It's a sign of how fast the technology industry moves that no sooner had Hitachi broken unprecedented ground by releasing the first 1TB hard drive, people were already talking about who would be first to 2TB. Well, it actually took a little longer than some predicted but, almost 18 months later we have the answer. A round of applause please for Western Digital (WD)!
Right, that's the fanfare out the way, now let's get down to seeing if this new drive is any good.
For those of you still a little unsure, 2TB (terabytes) is the same as 2,000GB (gigabytes). It's the equivalent storage of nearly 450 DVDs or 40 dual layer Blu-ray discs and could accommodate roughly 500,000 MP3s, or 700,000 digital photos. In short, it's more storage than most of us could ever conceive of needing. Unless, that is, you're into video editing. In which case, you can never get enough.
There are, of course, countless other uses for large hard drives if you're in the professional sector but for most home users, video's about all you could need such a large disk for. Regardless, whatever your reasons for wanting a 2TB hard drive, this is your only option at the moment so let's see how it fairs.
The Caviar 2TB heads up WD's low-power, Green, line of drives and as such it won't be competing for any performance medals. While this may seem a little odd, it actually makes perfect sense for a few reasons.
First, all high capacity drives end up having to compromise performance to a greater or lesser extent simply because faster hard drives require more robust hardware, which generally leaves less room for the data platters themselves.
Secondly, although well tested, this is still brand new technology so it makes sense to reduce the risk of failure even further by ensuring the drive will be running in the coolest, quietest manner possible.
Thirdly, when you consider the applications such high capacity drives are likely to be used for, speed is generally not a key consideration. Corporate mass data storage, NAS appliances, secondary hard drives for storing all that home video, in nearly all these situations, the drive is only used occasionally and when it is used it's not going to be the performance bottleneck, in which case it wants to be as low power as possible.