formatted. Math is our friend.
  • Megabyte/Terabyte (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bobb Sledd ( 307434 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:48PM (#19170347) Homepage
    We can only guess what Zonk meant to say. But I'll try to make some sense.

    First, hard drive manufacturers have always calculated drive space differently than the rest of the entire computing world. It allows them to say that a drive is bigger than it really truly is. They've been able to do it for years, and lawsuits have been lost and won on this very issue. But essentially, their use of the metric words "kilo," "mega," and "giga" are the literal meanings of "1000," "1,000,000" and "1,000,000,000" instead of the computing world's 1024 multiplier.

    Therefore, a "kilobyte" to them is 1,000 bytes (as opposed to 1,024 bytes in real life), and a "megabyte" is "1,000,000" bytes (as opposed to 1,048,576 bytes [1024 x 1024]), and a "gigabyte" is 1,000,000,000 bytes (instead of 1,073,741,824 [1024 x 1024 x 1024] bytes in real life).

    The real difference in a terabyte? Divide 1,000,000,000,000 by 1024/1024/1024 and you get 931.32 gigabytes. That's a theoretical limit, mind you, and there is overhead for cluster size, partition info, FAT tables, etc., so you really don't even get that.

    Doesn't that byte?

    • Re:Megabyte/Terabyte (Score:4, Informative)

      by init100 ( 915886 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @07:22PM (#19171911)

      Therefore, a "kilobyte" to them is 1,000 bytes (as opposed to 1,024 bytes in real life)

      Actually, it is more like the "kilo = 1000" is the real life meaning, and the "kilo = 1024" is something dreamed up by some hacker in his own little world. I mean, one kilogram is 1000 grams, one kilohertz is 1000 hertz, one kilometer is 1000 meters, etc.

  • by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:55PM (#19170477) Homepage
    hmm. I guess you could say that "935GB ought to be enough for anybody".

    Note to future self: remember when 1 terabyte was considered a lot of storage? those were the days....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:57PM (#19170529)
    Perhaps the next story on Bill Gates or windows might consist mostly of a paragraph explaining that Microsoft is a company.
  • by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:00PM (#19170581)
    Cue the ensuing Mebi/Gibi/Tebi vs. SI notation fights.

    While it's takes a while to get used to it, I actually prefer the Bi-units now. 4,3GiB or 4,7GB is already a huge difference when talking about DVD capacity. At terabyte, it gets enormous.

    Linux already uses those units.

    Only place where I still see a purpose for using binary units in computing is memory - address bus is still addressed exactly with n lines so memory capacity will be 2^n. For all other cases, it's not needed. Yes, the hard drives have 512 to 4096 byte sectors, but who cares when were talking about trillions of them?

    See [] for more.
  • I want a 5400 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:02PM (#19170619) Journal
    While I know that most folks like the faster larger disks, the truth is that these are NOT used in most businesses. Many business will use >= 10K, SCSIed and raided (save the small ones). These will be used in home drives or as LARGE storage. It would make sense to have these spin at lower speeds to increase the MTBF. In particular, if these are raided, then you can get plenty of speed.
  • Windoze (Score:3, Funny)

    by ksd1337 ( 1029386 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:04PM (#19170639)
    Finally! Enough space to install Windoze Vista SuperUltimate Edition with SuperBloat64 and added memory mismanagement!
  • Update (Score:3, Funny)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:15PM (#19170833) Homepage Journal
    "Update: 05/17 21:52 GMT by Z : Adding '^s' missing from article."

    WTF? now we can't pretend it wasn't a mistake and make fun of the 'stupid' submitter. Curse you!
  • by MrSteveSD ( 801820 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:20PM (#19170919)
    Hitachi probably say all the recent AACS compromises and thought "Well, people are obviously going to need more hard drive space now". Hitachi have their finger on the pulse :)
  • Other math.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Avatar8 ( 748465 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:23PM (#19170979)
    No, not more of the 106 and 220 re-hash. That's been beat to death.

    How about some purchasing math?

    Just went to Newegg to check on this. Drive is selling for $600, not the $400 the article mentioned. Zipzoomfly has it for $500 but it's out of stock. CDW has it for $450. (Anyone have better hardware buying sources?)

    Just below the Hitachi 1TB were the 500Gb drives at ~$150 each. Let's see if I have $600 and the right system to support it, would I take a single 1TB drive or take 4x 500Gb drives and put them in a RAID 5 giving me 1.5TB and faster read speed (if the data is well distributed)? Hmmm

    I guess I'm not as much of a geek as I used to be. I don't download very much, I don't rip CDs or DVDs and I don't do much with graphics. I'm guessing the 320Gb I just got in February will last me quite a while. I'll wait for the 2TB drives and the SATA 5 throughput, thank you very much.

  • by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:30PM (#19171117)
    In other news, Seagate announced that its upcoming line of hard drives will be measured using the new LoC (Library of Congress) storage units to avoid confusion. The advanced ST-54883432, weighing in at a monstrous .00000000000017 LoC, goes on sale June 14th.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:42PM (#19171327)
    df .
    Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sdb1            961432072    221096 912372976   1% /data

  • Fix one or the other (Score:3, Interesting)

    by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:49PM (#19171449) Homepage
    I can't help but feel cheated deep down when a gigabyte on the box is not a gigabyte in my PC. I know the numbers, I know the reasoning but wouldn't it be all much easier if we fixed one or the other ? Hard drives are sold in decimal gigabytes, so why does all the software report in gibibytes ? It's obvious that the easy solution would be to use gibibytes everywhere, since it's easier to change the printing on a box than it is to fix all the software in the world. Especially as sizes increase and the differential grows quite large, this becomes rather important.

    I'm sure anyone who's ever been in a retail situation has had to deal with the ignorant yet logical customer that demanded a 7% refund on their undersized hard drive. In the case of this terabyte drive, we're talking about 70 gigabytes. Most people don't even have 70gb worth of data on their PC (excluding file hoarders)... that is one big marketing discrepancy. The bigger the gap, the louder and more frequently the ignorants will complain.

    How hard is it, really, to just quote the proper number ? Or maybe just increase the actual capacity by 7% to avoid printing an odd number like 931gb.
  • Screw the hitachi! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Thursday May 17, 2007 @08:51PM (#19172935) Journal
    The Hitach is a 1000mb drive with 5x200gb platters.
    The Seagate (due soon) is a 1000mb drive with 4x250gb platters and (iirc) 32mb of cache.

    The increased platter density will slightly increase performance and theoretically decrease cost, it'll slightly reduce heat and also power use too.

    On top of this Seagate offer a 5 year warranty on all drives (Hitachi may also, sorry not sure) and Seagate used to be one of the quietest available to boot. (although I hear the 7200.10's suck for noise, apparently some kind of patent issue with using low acoustic mode - hope that's sorted?)

    Anyhow, what this does mean for us end users is you'll see 2 platter, 500gb drives which weigh less, cost less, run faster and cost substantially less than the 1000mb models, also the glorious 750gb will become a 3 platter model instead of a 4 platter (my personal 'limit' is 3playtters - after that I find it too prone to noise / heat / failure rate)

    I'd say we'll see 80$ (rebate) 500gb drives within 3 months and we'll see the 750's at 169$ or something soon(ish)

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"