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Seagate Ships World's Thinnest 2TB Laptop Drive

By - Source: Seagate | B 19 comments

This drive measures 9.5 mm thick.

On Tuesday Seagate said that it's now shipping the industry's thinnest 2 TB hard drive for notebooks, the Spinpoint M9T, measuring just 9.5 mm thick. The drive is manufactured in China under the company's Samsung hard disk drive (HDD) division, reportedly sporting the highest platter density of any 2.5 inch hard drive to date, with 667 GB of capacity per platter.

"The M9T combines the highest areal density shipping in a single storage device with an innovative design that fits into mainstream notebook applications. While other 2TB solutions on the market are 15 mm thick, the vast majority of mobile devices are designed to use a 9.5 mm drive; with the M9T, those devices can now have 2TB of storage, enabling a richer computing experience," said Dave Frankovich, senior product line manager, Samsung HDD.

For the uninitiated, Seagate bought Samsung Electronics' hard drive business back in December 2011, gaining "select elements" including Samsung's M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs, the employees and infrastructure. At the time, N.Y. Park, senior vice president and general manager, would oversee Seagate's product development activities in Korea and serve as country manager of the Korea design center, reporting to Bob Whitmore, Seagate's executive vice president and CTO.

"Seagate is supplying disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics devices," Seagate's press release stated in 2011. "Samsung is supplying its market-leading semiconductor products for use in Seagate's enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), solid-state hybrid drives and other products. The companies have also extended and enhanced their existing patent cross-license agreement and have expanded cooperation to co-develop enterprise storage solutions."

Although there are 2 TB notebook drives already on the market, these measure either 12.5 mm or 15 mm in thickness. Frankovich told Computerworld that the industry has built three- and four-platter drives before, but typically a three-disk drive would be in a 12.5 mm thickness and a four-disk drive would be in a 15 mm thickness.

"So they kind of got relegated to external drives at that thickness. This is really the first time you're seeing this capacity in the mainstream 9 mm form factor," he said. Frankovich also added that Seagate was able to increase its platter areal density by creating a dual-stage actuator head. One head is used for read and writes, and the other is for keeping the actuator arm secure and in place.

The Spinpoint M9T will also arrive in a 1.5 TB flavor, and both will pack microactuation, a SATA 3 interface for speeds up to 6 Gbps, along with NoiseGuard and SilentSeek technologies to deliver ultra-quiet operation. The drives also use 2.3 watts of power during read/write operations, and 0.7 watts while idling.

The Spinpoint M9T hard drive is currently available in the Samsung Portable product line, which includes the M3 Portable and P3 Portable external drives, as well as with select partners. Pricing is not available, as this drive is sold directly to equipment manufacturers.

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  • 7 Hide
    jimmysmitty , November 6, 2013 3:54 PM
    That's nice but I can't wait till SSDs catch up in size and price. Most laptops only have one HDD slot and a SSD is amazing for its speed and also low power use.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , November 6, 2013 4:13 PM
    The M3 and P3 portables will offer these drives soon.
    Newegg list the 2TB as Out of Stock.

    When the M-P 3s are available then I can extract it and pop it into my Laptop
  • 0 Hide
    lp231 , November 6, 2013 8:11 PM
    Some laptop have 2 HDD slots, but it only has it, when it's customized with RAID drives.
  • 1 Hide
    xiinc37 , November 6, 2013 8:25 PM
    667GB per platter (4.9 square inches) is a higher density than the 1TB per platter (9.6 square inches) seen on new 3.5" drives. not counting for the motor of course, but I'm guessing the sizes of those are proportional.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , November 6, 2013 9:54 PM
    It's amazing that these new drives only uses 2.3 watts during operation. Not too shabby for a mechanical drive.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 6, 2013 11:21 PM
    @xiinc37 yes historically 2.5" laptop platters are 1/2 the capacity of 3.5" platters, for instance 500GB instead of 1TB/platter. Having 667GB per platter is the first of it's kind.
    Impressive but wonder if it'll become a hybrid hard drive option sooner rather than later.
  • 1 Hide
    cats_Paw , November 7, 2013 12:30 AM
    While this is indeed nice, Id love an improvment in laptop battery life.
    I got a gaming laptop and if unpluged from the socket wall, it changes automaticly to a non-gaming laptop, not to mention the battery is about 1 hour 30 minutes only.

