New mechanical hard drives are few and far between, especially in the desktop world. Most recent models have been geared toward servers, NAS systems, and video surveillance rigs. But Toshiba's latest is designed for desktops, and it's not saddled with a sluggish spindle speed. The new 3.5" family spins up to 5TB at 7,200 RPM.
Two members make up the "PH3" series. The PH3500U-1I72 has 5TB of storage, while the PH3400U-1I72 is limited to 4TB. Both come with a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface and 128MB of DRAM cache.
The press release is light on details, and the drives don't appear on Toshiba's storage site, so there's little in the way of additional information. However, it's worth noting that Toshiba introduced a 5TB enterprise-class hard drive back in May. That drive has 1TB per platter, and a similar foundation likely underpins the PH3.
Although the official release prices the 5TB drive at $399 and the 4TB at $299, both are massively discounted already. Toshiba's online store lists the 5TB for $319.20 and the 4TB for $239.20. Those prices are good until January 15, according to the site, and drives are scheduled to ship by November 18.
The discounts put Toshiba's latest mechanical between Seagate's Enterprise Capacity and HGST's Deskstar NAS drives. The Seagate sells for $336.99 and has a longer five-year warranty, while the Hitach is covered for three years but rings in at only $249.99. A 6TB version of the Deskstar is also available for $299.99. None of those alternatives are technically desktop units, but they should all work with standard PCs.