Seagate unveiled a 60TB solid state hard drive this week, dethroning Samsung as maker of the world’s highest-capacity SSD.
The drive, intended for use in enterprise data centers, is 45TB larger than Samsung’s PM1633a, which began shipping in March. Both drives use the Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface for compatibility with servers, which means they won’t work in the average PCI-based home PC.
Seagate achieved the gargantuan storage capacity of its new SSD by making it twice as dense as the Samsung device. It can accommodate 400 million social media-sized photos, or 12,000 DVD movies. It’s currently just a prototype, but Seagate plans to put it into production next year.
Seagate also boasts that its drive features the lowest cost per gigabyte of any flash storage product currently available. It won’t say what that cost is, though it will likely vary depending on contracts Seagate has with its enterprise customers. The highest-capacity consumer SSD, a 4TB Samsung 850 EVO, costs a cool $1,500.
While packing 60TB into a single SSD might sound like overkill—plenty of cheaper servers run just fine on much cheaper conventional drives—Seagate is planning for a future when artificial intelligence and cloud storage will demand that data centers to be capable of quickly processing immense amounts of throughput.
“The explosion of data can translate into more value for enterprises, if they have the right means to accommodate that data,” Brett Pemble, Seagate’s vice president of SSD products, said in a statement. “If anything is certain, it’s the fact that across industries, the limits of data growth are boundless.”
SAMSUNG TOO HAVE NOT BEEN LEFT BEHIND
The 850 EVO, first introduced in 2014, popped up for sale last week in a 4TB configuration at some online retailers with no official announcement from Samsung. Today, however, the Korean electronics giant updated its EVO product page with the larger drive. It also comes in 500GB, 250GB, 120GB, 1TB, and 2TB versions.
There are few consumers for whom the drive’s capacity and speed will offset its astronomical price, but if you are one of them, you can pre-order yours now and expect it to ship on July 31. Just make sure you’re home for the delivery guy; Amazon understandably requires a signature.
There are larger SSDs, of course. Samsung claims that a 16TB model it began shipping in March is actually the world’s highest-capacity SSD, though that one uses a 12Gb/s SAS interface designed for use in enterprise storage systems, not consumer desktops or portables.
There are also faster SSDs: the 850 EVO and its Pro version both use SATA interfaces, whose throughput can’t match the likes of M.2 or PCIe.
Nevertheless, Samsung positions its 850 EVO series as premium consumer SSDs with premium prices to match, though the smallest 120GB model is available for around $70 on Amazon. The drives feature Samsung’s Triple Layer Cell NAND memory-chip technology, along with V-NAND technology, which uses 3D cell stacking to fit more memory into a smaller space.
They also come with a five-year warranty, beating most other drive warranties by a year or more. Ultimately, though, hard drive warranties should be a minor factor in the buying decision since they’ll replace the drive if it fails, but they can’t replace your valuable data.