World's first 3TB hard drive arrives... in USB 2.0 enclosure

Roughly 16 months have passed since the market got its first taste of two-terabyte hard drives. So much for Kryder's Law, which predicted an annual doubling of areal density. By his count, we should be well into 4TB territory by now. Alas, desktop drives are still stuck at the 2TB mark.

Well, the internal ones are, anyway. With surprisingly little fanfare, Seagate has announced the world's first 3TB hard drive. The only problem? It's part of an external FreeAgent GoFlex line and comes with a USB 2.0 interface. Why the next-gen drive skips over USB 3.0 is beyond me, but Seagate does sell a GoFlex adapter with SuperSpeed connectivity for $40. The 3TB drive alone will set you back $250.

Drive makers tend to publish little in the way of specifications on their external hard drives, and Seagate is no different with this latest entry. I would expect that the drive's spindle speed falls well short of 7,200 RPM, and it may even be slower than the 5,900-RPM spindle speed typical of Seagate's low-power Barracuda LP family. The drive's areal density isn't mentioned, either, although I suspect we're looking at four 750GB platters. We've asked Seagate for more information, and we'll get back to you once we have it.

The 3TB FreeAgent is listed as in stock on Seagate's website, but it doesn't appear to be available elsewhere just yet. Seagate has confirmed that a 3TB internal drive meant for enterprise applications will be released before the end of the year. However, there's no word yet on when the company's Barracuda desktop models will swim into 3TB waters.

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