Hitachi Global Storage Technologies this week officially confirmed the release of the world's first and only internal hard disk drives (HDDs) with 4TB capacity. In addition, the firm unveiled a new external hard drive that can store 4TB of data. At least for a while, 4TB hard drives will only feature 5400rpm speed and will thus not offer really high performance.
Hitachi GST Deskstar 4TB hard disk drives (model 5K4000) have 32MB cache, use Serial ATA-III (SATA-600) interface and utilize 4KB advanced format. The Deskstar 4TB hard drives use CoolSpin technology that promises to reduce power consumption. Actual spindle speed of CoolSpin-based drives is not published, but some estimate that it is 5900rpm.
The CoolSpin technology, along with other Hitachi power management techniques, gives the Deskstar 5K4000 up to a 28% idle power savings over Deskstar 7K3000 7200rpm drives and an idle acoustic level of only 2.5 bels, according to Hitachi. However, drives with 5900rpm spindle speed sport greatly lower performance compared to those with 7200rpm speed.
Hitachi GST will officially be shipping its Deskstar 5K4000 (bare drives and bulk pack) to OEMs, distributors and channel partners worldwide in Q1 2012. Some stores already sell the 4TB drives. The new 4TB Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 hard drive retail kit is currently shipping in limited quantities to online and retail stores with a suggested retail price of $399.99.
Hitachi GST also unveiled Touro Desk External Drive 4TB which is powered by Deskstar 5K4000 and featuresfast USB 3.0 interface. The external 4TB drive will be available in January for $419.99 MSRP.