Seagate launches ultra-cheap 8TB Archive drive

December 9, 2014 // 11:41 a.m.

Tags: #5tb #6tb #8tb #far-line-storage #hard-drive #mechanical-drive #seagate #seagate-archive #spinning-platter #spinning-rust #ssd

Seagate has announced pricing for its latest enterprise-targeted hard drives, offering an 8TB capacity for just $260 - a fraction of the cost of the equivalent capacity from rival HGST.

With solid-state storage devices having easily won the performance war, spinning-rust manufacturers have begun competing on capacity. Currently, the major contenders are in a race to 10TB and while none have yet reached those heady heights in a commercial implementation, both Seagate and Western Digital's wholly-owned HGST subsidiary have launched single 3.5" drives boasting an 8TB capacity into the market. Where HGST's 8TB unit uses a novel helium filling and costs nearly £700, however, Seagate's offering has pricing significantly more down-to-earth.

Seagate's new Archive family uses Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) to hit a new areal density high of 1.33 terabytes per platter. Launching in 8TB, 6TB and 5TB flavours, the drives are aimed at enterprise use but as the name suggests not as a high-speed near-line storage option. Instead, Seagate is hoping the drives will find favour as far-line storage where speed is less important, hence their 5,900rpm spindle speed. Backed by a 128MB cache, Seagate's own figures claim a 150MB/s average throughput - although this may be impacted by use of the Secure variants, which pack a hardware encryption chip at additional cost.

The real headline-grabbing feature of the new Archive drives is the cost. Retailers have begun listing the 8TB variant ahead of January availability, costing as little as $260 from US retailers and around €260 from European retailers. While UK pricing is not yet available, a conversion from Euros allowing for VAT and import overheads suggests a launch price of around £250 - far less than HGST's similar-capacity though far-faster 8TB equivalent at £685.20, and a price which may put them within the reach of enthusiast users looking for high-capacity storage to sit alongside a high-performance SSD.

UK launch pricing and availability for the Seagate Archive drives has yet to be confirmed. More information is available on the company's official website.

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