Despite the focus on immediate storage is on the solid-state drive, whenever a large backup is needed then the mechanical hard-disk drive is still reigning supreme, and the demand for data density has never been higher.  In the consumer space 4TB drives have been on sale for a while, currently for around $164 in the US or £123 in the UK.  These were four platters at 1TB each, or five platters at 800 GB each, using PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording, remember this video?).  Toshiba Electronics Europe has just announced the amalgamation of the higher platter density with the higher number of platters, in an enterprise level 5TB 3.5” 7200 RPM drive.

These new drives will fall under the MG04 heading, succeeding the MG03 range.  Some of these drives also feature Persistent Write Cache Technology, which Toshiba states improves application performance and data-loss protection.  The drives will be equipped with either 6Gb/s SAS (MG04SCA) or 6Gb/s SATA (MG04ACA) interfaces, and can also be supplied with Toshiba’s Sanitize Instant Erase (SIE) functionality.

The SIE drives have models that support either 512e or 4Kn format storage modes for modern performance or legacy applications.  The drives are quoted with a 4.17ms average latency time, 8.5-9.5ms read/write seek time and a sustained transfer speed of 205 MiB/s.  MTTF is at 1.2m hours, with idle power quoted as 6.2W, with 11.3W during read/write operations.  The internal buffer for SATA drives is set at 128 MiB, with SAS drives having 64 MiB.

No information was given about release date and pricing – given the enterprise focus that Toshiba Electronics Europe is giving this product, I would imagine the focus would turn to local Toshiba representatives for individual pricing.

Given that one other company has been quoted as using Shingled Magnetic Recording in their 5TB drives for 2014, after speaking with Kristian we are under the assumption that this is still PMR technology.  I must confess that at this point in the HDD cycle we might have 6TB 3.5” drives in the consumer market, but the recent focus on SSD consistency and a combination of overcoming physical limitations via new methods might be causes for the delay.  HGST are sampling their 6TB helium filled drives, however that technology is aimed solely at the enterprise market.  Should we get a sample in, keep your eyes peeled for a review.


Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • cjb110 - Monday, February 17, 2014 - link

    Really? You want that much data on something that can die with a complete loss of everything that was on it?
  • Concillian - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    Tooling for making / processing larger platters no longer exists. As much as anyone wants it, it's not going to happen.
  • Gnarr - Saturday, February 15, 2014 - link

    HGST already has a 6TB drive.
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - link

    It says it's the world's first hermetically sealed drive, because they've replaced the air with helium.
  • BroderLund - Saturday, February 15, 2014 - link

    LaCie, which I belive are owned by Seagate, already have 5TB drive for sale. In stock in some shops:
  • name99 - Saturday, February 15, 2014 - link

    I don't think this is genuinely for sale yet. My guess is that, in spite of what Amazon and the other shop say, if you actually order you'll be waiting for a while. La Cie, for example, advertise but say that it's out of stock (not that it's ever been in stock).
    It will ship the same time Seagate's shingled 5TB drives ship. Which is presumably some time soon this year, but who knows...
  • BroderLund - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    May be, but as far as I have seen the stock on Amazon has droped from 19 (few days ago) to 5 (when I'm writhing this).

    Fake maybe, but I dough it. Still waiting for the drives to be avalible near me, Norway. The shops in Norway are expecting shipment in early March. Time will tell.
  • Alientech - Sunday, April 6, 2014 - link

    Seagate's already shipping shingled 3TB drives. They are painfully slow and can not even be used as backup drives. When you are tying to copy 1TB of data and it says 1 day left to finish, that is just too long. It used to take like 5 hours before which itself was slow. I wonder how reliable the new disk is compared to the old one. Using this shingles should not affaet the write speeds this much. But they seem to be go in a U type bit density in a zone so the speeds vary it each zone itself unlike before where each zone was the same speed and the speeds slowed down the inner you got to the center. If WD eants to take market share all they need to do is use some other techonology that does not slow down the drive so much during writes. But heating would also slow down writes since it has to heat the path before it can write to it.
  • Jalek99 - Sunday, February 16, 2014 - link

    Toshiba? *looks at case of dead standard and AV-specific drives* No, just no.
  • ethebubbeth - Sunday, February 16, 2014 - link

    I just spent a ton redoing my personal NAS with 24x 3tb drives. People have the need for the storage.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now