  • 1 Hide
    JackFrost860 , November 7, 2013 2:45 AM
    thats amazing; but SSD's are the future.
  • 0 Hide
    JackFrost860 , November 7, 2013 2:48 AM
    and not SATA connected SSD's, but PCI Express SSD's. 800GB+ per second i've seen these operate in the wild. There is no going back to mechanical media.
  • 0 Hide
    JackFrost860 , November 7, 2013 2:49 AM
    sorry 800+ MB per second, not GB. My bad!
  • 0 Hide
    legendp2011 , November 7, 2013 6:00 AM
    I would rethink that "JackFrost860" with hdd possibly offering 40tb of space in the next couple of years.
  • 0 Hide
    aktomjerry , November 7, 2013 10:36 AM
    If the drive has a platter to spin , it will give u trouble in future with bad sectors and who knows what else .
    so companies even if u make a "paper thin HDD" , still not good enough . Better work on SSDs...
  • 0 Hide
    thundervore , November 7, 2013 11:04 AM
    At first glance i thought it was great. Then i saw Seagate and said F this and F them with their 1 year warranty.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , November 7, 2013 11:19 AM
    I'd love to see the Surface Pro 3 implement these hard drives. Microsoft has given us a laptop replacement tablet, let's get some laptop replacement storage to go with it!
  • 0 Hide
    AJSB , November 7, 2013 12:33 PM
    My experience with HDDs is that since 1994 i NEVER had a issue with a HDD failure...and yes, one of them was deactivated only this year and was running since 1994.

    OTOH, i heard a LOT of horror stories about SSDs.

    SSDs won't catch up with HDDs any time SSDs increase in capacity, so will HDDs.

    Let's not even talk about price per GB....

    Notice that as SSDs density increases , lot's of problems with data retention are creeping in....a lot more problems than with HDDs.

    However, i also like SSDs....for example to run OS and apps from it , a nice 120GB SSD/mSATA is ideal....complement that with a nice high capacity HDD for storage and you get it right....

  • 0 Hide
    AJSB , November 7, 2013 12:36 PM
    ...and a 2TB 2.5" 9.5mm thick HDD was precisely what i need for my mITX new build, so hurry up Seagate and release it to consumers ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , November 7, 2013 5:38 PM
    @AJSB your just lucky i own a computer store ever since the floods most hard drives i order both Seagate and WD fail before 1 year past 3 years i have sent back dozens of drives the drives they sent back fail before 30 days at 100% failure rate.
    I sold about 50 ssd's not one single drive has been returned.
    I see hard drive failure every day on average i repair 4 computers a day most hard drive failures are laptop hard drives.
  • 0 Hide
    AngelAyala , November 8, 2013 9:55 AM
    I believe you when you say you repair a lot of hard drives and that a majority of those are from notebooks or laptops. I am a repair technician too and I see the same thing. That is becuase people are stupid and move their laptops and notebooks around while they are running or they drop them or dont even bother to be gentle with them when moving and setting down. Ive only ever had 1 of my personal hard drives crash on me. In a desktop that I had for years and served as my main source of downloading and burning. That drive had to have been like 8 years old or more.
  • 0 Hide
    shompa , November 15, 2013 1:37 AM
    Laptops/computers with 2 slots could use 1 SSD and 1HD. Maybe one day MSFT/Intel will manage to get Fusion like performene on Windows.
    I have a couple of macs with Fusion (1 SSD/1HD). Beside benchmarks you can't "feel" that you use a non pure SSD drive. Apple have at least some logic where they put the OS on the SSD.
    My PC laptops with SSD caching. 1) MSFT don't put the OS on the SSD. 2) You loose the space of the caching drive (you don't loose any space in Fusion) 3) Performance is horrible quick. Just one bigger file copy: it starts ok but after just 10-15 secs the performance goes down below a pure HD config.

    To bad that Thunderbolt is so expensive. (and remember, TB was Intels purposed USB3 standard. We could all have this great technology today). USB3 is not 100% stable. Anyone that have tried to put main working hard drive over USB3 will see that Windows drops connection to it sometimes. Especially at USB resets.

    TB is a pure PCIe standard. Its 100% stable = you can put working/live filesystems on it.

    The point being: Laptops/computers with 2x2TB standard hard drives + TB 500 gig SSD = you get SSD performance 90% of the time + have 4.5 terra space. Enough to have media library and workspace.