For the past few years, hard drive manufacturers have run into problems when attempting to increase drive capacities.
Part of the reason why consumer drives haven’t grown more quickly is because technologies like Shingled Magnetic Recording, which allows tracks to overlap each other like shingles, increases storage capacity but decreases performance.
As we’ve previously discussed, filling a drive with helium dramatically lowers the internal pressure inside the drive.
Helium hard drives haven’t exactly become standard on the consumer market, but they’ve tiptoed their way into certain spaces after first debuting as an exclusively enterprise option.
The flip side is there’s only a tiny storage density improvement in play here; Toshiba is using 1.56TB platters, while its competitors are back on ~1.5TB. Shoving more platters into a drive while retaining a 3.5-inch form factor is mechanically impossible after a certain point.
The 14TB drive is rated for 260MB/s of sequential read performance, while the 12TB drive is rated for 250MB/s.
Toshiba has talked about a 16TB drive, according to Anandtech, but that much space would require roughly 1.8TB platters, a significant jump over what the company is using today.