For the past few months we’ve only been hearing bad news reported about the hard drive sector. That’s all due to the flooding in Thailand and the impact it has had on hard drive pricing. Thankfully the flooding has receded, and manufacturing plants are coming back online. Pricing will remain high for a few months yet, but all signs point to a return to normal before the middle of next year.
If you’ve been trying to wait out the high prices before buying a new, big hard drive, the flooding may have actually been a blessing in disguise. While 3TB drives have been the biggest available until now, Hitachi has just set the bar higher with not one, but two 4TB drive announcements.
The new drives carry the names Deskstar 5K4000 and Touro Desk External Drive. As you’ve probably guessed, the 5K4000 is the 3.5-inch internal version that ships with a 32MB cache and uses CoolSpin technology to save power–a 28% saving when compared to a 7,200rpm Deskstar 7K3000. That’s a bit misleading though, as this new drive is thought to max out at 5,900rpm.
The Touro is the equivalent drive in external form and sporting a USB 3.0 connection. Hitachi also throws in an additional 3GB of cloud storage accessible through HitachiBackup.com, and the drive ships in a black, textured case.
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As with any new, high capacity drive, there is going to be a premium price applied. Where as you can get a fast 3TB drive for between $300-$350, the 5K4000 has an MSRP of $399.99. The Touro Desk is slightly more at $419.99. But remember, these prices should slide before the middle of next year, at which point competitors including Seagate , Samsung , and Western Digital will most likely have competing drives meaning prices will be squeezed even more.
Both Hitachi’s new drives should appear on the market early next year, with the Touro Desk arriving in January this year and the 5K4000 listed as Q1.