updated 10:50 am EST, Mon December 12, 2011
Hitachi first with 4TB internal hard drive
Hitachi confirmed its 4TB drive plans. The Deskstar 5K4000 is billed as the first 4TB internal desktop drive available and provides a third more space than the previous best. To get to the new capacity, Hitachi is spinning the drive at a slower 5,400RPM but saves about 28 percent in idle power and should be tangibly quieter than a 7,200RPM disk.
It carries 32MB of buffer to streamline loading and is arriving now in "limited quantities" for $400. As before, using the extra space needs Mac OS X or newer versions of Windows, although Hitachi has software of its own to make sure the 4TB disk is usable on systems that are borderline.
The Touro Desk external drive has been given a similar capacity treatment and serves as an extra-large USB 3.0 (and 2.0) expansion. Everyone continues to get 3GB of free cloud backup with a paid option for 250GB.
Hitachi expects 4TB Touro drives to carry a slight premium for the external case, at $420, when they ship in January.