Rules were made to be broken; that whole 55 MPH thing happens to be my favorite. Western Digital had larger aspirations; the kinds that considered milestones. Reaching the 750GB per platter mark is definitely in the milestone category and that is what Western Digital is releasing today.
On the surface 750GB per platter doesn't really sound all that impressive unless you are really into the whole storage technology scene. Those on the outside will be more excited to hear about the milestone this way; 3TB hard drives that upon launch cost just a little over 200 USD. Do I have your attention now?
Western Digital today is releasing two new products; 2.5 and 3TB. The 3TB drive is what we will mainly focus on and it is quite impressive. Recently news spread about Seagate launching a 3TB HDD, but that uses five platters, whereas Western Digital was able to do it with just four. There are several benefits to a four platter design; cost, heat output, energy consumption and the list can go on and on with the final stopping point, reliability.
Having 3TB in a 3.5" form factor and being able to use it is another issue all together. Windows XP users are out of luck at this time; the architecture just isn't going to support anything over 2.19TB, at least for now. 32-bit users of Windows Vista and Windows 7 will only be able to utilize anything over 2.19TB as a secondary drive (i.e. not be able to boot an OS).
That leaves 64-bit users in the best position to fully utilize a larger than 2.19TB HDD, but even then you need a UEFI supported motherboard. Personally I believe this isn't a big deal since most will want to boot to a VelociRaptor or SSD and use the 3TB drive for storage purposes anyhow.
Let's take a look at the full specifications and then get into some more detail about how to get the most out of your new Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB hard drive.