WD creates a 20TB hard drive that’s faster than an SSD

Sales of mechanical hard drives, or HDDs, have fallen over time because of SSDs, which have become a standard. We only have to see the PS5 and Xbox Series X, which make use of SSDs instead of hard drives. Well then, Western Digital resists the disappearance of HDD and has even created one faster than an SSD.

HDDs are becoming more and more niche solutions, especially for mass data storage. SSDs allow for more performance, especially better load times due to high transfer speeds.

WD insists on not giving up HDDs for dead

The big problem with HDDs versus SSDs is the moving parts, which limit performance. By relying on a system of motor-driven arms and motors, it limits performance. It is evidenced in the transfer speeds, that are usually around (in the best of cases) the 100MB/s.

But, at WD they have had a great idea and that is to increase the number of motors, drive arms and magnetic heads. What this “simple” solution allows is to significantly improve reading and writing speeds. Double the number of actuators is the “magic” solution that allows increase speeds.

According to WD, the drives Ultrastar DC HS760 offers twice the sequential performance of the Ultrastar DC H560. In addition, these units use the OptiNAND technology, that allows the integration of a large number of cacheuntil the 512MB. To give us an idea, the Seagate Exos X20 has a maximum cache of 256 MB.

Even though WD has not given concrete data, with what we know we could talk about read speeds between 500-600 MB/s. Current SATA SSDs (whether 2.5-inch or M.2) offer between 500-550 MB/s. Note that the technical limit of the SATA interface is 600 MB/s, which cannot be reached for various technical reasons.

The price and release date of the WD Ultrastar DC HS760 is unknown at this time. What we do know is that it is a specific product for Data Centers exclusively, at least for now.

hdd wd Ultrastar DC HS760

Relegated to niche markets by SSDs

The truth is that HDDs have been disappearing from the general market. We see how it is almost impossible to find a laptop that does not have an SSD and the new consoles have already banished HDDs. No one builds a gaming computer with a primary hard drive, at best, they are relegated to mass data storage or gaming.

They have a market and the total disappearance of the market, it seems, is quite far away at the moment. As long as they find solutions to increase the capacity and performance of hard drives, they will continue to sell.

On the other hand, SSDs have started to encounter significant technical problems. Finding an SSD larger than 4TB is tricky, and existing ones are extremely expensive. The M.2 drives based on the PCIe 5.0 interface have not arrived either, due to the thermal problems generated in these drives.

Currently, there is no perfect or, at least, cross-sectional storage solution. HDDs have their problems and SSDs too.

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