Western Digital’s New Ultrastar and Gold HD Drives Offer 24-28TB

If you need some serious enormous home data storage for your media, Western Digital has announced a potentially practical solution with its new HDD drives.

First of all, yes, these are classic HDD drives, not newer SSD data storage units. For some people, this might be a problem, but HDD technology is a tried and true solution for fairly long-term data storage.

Also, HDD makes recovering lost data easier than is the case with SSD, though SSDs read and retrieve data much faster.

On the other hand, Western Digital has had major recent (and ongoing) problems with spontaneous hardware failure in some of its SanDisk-brand high-volume SSD portable units.

So maybe trusting the company’s other storage products isn’t entirely a great idea.

Nonetheless, the new WD Ultrastar and Gold hard drives are in an entirely different product line and their specs definitely have lots to offer if you’re a serious data hoarder about your media.

Three hard drives on a white background.Three hard drives on a white background.

The new drive types are 3.5-inch 7200 RPM models that feature WD’s energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording (ePMR) technology for superior power and read efficiency.

They also feature something called OptiNAND, which helps them perform better by storing repeat running metadata on NAND flash memory instead of their internal disk platters.

The average speed of the new drives is also slightly superior to that of your typical HDD drive. WD also claims that their power efficiency per TB of storage is about 10% to 12% better than that of some smaller-capacity drives.

Overall, the new drives are designed to be used for raw storage in a rack format inside a NAS-type storage setup.

WD has given each of its new drives (both of the 24TB models and the 28TB version) 10 internal storage platters and they’re built to the company’s existing enterprise-grade standards for professional storage.

With their enterprise-grade platter design, the drives have dual motors and RV sensors for performance even inside a vibrating HDD chassis.

Among the three new drives, the Ultrastar models are being promoted to cloud service providers and major companies or organizations.

On the other hand, the WD Gold model with 24TB is aimed at general enterprise-grade storage needs, storage resellers and small businesses with unusually large data backup needs.

A woman is putting an HDD into a server rack.A woman is putting an HDD into a server rack.

In other words, no technical obstacle stops you from using them for major photo archive or video storage needs.

The 24TB Gold HDD SATA versions of these drives will be the first to ship for customer orders and the Ultrastar models will be available as of spring, 2024.

To be clear, these huge new HDD drive models aren’t aimed at consumer customers or even photographers, but they’re definitely ideal for storing lots of data and media in any context.

This makes them potentially useful, and their enterprise-grade specs can also possibly make them more reliable for professional home and small business media storage.

As for their eventual pricing, we don’t yet have anything to report, but for example, Western Digital’s current 12TB Gold HDD drives are retailing for $279. You can probably expect the 24TB Gold model to go for roughly twice that price.

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