It's no secret that Solid State Drives have taken over and cornered the desktop market as far as OS drives are concerned. With this transition, platter based drives have been relegated to mass storage, whether it be as a secondary drive in a desktop system, or in a home server or NAS.
Seagate recently upped the ante in terms of raw storage capacity releasing the next generation of desktop 3.5" drives. This latest drive out of the Seagate camp packs four terabytes into a single 3.5" form factor, and with pricing sitting around $190 or just over four cents per GB, it's also one of the most affordable drives in existence.
To accomplish this high capacity low-cost drive, Seagate shipped the Desktop HDD .15 with a slower 5900RPM spindle speed, which isn't too surprising, as we typically see new platter technologies released at slower speeds before they are ramped up at a later date. Don't think that this slow spindle speed is going to hold back the performance of the .15 though, as its areal density sits at the top of the market at 625GB/sq. in.
This means that the same amount of data is passed through the head in one revolution at 5900RPM compared to what goes through the head of the WD Black at 7200RPM with its 400GB/sq. in areal density.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Taking a look over the specifications for the Desktop HDD .15, we find that Seagate has supplied the drive with a generous 64MB cache. SATA compatibility extends from generation one at 1.5GB/s to the latest Gen 3 at 6GB/s with NCQ. Seagate has spec'd out the drive for an average seek of 8.5ms read and 9.5ms write, followed closely by an average read/write data rate of 146MB/s. Moving further down you will find that the mechanics of this drive are controlled by 8 heads with 4 platters using native advanced format 4K sectors.
Power consumption figures for the .15 list a two amp startup draw with 7.5 watts used during normal operation. At idle the drive drops to 5 watts with standby consuming just 0.75 watts.
Newegg at the time of writing has the Desktop HDD .15 in the 4TB capacity listed and in stock at $189.99 or 0.475 cents per GB. The Desktop HDD .15 comes in both retail and bare drive forms and is covered under Seagate's two year warranty.