Toshiba Announces New 5 TB HDD With Advanced Format and Persistent Write Cache

Toshiba is rolling out 5 TB HDDs for serious applications next month. Toshiba primarily caters to the enterprise and OEM market, offering products on the SAS interface and SATA in various sizes.

Toshiba's MG04 series will feature 5 TB models in 3.5" form factors, with SAS and SATA models for nearline and midline attachments. Intended for applications where storage density and performance are more important than frugality. 5 TB per drive allows for more storage in the same physical space. The 7200 RPM spindle speed should help deliver higher performance, if not lower power consumption. Most 7200 RPM HDDs have approximately the same power envelope, so making a leap to 5 TB disks can lower the power use per GB of capacity in a one-to-one replacement over smaller units.
The MG04 series also touts other enterprise feature options, like persistent write cache and instant secure erasure, allowing drives to be quickly wiped. All disks will use 4 KB advanced sector formats, while also carrying support to emulate 512 byte native sectors in older systems.
While there isn't any price information at this time, it's reasonable to expect enterprise pricing (meaning, comparatively expensive). Tack on higher performance options like persistent write caching, and it's bound to get pricier. However, features, reliabilty record, and power consumption tend to weigh far more heavily in enterprise calculus, moreso than consumer products. That makes it a far easier sell for businesses, but consumers may have to wait a little longer for 5 TB disks aimed squarely at them.

SAS is generally more expensive, but also far more robust than SATA. Both models rely on 6 Gb/s signaling, though it's unclear just how much performance will be on tap. All other things being equal, more expensive SAS disks tend to experience far fewer errors in large deployments, besting more cost effective drives by an order of magnitude in downtime-related functional failures. Whether this is due entirely to SAS signaling, and not lower pricing (and margins) on SATA products is unclear. 

Interestingly, Seagate hasn't yet introducted their high-cap technology, shingled magnetic recording, which purportedly allows existing 4 TB disk technology to hit 5 TB by cleverly utilizing read and write track size disparity. Toshiba hasn't made it clear how they're getting 5 TB on the MG04 series -- which includes MG04SGA (SAS) and MG04AGA (SATA) models -- but we'll find out when we get review samples early next month.

  • dextermat
    Toshiba needs to fix their high rate failure first....
  • carnage9270
    Toshiba needs to fix their high rate failure first....
    I agree with you 100%. I won't touch these until they prove the failure rate has been rectified.
  • Tanquen
    Looks like 3.6TB drives will be the limit for some time. :( This new 4.5TB and the 5.4TB one with helium and all the extra platters is just asking for trouble.
  • bloodroses75
    From personal experience, my failure rates with Toshiba hasn't been any worse than with Western Digital or Seagate. I could just be lucky though (or unlucky depending on how you view it).
  • masmotors
    i have a toshiba 1 t.b hdd for my games and media no problems ever and has 2 years warranty i think so i trust this brand
  • segio526
    Hopefully the price of 4TB 7200 RPM drives will finally come down. My 5400 RPM Seagate backup drive is making me nervous and I would like another 4TB drive to backup my backup (can you tell I'm a bit paranoid with my data?).
  • mapesdhs
    Chris, how does the 'instant secure erase function' work? If the disk has
    the same basic type of magnetic medium as all mechanical drives, how
    can it delete data from all surfaces of all the platters in an instant? Blanking
    an index block to a file system isn't good enough.

    I've just been asked to erase some drives for a company (old SCSI with
    commercial data), so I'll use random-data fx/exe/wr-c with a full surface
    scan run twice on each drive, should do the job, but it'll take a long time
    to run. I don't see how any mechanical drive can do an instant erase.

  • thundervore
    Hmm, i have:
    4 Toshiba PH3300U 3TB (3 Yr Warranty)
    8 Toshiba PH3200U 2TB (3 Yr Warranty)
    1 Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB (2 Yr Warranty)

    All of these drives are working 100% flawless for over a year. I have the 4 3TB drives in a RAID 5 array and the 8 2TB drives bundled with another 3 2TB Samsung F4 HD204UI drives and 4 other Samsung 750GB F3 drives.

    All these drives have given me no issues and they run non stop in a windows home server.

    Segate on the other hand, I lost 8TB from my WHS in 2012 when 4 of their 2TB Barracuda LP ST32000542AS decided to start having bad sectors and realocated sectors 1 day after the warranty expired.

    So i welcome the new 5TB drives from Toshiba. If they were from Seagate, persoanlly i would avoid them like the plague.
  • patrick47018
    I don't understand the hate they get, my Toshiba HDD in my PC is going strong for about 18 months and counting running near 24/7