PetaPixel readers with sharp memories may recall a so-called 30TB drive in 2022. However, that drive was a complete scam. When users took these apart, they discovered either SD cards or flash drives that were hot glued in and software that faked the amount of storage available. Unlike those deceptive “30TB” drives, the new Seagate Exos X Mosaic 3+ uses 10 3TB platters to offer a true 30TB of storage.
Seagate plans to market the new 30TB drive to hyperscalers and enterprise markets, which makes sense given its massive capacity. However, it will be available to consumers and won’t require any specialist hardware, according to TechRadar.
For context, that much storage could host roughly 214,285 14-bit uncompressed RAW files from the Sony a7R V. Or, the data-hungry a9 III with its 120 fps bursts would take around 7,143 seconds of full-speed shooting to fill up the drive. However, 30TB still doesn’t scratch the surface of what Darren Aronofsky needs for his 18K footage recorded for the Sphere in Las Vegas.
The previous winner of the largest drive category was Western Digital Gold, with a 24TB drive. Western Digital has said it is working on 28TB drives, though it hasn’t yet launched anything. Toshiba is swinging for the fences and promising 50TB devices, though as of yet, it hasn’t gone beyond 22TB.
Seagate says the 30TB Exos X Mozaic 3+ will offer a cheaper cost per terabyte than its existing models. B.S. Teh, the Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Seagate, explained that the new drives use existing Seagate technologies, including the chassis, motors, and most of the electronics. In fact, the company has said that the Mozaic-integrated hard drives are 95 percent the same as Seagate’s other HDDs. That means the development cost is much more reasonable than an entirely new line. That’s not to say these entirely rely on old tech, though. B.S. Teh also explains that the new drives use “a number of ground-breaking, in-house technologies that allowed it to cram more TB per platter,” according to TechRadar.
This new drive “incorporates Seagate’s unique implementation of HAMR to deliver mass-capacity storage at unprecedented areal densities of 3TB per disk and beyond,” explains Seagate. The company says this drive format will allow data centers to double storage capacity without increasing their footprint and lowering power consumption cost per terabyte by 40 percent. Seagate also has plans to offer even higher capacity models using HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) or SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) with HAMR for hyperscale customers. However, this will likely not be functional on consumer-grade devices.
The Exos X Mozaic 3+ is listed on Seagate’s website, though only with a “Talk to an Expert” button and no price or availability information. Right now, a terabyte costs roughly $15, which would put the price of the Exos X Mozaic 3+ at only $450. That’s a rather insane deal for that much storage, though only time will tell what these drives will actually run.