Although Solid State Drives (SSDs) are starting to become common in computers for their superior speeds, hard disk drives (HDDs) are still widely used for their ability to store large amounts of data for cheap.
However, Seagate’s latest HDD targets speed as well as large amounts of storage space for cheap. The company has unveiled the Mach.2 Exos 2X14 its first dual actuator HDD which is also the fastest hard disk in the world. While traditional hard disks have one actuator with read/write heads, the Exos 2X14 has two, which doubles the read/write speeds of the HDD.
Seagate has been working closely with Microsoft for years to develop this technology and its efforts have finally paid off.
This hard disk has a total capacity of 14TB and a sustained transfer speed of 524MB/s, making it the fastest hard disk in the world right now. It is essentially two 7TB HDDs combined together in a helium-filled chassis. It has a spindle speed of 7200 RPM and a 256MB cache.
When tested on a server for a data center, the Exos 2X14’s read and write speeds were rivaling those of some inexpensive SATA/SAS SSDs at a far lower cost. The new hard drive does, however, have a slightly higher power consumption than the rest at 13.5W under heavy loads.
For now, the drive is only available to select customers and won’t make it to the open market anytime soon. However, it is possible that Seagate’s multi-actuator technology will become available in other HDDs as well.