David Papp Blog

Seagate now shipping 8TB hard drives

Years ago we could have never imagined this kind of storage space in a single drive, 8 Terabytes! Seagate is now shipping these drives in a 3.5″ form factor for only $260 USD. It is a bit slower than many SATA drives at 5900 rpm and 150 MB/sec. The average SATA is 7200 rpm and SSDs have average speeds over 500 MB/sec.

At only 3 cents per gigabyte, this is a great deal! You probably can’t get your hands on one in time for the holiday season, but I imagine receiving it in January is not a problem as Amazon is reporting they will have stock then.

A bit of History
Here is a 1956 picture of IBM’s first super computer with a hard drive, the IBM 305 RAMAC. The hard drive could store an amazing 5 Megabytes worth of data. It weighed over 2,000 lbs. Seagate’s 8 TB hard drive fits in the palm of your hand and can store over 1.6 million times more data.

22 thoughts on “Seagate now shipping 8TB hard drives”

  1. That’s actually a really good price-point and I’m a bit surprised it’s that cheap considering the vast amount of space given. The only thing I have trouble with understanding is what use people would get out of this, maybe if downloading massive amounts of the highest quality movies and such from or something with hosting servers possibly?

    • I don’t think these drives would necessarily be good for hosting servers, at least not as single disks. You’d want to have something with better I/O speeds if you’re hosting multiple servers, depending on what’s running on them.

      These disks would actually be pretty good for cold storage, so like putting all of your historical backups on it and then leaving it in a fire-proof safe offsite or something. It would be quicker to recover from than tape.

      • David didn’t add a photo of them in this, the full posts page, but if you look at the thumb at the front page you’ll notice they mention “Archive” on their label.

        That’s because they are sold for exactly the reason you mention: archival of content. Not daily use.

      • These disks do seem like a good alternative to add to your long-term backup strategy along with cloud services such as Amazon glacier.

        The biggest advantage I see being immediate data recovery (plug & retrieve), besides the fact you get to own as opposed to rent. Some people use two clouds to “cover” for this, but an offsite secure backup with owned equipment can make more sense if the amount of data is large.

  2. From what I’ve seen, they’re not yet available for customers – just for stores to stock up. I am interested in them, as I’ve got tons of data spread among many – many HDDs, but I don’t think I’ll buy one until they’ve been proven to be reliable. I’ve already lost Terabytes of data due to HDDs with “new” tech (hello Seagate’s “perpendicular recording”, hello squeezed “WD Greens”), and I don’t want to go through the experience again.

    You also shouldn’t “put all your apples in one basket”. If all your data is 8TBs, it’s better buying two 4TB disks than only one. Because if something happens (anything, from electric problems to an unexpected attack from Gozirra), you’d have better chances of only losing half of your data.

    • You can reasonably protect yourself by using these drives in a RAID deployment. The redundancy offered should protect you from any freak failures of a single disk (or more, depending on RAID level) but the costs will quickly increase as you become more redundant.

      I do agree in principle though – throwing together some smaller disks is probably a safer and more efficient method.

      • Not exactly: there’s this school of thought saying that, when in a RAID, a hard disk works twice as much as when “alone”. Say you have two disks working as one: when “a write” happens, it’s split between them (’cause “RAID”), so they BOTH “write stuff”. They BOTH “work”.

        So, you have +50% security by knowing that if one HDD gives up the spirit the other one will be available, but also +50% more work for it (that drastically reduces its expected lifetime).

        I don’t know if that’s really true, but it sounds logical enough so as to prevent me from ever even trying using HDDs in a RAID setup, as I’ve already lost lots of TBytes and wouldn’t want to increase the chances of something like that happening again.

  3. That’s incredible data density that they’re cramming in to the form factor, but leaves be really concerned about the potential for lost data.

    With a deployment like this you’re going to have to have some sort of redundancy in the form of RAID10 or 6. I could potentially see these drives being quite useful for a SAN deployment with a decent SSD cache which would negate some of the downsides of such large disks.

    • If you are just looking for a large capacity storage option for backup I think would be quite good. I find that my new 3TB drives I have are more reliable than 1Tb drives I bought last year.
      I would love to see a 1TB flash drive next!

  4. I remember the first external HD i bought. It was so tiny and cost so much! It wasn’t even that long ago– maybe 2004. Times have changed. I don’t know how I’d fill 8TB but I’m sure I could do it eventually 🙂 Definitely going to look into these when I get a new one later this month.

  5. So with the slower read/write speeds I’m going to guess that this would make a great long term storage unit for movies and the like, but not something that you’d want on your computer for day to day use. Still for the price point it’s a great deal.

    • I’m thinking this hard drive would be great for storing all the important data, I wasn’t too happy about the speed, but I still think this would make a great data storage unit. A few points less due the fact this thing is bit slow, but I could see myself using some of that space… a life time of data. No more faulty flash drives!

  6. Eh, I’m a little mixed on Seagate in the hard drive space. They were reasonably good at some point, but I tend to think they’ve fallen for grace. That said, this is quite an impressive feat, especially at that price point.

  7. I am in serious need of larger hard drives, as a video content creator I go through data like mad. I have about 20 2GB drives and would be great to consolidate some of them down. As write speed isn’t much of an issue for me I guess these would be great. Will most likely pick one up to see how it performs before doing anything drastic.

  8. Man, 8TB that’s pretty damn impressive. I might have to look into getting one of these some day. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be pretty expensive however. Can’t wait for 8TB SSD drives… ;D

  9. I think the price and the amount of space it holds is well worth it. The price is really what has this on my must buy list. I use three different computers/laptops and countless flash drives and they are all close to full so a person who does a lot of working with computers and constantly having to save all sorts of things, I must say this is a “steal.”

    • At least replace all your USB flash drives you say you’re using with a “mini” 3,5” external hard drive. That way you won’t get lost among a chaos of different storage equipment, and you’ll never have to search them all, one by one, to find a specific file. They’re cheap nowadays!

  10. That’s pretty crazy and it has an amazing price. I’m still using a 320GB HDD, yeah, I know, it’s sad. Anyway, I wonder when it’s going to come to the point where it’s not worth to make bigger drives and look for another technology. There are already quite a few experimental hard drives out there, I wonder when we are going to see them being sold.

  11. Wow, that’s a lot of space for things. I have just one single 1TB Hard Drive, and I’m not even half-done with it!

    It’ll definitely be a great buy for someone who needs a lot of space on their computer, such as a video editor, or a photo editor, even.

  12. I am actually so suprised at this price! This is amazing as I have files and files of things I need to transfer but don’t want 1 million mini drives hanging around either. Ours is on our way and I can’t wait 🙂 Thanks for sharing your information about this Hard Drive!

  13. Awesome! Loved this article, been looking to buy a portable hard drive for a while now and the brand I’ve been thinking about is Seagate. I’ll not get this one tho, since I don’t have the cash and I don’t really need that much space, but I still think this is super amazing! Specially when comparing this to the first computer ever created!

    Just amazing how far we have come and I bet back then no one thought that by now almost everyone would have access to this kind of technology. Pure awesomeness.

  14. Now that’s a huge HDD. It’s cheaper than buying multiple 1Tb drives too. Great how the HDD sizes keep going up. The only problem is that I haven’t found a good way to fill up my 250Gb SSD and my 1Tb HDD, so I wouldn’t be filling the 8Tb in a while. I guess movie pirates and people who want all tbeir games installed could use this.

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