Seagate Will Cease Production of 7200 RPM Notebook Hard Drives Later This Year

Subject: General Tech | March 3, 2013 - 04:49 AM |
Tagged: Seagate, mobile, laptop, hard drives, 7200 rpm

Seagate Technology, the world’s second largest hard drive manufacturer (by market share), recently announced that it will be ceasing production on notebook hard drives featuring 7200 RPM spindle speeds. According to X-Bit Labs, Seagate Director of Marketing and Product Management David Burks stated that “We are going [to] stop building our notebook 7200rpm hard disk drives at the end of 2013.”


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Stopping production of high-end notebook hard drives is a curious move for a company that is still dependent on hard drives to survive--with just a toe in the Solid State space with its hybrid hard drives. On the other hand, the market for such high-end notebook drives is likely feeling pressure from Solid State drives for pure performance at any price, cheap hard drives paired with a small mSATA caching SSD, and high-capacity 5400 RPM drives at extremely cheap prices. Users that would have traditionally favored 7200 RPM drives for an extra price during laptop configuration are now faced with more choices on the performance at modest price increases front with caching options. Further, with the advent of interfaces like Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, it is now more acceptable to go with a low capacity, cheaper, Solid State Drive for the operating system and applications while using external hard drives for your storage needs without incurring a transfer speed bottleneck that USB 2.0 exhibited.

Reportedly, Seagate will stop production of its Momentus 7200.4, Momentus 7200.2, and Momentus Thin notebook drive lineups. Further, the storage company will put more focus into further fleshing out its Momentus XT drives. The XT series features a spindle hard drive and small bit of SLC NAND flash for caching frequently accessed files. Hopefully the renewed focus on its hybrid hard drive series will result in drives with larger caches. That may necessitate the move to MLC flash to keep costs down, but I think a HHD with 32GB+ of MLC or TLC flash would be an acceptable compromise.

What do you think of the move? Customers will likely be able to get their hands on 7200 RPM mobile drives well into 2014 thanks to stock on hand at the various OEMs and retailers (and alternative options from other HDD manufacturers), so the fallout is likely to be minimal. Still, is it the right move for Seagate?

Source: X-Bit Labs

March 3, 2013 | 05:33 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

IMHO, 2011 was the last year for HDD's, with that flood fiasco as well.

Right now, you can have a number of 128 giger SandForce's with over 500 MB/s R/W for about $80... SSD's have really become cheap for their speed and when you consider how much a SandForce SF-2281 blows the shit out of a slow ass 7200 RPM drive, it just doesn't make sense to use HDD's anymore unless it's for cold data/mass storage.

March 3, 2013 | 08:22 AM - Posted by Mach Doe (not verified)

SSD's have come so far down in price. Couple that with people buying 500-700 devices and keeping them for 2 -3 years max. I mean we have just started rolling out T430's at work about 6 months ago and already they don't make the unit anymore. SSD are the future and spindles are the past. DVD units are getting to the point that we could get away with one in our department and even that would see use once or twice a month. Things change. And SSD's so heavily rock.

People used to ask me what they could do to speed up their computers and almost always RAM was the cheapest way to pep up an aging system. Anymore the HDD is the weak link. Is there a 7200 RPM that doesn't rate 5.9 on the Windows 7 Performance scale?

March 3, 2013 | 08:24 AM - Posted by Mach Doe (not verified)

Not to mention they are better on power and lighter for tablets and other ultra book designs. It's inevitable that SSD's will take over. I am surprised it has taken this long.

March 3, 2013 | 08:30 AM - Posted by prodeous (not verified)

Honestly this is a good move. Especially if they go into the MLC/TLC with 32GB+ buffer. That would give a significant upgrade path for various systems that do not have two SATA slots and want both performance and capacity. And there are plenty of latpops/nettops/ultrapods/*pods/etc that fit into this category.

March 3, 2013 | 12:04 PM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

lol "mach", cheers Les. I always get it that it's you from your way of typing... you gotta change that a little man, lol.

I was actually trying to open up that Solidata X7 a little while ago to see what's really on the inside... I took out the screws and there's no fucking way it's opening up. The thing is absolutely bolted... it just doesn't open up. There're two layers in between the drive and it's casing. This thing can take an airsoft slug/buckshot and not get affected by a single bit.

I'm keeping this for my notebook, it's going to cost me too much money lose to sell this.

March 4, 2013 | 07:37 AM - Posted by praack

my last two were momentus xt's - both are 7200 drives with nand flash

so not bad for a hybrid- and they are not really giving up the 7200 space completly

March 5, 2013 | 06:16 AM - Posted by sotoa

I was hoping by now that all drives would be 7200 rather than the 5200 they are shoving down our throats. I always opt for the 7200 if I had no other choice. Seems now 5200 will be the only choice (unless they will start offering mSATA).

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