Mobile products running at between 4,200 and 7,200 RPM may dominate the 2.5" hard drive scene, but that hasn't stopped Seagate from doing things a little differently with its Savvio line. The first 2.5" Savvio
burst onto the scene more than two years ago with a blistering 10K-RPM spindle speed and a SCSI interface, and the drive offered pretty phenomenal performance considering its diminutive size. Since the original Savvio's launch, Seagate has updated the line with the Savvio 10k.2, which is available with the same 10,000-RPM spindle speed and a capacity boost to 147GB. But they weren't finished yet.
Today Seagate announces the latest addition to its Savvio line, and this one's rather special. The new Savvio 15K is not only the world's first 2.5" hard drive with platters spinning at 15,000 RPM, Seagate also says it's 10% faster than 3.5" 15K-RPM drives, making it the world's fastest hard drive. That's a bold claim to make, but the drive's 2.5" form factor could actually help it on this front. Even with perpendicular recording, Seagate can only squeeze 36GB onto the Savvio 15K's platters. That results in fewer gigabytes per drive actuator, but it's the actuator speed that often limits performance in enterprise server environments. The fact that the Savvio 15K has less data per actuator than a 3.5" drive can actually make it faster, at least in applications that emphasize random access times rather than sequential transfer rates.
Inside the Savvio 15K. Source: Seagate
In addition to claiming outright faster performance, Seagate also makes a case for the Savvio 15K being a more efficient storage solution than 3.5" SCSI drives. Thanks to its smaller form factor, Seagate says, the Savvio 15K can offer higher performance per rack, per gigabyte, and per watt. Seagate even says the drive should be more reliable—by virtue of its newer design—than its 3.5" Cheetah SCSI drives.
Savvio 15K drives are already shipping in volume to HP and will be released into the channel in the first quarter of this year with capacities of 36GB and 73GB. The drives will come with a 16MB cache and a SAS interface, and they appear to compare well with Seagate's existing Cheetah 15K.5. The 73GB Cheetah, for example, has a 3.5ms seek time, consumes 8.4W, and has a MTBF of 1.4 million hours. The 73GB Savvio 15K has a seek time of 2.9ms, consumes only 5.8W, and enjoys a MTBF of 1.6 million hours. There's no word on how much the new Savvio 15K drives will cost when they hit the channel, but we're working on getting our hands on a drive for a full review.