In a serendipitous store find in Japan this week, a happy customer chanced upon one of Hitachi’s quiet releases – a 4TB internal hard drive. It’s hard to find 3TB naked drives, let alone a 4TB like Seagate’s external-only. It’s Japan-only for now, thanks to the regional flooding.
Running at 5900RPM, the “CoolSpin” drive is Hitachi’s answer to WD’s Green Power technology. That means that it won’t have quite the performance of something like a Western Digital Caviar Black or a Seagate Barracuda. It will use a little less power, though, and generate a bit less heat and noise.
The major reason why we haven’t seen many internal hard drives beyond 2TB get sold is due to a limitation within the BIOS software that helps to load and run most computers. Until recently, with the advent of EFI, computers had a hard time dealing with disk sizes greater than 2TB – extra space would be wasted, if the drive was recognized at all, and Windows couldn’t use one as a boot drive. Things are a bit easier now, though some manufacturers devised stopgap solutions; most sell the the majority of their big drives as external-only models, and WD originally shipped their 3TB internal drive with a PCI expansion card to help ease the transition into 64-bit LBAs.
Despite the flooding causing severe supply constraints, the price remains reasonable at roughly $350 – but you’ll have to fly all the way to Japan to pick one up.