Seagate announces 2.5″ Savvio 15K

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.

Comments closed
    • provoko
    • 13 years ago

    15k rpm? Why not 20 and 30, this is the year 2007, we should have hard drives spinning at 150k rpm! Haha.

    • Dissonance
    • 13 years ago

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      • Bensam123
      • 13 years ago

      Dissonance bot strikes another article.

    • Cova
    • 13 years ago

    I wonder if they’re finally putting both SAS ports on their drives. The SAS spec calls for dual-ported drives, but all of the SAS drives I have so far (which would all be savvio’s from HP) only have 1.

    • ripfire
    • 13 years ago

    15k RPM? Psh. It’s 2007 already. It’s all about the solid-states and hybrids baby!

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 13 years ago

    Shhh. Don’t tell Leor!

    • sroylance
    • 13 years ago

    Just to re-interate what others have said: this is a server drive. Most of HP’s ProLiant servers are now built using small-form-factor serial attached slots that can hold either high-performance SAS drives or high-capacity SATA drives.

      • arb_npx
      • 13 years ago

      All of the tier 1’s are doing this: Dell, HP, IBM, and Sun. Dell, HP, and IBM all have 2U servers that can use 8 SAS hard drives (the previous high with 3.5″ was six with HP and IBM, and Dell on certain configured PowerEdge 2×50 models).

      However, Sun’s 2U server only takes four SAS drives. To be fair, they were one of the first to have an x86 server with 2.5″ SAS drives, but it would be nice if they revamped their 2U case to take eight drives.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    I also suspect that mass of platters is a factor. Higher density units are heavier by mere mgs, but that difference can greatly change the long-term reiliability of the motor at extreme RPMs.

    Meant as a reply to # 7

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    Correction, it will have the fastest random seek time not the best STR. This drive makes a trade-off for areal density to get a better random seek time.

    • Pax-UX
    • 13 years ago

    my laptops average temperature is about to rise a couple of degrees… I just have to figure out how to get the SCSI interface to fit in.

      • HiggsBoson
      • 13 years ago

      AFAIK these drives were never meant for laptops. They were actually meant for server environments from the very beginning when the line was announced. Mobile applications from Seagate use the “Momentus” branding. That’s why these things have SCSI and SAS interconnects. All things being equal, it’s clear that you can squeeze way more drives into a given rack size using 2.5″ form-factors, and given the numbers from the article, they consume less power for the same number of drives compared to 3.5″ drives. Apparently, the only real hurdles to doing this before have been capacity (perpendicular recording) and actually engineering the device. However with the current trend toward lower power density and lower power consumption in general, it looks like Seagate is making a smart move here by spending the R&D money to make it work.

    • quarantined
    • 13 years ago

    I’ve never taken the time to learn why ramping up the RPMs seems to negatively correlate with capacity, but 73gb is still pretty nice for a notebook.

      • IntelMole
      • 13 years ago

      It’s somewhat obvious when you think about it.

      That platter is spinning underneath the read/write head over twice as fast as a 7,200rpm drive. In order to write a bit reliably, the space it uses has to be bigger, since each individual area is underneath it for that much less time.

      That’s my layman’s understanding anyways.

        • HiggsBoson
        • 13 years ago

        It also has to do with fewer platters. Note that the article explicitly mentions that Seagate can only fit 36GB on a single platter “even with perpendicular recording” in that 2.5″ form-factor. It’s no coincidence that the capacities offer correspond to exactly 1 or 2 platters. Raptors work the same way.

    • flip-mode
    • 13 years ago

    WOAH! I’m impressed. It’d be cool to see a desktop stuffed with these. SAS? Is that a form of serial ATA?

      • R2P2
      • 13 years ago

      SAS stands for Serial Attached SCSI, but the Wikipedia entry says it’s compatible with SATA. Does having something with SCSI in the name be compatible with something that has ATA in the name seem weird to anyone else?

        • Shintai
        • 13 years ago

        Wiki is far from truth on earth.

          • Tupuli
          • 13 years ago

          Try looking it up in Britannica ๐Ÿ™‚

        • draksia
        • 13 years ago

        SATA and SAS are electrically compatible. Most but not all SAS initiator device can communicate with a SATA device. So you can use SATA devices in a SAS domain but it is not possible to use SAS devices with a SATA initiator. In fact plugs are designed so you can’t even plug a SAS device into a SATA cable or backplane.

          • adisor19
          • 13 years ago

          Crap.. so much for putting this in a laptop ๐Ÿ™

          Adi

    • ioport
    • 13 years ago

    15k desktop 3.5″ SATA drives and 10k laptop ones please!!!

      • morphine
      • 13 years ago

      I believe you “can” have a 10K laptop drive. If you’re willing to have a 1-hr battery life ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jigar
    • 13 years ago

    Cool will wait for the review.

    • Bensam123
    • 13 years ago

    w00t a hard drive review…

    I hope the difference between SAS and SATA will be explained in full detail cause I’ve been hearing different things from different people.

      • albundy
      • 13 years ago

      same here. EXPLAIN!

        • bwoodring
        • 13 years ago

        SAS uses the same physical interconnect as SATA, and devices are electrically compatible. However, the communication protocol is different and devices have limited compatibility. (I believe SATA devices will work with a SAS controller, but not the other way around).

          • Bensam123
          • 13 years ago

          That was my guess as well… but thats just what I heard. I haven’t seen a review or explanation of SAS/SATA compatability out of any of the big sites.

          Some crazy people want to hook SAS drives up to a SATA controller or a SAS controller up to SATA drives, but have no idea if it would work or the money to burn to find out.

            • Cova
            • 13 years ago

            You can hook SATA devices up to SAS controllers – businesses can use cheap storage in their servers now, I already have stuff like this for running backups to and stuff.

            You cannot hook SAS drives up to SATA controllers – no high-speed 15K drives for home users unless you buy an expensive controller too.

            The SATA/SAS connector is actually key’ed such that you can’t plug a sas drive into a sata cable – the tiny gap on a sata drive between the sata and power connector is blocked on a sas drive, and has a few electrical contacts on the top side of that area.

            • Bensam123
            • 13 years ago

            Problem solved.

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