Western Digital prepares 5 TB hard drives, to launch them in 2013
The increase in hard drive capacity will keep on going with Western Digital releasing the first 5 TB hard drives in late 2013.
According to a slide that presumably comes from a Western Digital roadmap, the company prepares WD Green 4 TB (WD40EZRX) and WD Red 4 TB (WD40EFRX) drives for release in Q3 2013, with two 5 TB models – WD Green 5 TB (WD50EZRX) and WD Red 5 TB (WD50EFRX) hitting the market sometime in Q4 2013. All upcoming WD drives will spin between 5400 rpm and 5900 rpm and will be optimized for large capacities, low power consumption and operation in RAID mode but will not provide the maximum performance possible.
The interesting question that remains is whether WD will use four 1.25 TB platters in its 5 TB models or five 1 TB platters. Lower platter count usually increases performance and decreases failure rate and heat output so it may be a good idea to put four 1.25 TB platters inside – if they get ready by Q4 2013.
Progress in the hard drive field has been slowing in the past few years – there are just two hard drive manufacturers now – WD and Seagate – and both companies had to resolve numerous issues related to the Thailand floods of the year 2011.