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The world’s top maker of hard disk drives, Seagate Technology, announced Thursday that it had begun to ship its 1TB (1000GB) hard disk drive (HDD). Although the milestone capacity from Seagate is available months after similar hard disk was released by its rival Hitachi, Seagate can still claim technology leadership in areal density.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 uses four 250GB platters and features 7200rpm motor, 16MB cache as well as Serial ATA-300 interface with native command queuing. Other specs have not been announced, but it is highly likely that they are similar to other HDDs from the Barracuda 7200.10 family, e.g., average latency of the drive is 4.16ms, whereas maximum power consumption is 13W.

Unlike Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB hard drive, which uses 5 platters and 10 heads, Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 1TB has only four platters and 8 heads. The reduced number of platters is a result of higher areal density that Seagate can achieve – 180Gb per square inch vs. 148Gb per square inch that the rival could make.

Surprisingly, but despite of using fewer disks and heads compared to Hitachi’s 1TB hard drive, the newcomer does not seem to be able to boast with substantial power savings (13W vs. 13.6W of Hitachi’s HDD) and acoustic levels (2.8bels/3.7bels in idle/seek modes vs. 2.9bels/3.2bels of Hitachi’s HDD) when compared to its predecessor*.

Currently Seagate positions its 1000GB device for gaming, entertainment and multimedia enthusiasts at their homes, but later on the firm also plans to release similar products among its enterprise, consumer electronics and external hard drives product lines.

Pricing of the newcomer was not announced, but, given that 1TB hard drive is a milestone for storage industry, the Barracuda 7200.10 1TB will not be an affordable solution. For example, Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB has manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of $399, whereas a recently introduced WD Caviar SE16 GL188 750GB has MSRP of $249.

“Seagate remains focused on leading the hard drive’s pivotal transition to perpendicular recording technology and maintaining our areal density leadership in order to meet our customers’ growing storage capacity and reliability needs. This product's leading areal density epitomizes our efforts to deliver technologies that are unmatched in allowing organizations and consumers to store, protect and share digital content,” said Brian Dexheimer, chief sales and marketing officer for Seagate.

*Due to the fact that Seagate did not release much technical data concerning 1TB hard drive at launch, it was only possible to compare similarly configure Barracuda 7200.10 750GB against Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB.

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