Digital Pack Rats Rejoice, Western Digital HGST Ships World's First 10 Terabyte Hard Drive

Solid state drives (SSDs) might get all the press these days, but hard disk drives (HDDs) aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They still offer a clear advantage when it comes to price-per-gigabyte and are great for archival purposes. With this in mind, Western Digital (HGST) is looking to shatter storage records by finally shipping its massive 10TB HDD that should be capable of handling all of your photos, ripped movies and system backups (among other things).

HGST says that the 3.5-inch Ultrastar He10 is the world’s first shipping 10TB HDD featuring conventional perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). HGST passed on using shingled magnetic recording (SMR), which is better suited for archival purposes. Looking past PMR, HGST is hoping to drop the HAMR, so to speak, with the use of Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording. We’ll be keeping an eye out on this technology, which uses a laser to target specific regions of a HDD when data is being written.

ultrastar he10

As its name implies, the Ultrastar He10 is filled with helium instead of air for lower resistance, which HGST calls HelioSeal Technology. HelioSeal is now in its third generation (HelioSeal debuted with HGST’s first 6TB HDD) and HGST promises that the Ultrastar He10 will “[defy] next-generation expectations around capacity, reliability and power in HDDs,” according to Brendan Collins, HGST VP of Product Marketing.

In addition to providing a 25 percent increase over its 8TB predecessor, the Ultrastar He10 is also much more efficient than its air-filled rivals by using 56 percent fewer watts-per-terabyte while in operation. “We were the first to recognize the benefits of Helium and have pushed the boundaries while others are scrambling to catch up [to the Ultrastar He10],” Collins continued. “It redefines enterprise capacity HDDs, showing the industry where storage devices need to go, to stay in front of the future that data growth is hurtling towards.”

HGST says that the Ultrastar He10 is rated for a mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) or 2.5 million hours and comes with a generous five-year warranty.

Unfortunately, HGST hasn’t given us an indication of pricing event though it says that drivers are currently shipping. The 8GB Ultrastar He8 is still priced around around $550, so we’d expect to see the Ultrastar He10 priced at least a few hundred dollars dearer than its less capacious brethren.