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Western Digital to Unveil 2 TB HDD this Week

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

With High Definition content being stored on hard drives more and more frequently, and the latest games having increasingly large installations, hard drive space fills up quickly. Western Digital comes to the rescue with the first 2 TB hard drive expected to launch later this week.

The WD20EADS will be part of Western Digital's Caviar Green series. It will have 32 MB of cache, a seek time of 8.9ms and will run at either 5400RPM or 7200RPM. The drive is expected to have four 500 GB platters.

Information about the WD20EADS first appeared when online retailer Czech Computer listed it on their website back in December 2008, however they have not indicated any stock up to this point.

MSRP is not yet known, but rumours are pointing to retail prices of about $210-240, making it slightly more expensive than a pair of drives in the lower end of the 1TB price range. We'll know the price soon enough when the drive hits the shelves later this week.

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  • 2 Hide
    Pei-chen , January 13, 2009 12:23 PM
    Be aware that Intel storage controllers and windows do not recognize volumes over 2TB so if you RAID 0 two 2TB drives, the max single volume is 2TB and you have to partition the drive in order to use the other 2TB.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , January 13, 2009 12:47 PM
    Honestly I didn't know that, I run 4 500gb drives in a raid0 pulling just 1.8TB (I guess I am safe lol). I paid 60$ per drive and get performance just under some of the lower end SSD's. My real reason for commenting though is instead of a 2TB drive why not another 1TB drive with say 16gb of "cache". Come up with cache management software that will allow applications or OS to be stored there. I know these Hybrids are on their way, but come on they should be here by now... Especially knowing they basically hit the ceiling of main stream capacity.
  • 0 Hide
    p05esto , January 13, 2009 1:02 PM
    Glad to see the 2TB, my NAS fills up everytime I get a larger drive... and I really don't want to RAID stuff together if I can help it. 2TB makes me drool. Hope Windows 7 allows for larger drives than 2TB, how was that missed in Vista (assuming post above is true)?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 13, 2009 1:37 PM
    "Be aware that Intel storage controllers and windows do not recognize volumes over 2TB so if you RAID 0 two 2TB drives, the max single volume is 2TB and you have to partition the drive in order to use the other 2TB."

    How is that? I currently have a 2.5TB RAID 0 partition on an ICH9R. I can't boot from it, yes, but I still can store on it without extra partitioning.
  • 0 Hide
    stuckintexas , January 13, 2009 1:49 PM
    Every Windows OS from XP 64-bit on supports GPT in some form, which allows for volumes over 2TB. On an earlier version of Win7, I had an array formatted in GPT that was 12TB. You can also get RAID cards that support variable sector size. With a 4k VSS, you can get 16TB in a single volume under any OS.
  • 0 Hide
    killerb255 , January 13, 2009 1:53 PM
    Once you go over 2 TB, you have to use the GPT partitioning scheme.

    Caveats to GPT:
    1) Can't boot from it unless you have an EFI motherboard. EFI is the successor to the BIOS.
    2) Have to have Windows Vista, Server 2008, or Windows 7 to boot from GPT. Macs already use EFI and GPT. The Linux community is probably on top of this already.
    3) You can have a GPT data drive in Windows XP x64, Server 2003 x64 (and maybe x86 as well), Vista, Server 2008, and 7. You don't need an EFI motherboard for this. 32-bit XP DOES NOT support GPT!
  • 0 Hide
    gwolfman , January 13, 2009 2:16 PM
    Pei-chenBe aware that Intel storage controllers and windows do not recognize volumes over 2TB so if you RAID 0 two 2TB drives, the max single volume is 2TB and you have to partition the drive in order to use the other 2TB.

    You can, just use GPT partitions instead of MBR and use the appropriate OS, XP x64, Vista x64, or Vista 32 w/ SP1.
  • 0 Hide
    aevm , January 13, 2009 2:18 PM
    These drives will probably have 2*10^12 bytes, i.e. 1.819 TB. Since that's under 2 TB, does it mean I can use one of those in XP 32-bit? I don't need to boot from it, just for storage.
  • 1 Hide
    bf2gameplaya , January 13, 2009 4:34 PM
    aevmThese drives will probably have 2*10^12 bytes, i.e. 1.819 TB. Since that's under 2 TB, does it mean I can use one of those in XP 32-bit? I don't need to boot from it, just for storage.


