When we reviewed Samsung's 1TB Spinpoint F1 hard drive, we wondered why Samsung hadn't used its 334GB platters to make a 668GB hard drive. Instead, the company's F1 lineup sticks to industry-standard capacities like 500GB and 750GB. Samsung could always introduce a drive with a capacity between 500 and 750GB in the future, but it's already been beaten to the punch by Western Digital, which released its first two-platter 640GB hard drive earlier today.
WD's new WD Caviar SE16 640GB hard drive is shipping as we speak, and like other members of the SE16 lineup, it features a 7200RPM spindle speed, a 16MB buffer, and support for 300MB/s Serial ATA transfer speeds with Native Command Queuing. As WD points out, the usage of only two platters should ensure cool and quiet operation. Considering how quiet other Caviar SE16 drives are, that certainly bodes well. The high-density platters should also make for excellent performance—likely better than in the two-platter 500GB SE16.
The 640GB Caviar SE16 is launching with a recommended price tag of $139.99, and it's already listed at Newegg and Buy.com, although neither e-tailer has it in stock. We plan to publish a review of this drive soon, so stay tuned.