Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Western Digital ships first helium-filled 6TB 3.5-inch hard drives

Western Digital ships first helium-filled 6TB 3.5-inch hard drives
Thread Tools
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2013, 04:20 PM
 
Western Digital today announced that after a year in development, it is shipping the 6TB Ultrastar He6 enterprise-class hard disk drive. Taking advantage of the inherent benefits of helium, which is one-seventh the density of air, the new Ultrastar He6 drive features Western Digital's 7Stac disk design with 6TB, making it the world's highest-capacity HDD aimed at cloud storage, massive scale deployments, disk-to-disk backup, and replicated or RAID environments in a data center environment.

Normal 3.5-inch hard drives, while sealed against dust impingement, are still blanketed in air. The helium-filled and hermetically-sealed drive dramatically reduces the turbulence caused by the spinning disk, cuts power consumption and results in a lower temperature within the disk drive.

With 6TB, 5.3 idle watts, running at 4C-5C cooler than air-filled HDDs, with a weight of 640g and using either SATA or SAS connections, the new Ultrastar He6 lowers data center costs on virtually every level. Key benefits when compared to a 3.5-inch, five-platter, air-filled 4TB drive include 23 percent lower idle power per drive , 49 percent better watts-per-TB, and the best data density in a standard 3.5-inch form factor.

The 6TB HGST Ultrastar He6 hard drives will be available in the next few days. Drive pricing is not available, and will be tied to commodity pricing of helium -- a resource that is rapidly dwindling.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Nov 5, 2013 at 12:29 AM. )
     
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2013, 04:27 PM
 
Drive pricing tied to helium price? Now how much helium are they really putting inside the drives? It can't really fluctuate THAT much to make a significant price difference of the drives.
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: loc
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2013, 04:52 PM
 
Excuse me if I'm not an early adopter on this one...
Just sayin'
     
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2013, 04:56 PM
 
Helium filled.....that's unusual and interesting. That enclosure is better super air-tight.
     
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2013, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post
Drive pricing tied to helium price? Now how much helium are they really putting inside the drives? It can't really fluctuate THAT much to make a significant price difference of the drives.
There are a couple of different grades of helium. The cheap stuff in balloons is essentially recycled helium with all manners of impurities. The grade in these drives is the top-shelf stuff which a few years ago was a MINIMUM of $5.77 per cubic meter. Its more now. There's probably a significant quantity of gas lost per drive in the factory as well.

We'll see with time, I guess.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2013, 07:44 PM
 
Helium? Huh? I would like WD to fully embrace SSD and get on with it.
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 5, 2013, 02:05 AM
 
I don't want my hard drive floating away.
     
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 5, 2013, 11:00 AM
 
The helium shortage is no joke: MRI and various manufacturing processes use a lot more than we used to, making it much more expensive for lab uses. Congress has gotten the US government out of and more recently back into the act of stockpiling helium, but it's not clear that will provide a long-term fix.

http://phys.org/news/2013-04-probing-helium.html#inlRlv

http://phys.org/news/2013-09-congress-avert-helium-shortage.html
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 5, 2013, 02:05 PM
 
In my opinion FWIW, just because a product CAN be made doesn't mean it should be. Surely they could have found a way to improve the operating environment inside a mechanical device that has a life expectancy of 3-5 years without using a vanishing and irreplaceable (at this time) natural resource. In the big picture, it does not seem like a very bright move. I can only hope other hard disk manufacturers do not follow suite.
Earth is Heaven in Drag.
     
   
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:03 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2015 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2