Seagate’s Tidal Wave Of New Drives

Seagate shows it is not a company to do things by halves by introducing 10 new drives.

Seagate seems to be having a “Canon Moment”, having decided to introduce a whole raft of new drives at once. Let’s break them down.


Headlining the releases is the world’s first 2.5inch perpendicular hard drive (above). For a full explanation of perpendicular recording look here, but essentially it is a new way of cramming storage onto drives but arranging data vertically rather than horizontally.

Consequently, this 2.5in notebook HDD holds an industry topping 160GB and joins the company’s high end Momentus (sic) series. At 5,400rpm it’s not slow either and the company says it will produce a 7,200rpm version next year. Officially called the Momentus 5400 FDE, it will ship this winter, with prices to be announced closer to the time. A 120GB Momentus, 5,400rpm drive with Full Disc Encryption (FDE) – a technology to secure/destroy sensitive data – is released alongside it.


Probably sharing joint billing is the Barracuda 7200.9 (above), a SATAII (3Gbps), 500GB, 16MB cache monster with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). Don’t get into a fight with this one, you’ll lose! There’s no release date or pricing for it yet, and that is actually true of all products announced today including two feisty external drives.


The first is a desktop back up device with 500GB capacity, with support for USB2.0 and the new FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) interface which offers 800Mbps transfer rates. The second is a portable back up drive holding 120GB. It has USB2.0 and FireWire (IEEE 1394a) connectivity.


Moving into the super portable category we have the EE25 Series (above), a drive designed specifically for use in cars with a ruggedised design capable of withstanding temperatures from -30 to 85 degrees (which will come in useful should you be driving in the South Pole or on the Sun). No more details than that I’m afraid.


Moving along we have the ST1 Series (above), the first 8GB 1in HDD designed for use in “handheld and CompactFlash applications”. By which Seagate means the next generation of mini MP3 players (it’s just being coy). This is reasonably groovy in a once-it’s-installed-in-something kinda way.


Not to be left out, games consoles get a good seeing to via the LD25 Series (above), a low power 2.5in drive, designed to run cool and quiet and also fit in small form factor (SFF) PCs. Strangely, there’s no word on the storage capacities here, but I reckon they’ll be in the sub 100GB range.


Two more to go. The DB35 Series (yes, above!), a 500GBer for DVR and home entertainment systems with an emphasis firmly on the high def market where it should capture around 85 hours of recordings (nearly 500 on standard TV). Highly impressive is its ability to capture of to 10 simultaneous TV streams. This I’d love to see this in my Sky+ Box.

Praise the Lord, we’ve reached the end with the rather literally titled “8GB CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive” (would be above, if there was a picture released). I’m not even going to describe what it is, because it’s bleeding obvious.

No doubt Seagate will be back to give us costs and availability dates in the coming months. I’ll update you if I can find the spirit to write about and Photoshop so many hard drives in one news story again!


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