First spotted in the bylanes of the Akihabara district of Tokyo last week, Hitachi's uber-capacious Deskstar 4 Terabyte internal hard drives were finally announced to the world today. Along with it, Hitachi also announced its Touro avatar, a portable HDD that makes use of one of these drives.
Increasing hard drive capacities are inevitable, but these are turbulent times in the hard drive industry, with a huge chunk of it gone for a swim in the recent Thailand floods. Hitachi got ahead of bigger players Western Digital and Seagate in being the first HDD vendor with an internal hard drive with 4 TB of unformatted capacity. Incidentally, Hitachi was also the first to market with a 1 TB HDD.
The Deskstar 4 TB (model number: HDS5C4040ALE630) is part of the 5K4000 series. It is based on the standard 3.5-inch form-factor, and features a SATA 6 Gbps interface. It is designed more with storage in mind, with a spindle-speed in the range of 5400 RPM. As the picture might show you, it packs 5 platters and 10 recording surfaces. The 5400 RPM design brings about energy efficiency of about 28 percent compared to a hypothetical similarly-specc'd 7200 RPM drive. Naturally lower spindle speeds also contribute to lower noise. The Deskstar 5K4000 4 TB packs 32 MB of fast cache, which should take advantage of the 6 Gb/s interface bandwidth for high burst speeds.
The next launch from Hitachi is the Touro 4 TB, a portable hard drive that packs the Deskstar 5K4000 launched today. Measuring 129mm (W) x 183mm (H) x 60mm (D), this drive provides you capacities that could only be achieved by portable HDDs twice its volume, because they needed two internal drives to achieve its capacity. The new drive takes advantage of the new USB 3.0 SuperSpeed interface to ensure there are no interface bottlenecks, and that its performance is nearly on par with that of the Deskstar running inside your computer.
The Deskstar 5K4000 4 TB is priced at US $399.99, and is released to retail markets in limited quantities (go figure!). It will be released to OEMs in early 2012. The Touro 4 TB, on the other hand, will be released to the retail channel in January 2012, and will be priced at $419.99.