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Samsung unleashes three-platter 2TB drive

Multifarious tech firm Samsung has just upped the ante in the whale-sized storage arena, introducing a new 2TB drive that spreads its capacity over just three platters.

While other 2TB drives split their collection of bytes over four 500GB platters, Samsung's new Spinpoint EcoGreen HD204UI F4EG features three 667GB disks. This, says Samsung, means the new platters boast the world's highest areal density at the moment.

The 3.5-inch F4EG is intended to replace Samsung's four-platter F3EG drive, and has otherwise similar specs. The drive is still bolstered by a 32MB buffer, and the platters spin at a comparatively pedestrian 5400rpm, rather than the 7200rpm rotational speed of other 2TB desktop drives, such as Hitachi's Deskstar 7K2000.

As well as granting Samsung a temporary spell of bragging rights, the new three-platter drive also cuts down on power consumption. According to Samsung, the F4EG eats 23 per cent less electricity in standby mode than its predecessor. The company also claims the drive will remain quiet while it's ticking away, taking advantage of the company's SilentSeek and NoiseGuard technologies.

Assuming the PC industry eventually irons out all the potential problems with the move to drives larger than 2TB, Samsung's high areal density should put the company in a good position to manufacture even larger drives. A four-platter drive that packs this many bytes onto a single disk would end up with around 2.7TB. As a point of comparison, Seagate's 3TB external FreeAgent drive has to split its capacity across five 600GB platters.

The new Spinpoint HD204UI F4EG also supports Native Command Queuing, and is lined up to start shipping in early September this year.

There's no word on UK pricing yet, but Samsung has said the recommended retail price at $119.99 (£75.33) across the pond. Once you've added the usual UK rip-off mark-up, we reckon the drive will come in at a similar price to the F3EG, which currently goes for £88.09 inc VAT.