Though Western Digital may now be shipping more volume, the community at large has a long memory, and in many ways, looks to Seagate to see where storage is going.
Seagate was there with the very first PC drives that used MFM encoding, and was the leader for so many changes in the hard drives we know today, including ST-506, IDE, ATA, SATA, and of course, SCSI.
Now they are releasing the 2.5” drive in sizes that will cause many to change to the smaller form factor. By combining the availability of 1 GB, 7200 RPM spindle speed, and 64 MB cache, the drives will find their way into many more computers, especially those that are moving toward smaller and smaller overall size, such as HTPCs.
The Seagate Constellation.2 hard drives feature 2.5” form factor, and SAS or SATA III interfaces. (This might see SAS coming to some high end consumer boards – wouldn’t that be nice!)
Coming in sizes of 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB, all spin at 7200 RPM – no slowing to be green, and also, because they are considered Enterprise class drives, have a self-encrypting option.
"Data center managers continue to seek out more efficient storage technologies without sacrificing performance, while still meeting capacity growth requirements," said John Rydning, research director for IDC . "Reaching the 1TB capacity in a small form factor design gives IT managers more options to meet capacity requirements with efficient storage platforms. IDC expects the use of capacity-optimized drives like Seagate’s 1TB Constellation.2 to increase by more than 50% from 2010 to 2014."
Nothing is stated about the use of advanced formatting [4k sector], but since these are industry leading drives, it is probably included.
No doubt Western Digital will soon release a counter to these, along with Hitachi, and probably Fujitsu, then we’ll have a race once again!