Now that Hitachi, Samsung, and Western Digital all have three-platter 1TB hard drives out the door, Seagate has decided to take things to the next level. The company's new 3.5" Barracuda 7200.12 spreads 1TB of capacity across just two platters, and Seagate says it's shipping as we speak.
The new 'cuda's platters have areal densities of 329Gb/in², which allows them to store up to 500GB each. Since the drive has fewer, denser platters than its counterparts, it should theoretically have higher performance and lower power consumption. Seagate claims sustained data rates of "up to 160MB/second," a sizeable step up from the 115MB/s of its previous 1TB offering.
The Barracuda 7200.12 series will also include 750GB and 500GB variants with either 32MB or 16MB of cache. Due to a recent shift in the company's policy, however, bare versions of these drives (including the 1TB model) should all have three years of warranty coverage instead of five.