    Yes, you can use a 2TB (NTFS) drive with Windows XP Pro 32-bit.

    The greater than 2TB HDD with Windows XP Pro 32-bit limitation is with the partition tables size in the MBR, not with NTFS which can have up to 16TB or even 256TB HDDs depending on cluster size.
  • 3 Hide
    Pei-chen , January 13, 2009 4:57 PM
    I should clear up that I meant a 2TB+ bootable volume.
  • 0 Hide
    aevm , January 13, 2009 5:21 PM
    Thanks guys! That sounds really good.
  • 0 Hide
    cjl , January 14, 2009 5:39 AM
    This is nice to see, and the Seagate one (7200.12) should be out soon as well. It'll be interesting to see how they perform.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , January 19, 2009 7:45 AM
    So where's the drive? New week, and I quite consider shelling out money for this drive. I don't care about the performance anymore. My raid 5 consisting of 5 500gb drives keeps failing and rebuilding, and the controller refuses to tell me which drive is broken. With one of those drives, I could move all of my raid 5 data over to it, and test the other drives for faults individually. I'd lose my 'raid 5 safety feature' but since it keeps degrading and recovering there's no point in it anyway.

    ps. I'd hope for seagate that they've sorted out their drives! I'm known to complain about seagate, but I do believe I have a right to do so at this point. Just today I rebooted a DL180 that I installed thursday last week. And the raid controller greeted me with this text: "Slot 6 Drive Array - Unrecoverable Media Errors Detected on Drives during previous Rebuild or Background Surface Analysis (ARM) scan." That's a brand new array of 1TB seagate drives (hp branded) that I just received last week! so much for huge MTBF ...
    Oh well. Could be worse.
  • 0 Hide
    gsteacy , January 19, 2009 8:01 AM
    neiroatopelccSo where's the drive?

    I'm curious about that too. Expreview/Fudzilla may have got their info wrong, which is not uncommon. It's not listed on WD's site yet. :( 
  • 0 Hide
    gsteacy , January 20, 2009 7:27 AM
    It's still not on the WD site, but it is here:

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-263-WD
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , January 20, 2009 7:33 AM
    Yes indeed. I'll just have to wait till it's available in germany or denmark, as I don't want to pay extra for shipping across borders.
    But at least we now know it's actually on the way.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 24, 2009 2:53 PM
    Can someone confirm to me if this HDD will have 5400 or 7200 RPM?

    And how about using into our motherboards and SATA controller cards? Will it be compatible? My MB is ABIT IP35 Pro. And the SATA controller card should be "Rosewill RC-216 PCI Express eSATA II x 2 / ATA 133 x1 RAID 0/1/0+1/JBOD/ un-RAID mode Controller Card - Retail", with 2 slots.
  • 0 Hide
    liquidmonkey , January 25, 2009 4:04 AM
    thanks 4that link!!!

    does anyone know if the prices of the 1TB drives will drop and when?
    it would be good to get the 2TB drives but i'd rather wait and c if there are any problems and get a better deal on the 1TB drives instead :) 

    and i'm surprised they would release a GREEN version before a BLACK version, any thoughts?
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , January 27, 2009 11:55 AM
    neiroatopelccI'm known to complain about seagate, but I do believe I have a right to do so at this point. Just today I rebooted a DL180 that I installed thursday last week. And the raid controller greeted me with this text: "Slot 6 Drive Array - Unrecoverable Media Errors Detected on Drives during previous Rebuild or Background Surface Analysis (ARM) scan." That's a brand new array of 1TB seagate drives (hp branded) that I just received last week! so much for huge MTBF ...Oh well. Could be worse.


    Yay! Now the server is dead! While one drive still has the error mentioned above, the other is completely dead and doesn't even show up in the list or turn on the orange warning light. Guess firmware HPG6 has the same flaw as the official seagate consumer drives.

    Gosh I hate seagate.
  • 0 Hide
    aevm , January 27, 2009 12:41 PM
    Sorry to hear that, man...

    In other news, the Inquirer says the new 2TB WD drives will cost US$299.
    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/653/1050653/biggest-hard-drive-world-arrives
    Still no sign of the new drives on Newegg :( 

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