Western Digital has started shipping a new version of its 2.5" S25 enterprise drive. The third-generation design boasts a 6Gbps SAS interface, a 10,000-RPM spindle speed, 32MB of cache, and capacities up to 900GB. WD doesn't reveal whether the higher capacitiy is enabled by adding another platter or using higher-density media, but we suspect the latter is the case. The company's 2.5", 10k-RPM drives are long overdue for an areal density ugprade. Also, the drive's 15-mm thickness doesn't leave much room to stack platters.
According to the spec sheet, the S25 is capable of sustaining transfers up to 204MB/s. WD doesn't even bother listing seek times for the drive; if you're concerned with random I/O performance, you're much better off with an SSD. Getting one that comes anywhere close to the S25's near-terabyte capacity is going to be expensive, though.
Despite its turbo-charged spindle, the S25 is said to consume just 8W under normal operation. It's equipped with a few extra features, too. The drive supports the T10 Protection Information standard, which increases the sector size from 512 to 520 bytes to make room for tags to ensure data integrity. WD says the S25's full-disk encryption option meets the Trusted Computing Group's "Enterprise Class A" standard, as well.
For enthusiasts, the most interesting thing about the S25 is its potential offspring. WD has long produced a line of VelociRaptor drives based on the same 2.5" foundation as its enterprise-oriented offerings, and it's been a while since the last one was introduced.