It was only 12 months ago when hard drive manufacturers brought out 3TB drives. Now Seagate have announced the world first 4TB SATA drive. It does come in an external drive case, so if your eyeing it with the thought of adding it to your RAID array, you’ll need to crack open the case first.
Despite launching a year ago, most of us don’t own 3TB drives, as the price point at the top of the market isn’t usually good value for money. Take the 4TB drive for instance, to achieve the same amount of storage, 2x2TB drives will be much better value for a long time to come. There are of course specific use cases where having the largest drive available makes sense.
Take a storage server for example, or home-built WHS, data-hungry households or business will need as much storage capacity as they can. With only limited drive bays available, it makes sense that each drive is as big as you can go, remembering this will come at a premium.
One important point for those WHS users, the maximum drive size supported by the likes of a HP MediaSmart Server is 2TB. This means your 4 bays top out at 8TB max, however this is an external drive, you may be able to connect it via eSata or USB and make use of the extra storage. Without having done this personally, I’d be checking for pioneers online that have walked that road before you, prior to dropping the cash on the new 4TB drive.
Expect WHS2011 and other storage systems like Drobo to support the drives, with more modern, or updated operating systems and storage controllers being aware larger drives exist. Naturally with that much data, you’ll need a way to transfer huge volumes of data quickly, so the drive supports USB3.0. On the Mac side the story isn’t so great. Nope this isn’t a thunderbolt drive, as such uses USB2.0 or Firewire800 instead.