Toshiba is one of the most well-established names in the electronics industry, and has been in business for over 135 years, with over 40 years experience in the storage industry. Toshiba has achieved many innovations over the years – they produced the world’s first mass-market laptop computer, as well as the world’s first wireless laptop computer and the world’s thinnest widescreen 12.1” laptop. Toshiba spends billions of dollars per year on research and development, and has earned over 27,000 patents in the last 30 years. They have been producing both client and enterprise hard disk drives (HDDs) for quite a number of years now, and continue to produce HDD’s of ever-larger capacity.
It was not too many years ago that the idea of a 1TB drive was almost mind-boggling. However, with the continued explosion of digital data, including large-file-size games that support hi-resolution and/or 3D graphics, HD movies, HD music (and more), the need to store that data now makes a 1TB HDD not seem all that large. Also, enterprise storage systems are experiencing similar (if not even greater) growth, so more storage capacity with fewer drives is always going to be an attractive option. Hence, the market is definitely there for ever-larger capacity HDDs. Today we have on hand Toshiba’s DT01ACA300 SATA III (6Gb/s) HDD in a 3TB capacity for review.
DT01ACA300 SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Toshiba DT01ACA300 is a 7200rpm, SATAIII (6Gb/s) HDD that is produced in the standard 3.5” form factor, and comes with a 64MB cache. The drive achieves its 3TB storage capacity with three vertically-stacked 1TB platters. The DT01ACA300 features Toshiba’s Advanced Sector Format Technology, which uses the industry-standard 4KB-per-sector configuration, and combines it with improved error correction code. Toshiba does not publish any read/write speed information on the DT01ACA300 product page.
Power consumption is stated as 6.4w for read/write operations, and 5.2w active idle. Both standby and sleep modes draw 1.0w of power. Toshiba advertises this HDD as being high-performance, low-power, and cooler operating. Toshiba backs the DT01ACA300 with a two-year warranty. The Toshiba DT01ACA300 is currently selling (as of date of publication of this report) on Amazon for $88.95 (free shipping!), which puts this HDD at just under $0.03 per gigabyte (GB).
A CLOSER LOOK INSIDE
First up we see the “front” or “top” side of the HDD and its label that displays the model number, serial number, capacity, operating voltage, and a couple of bar codes. Towards the bottom of the label we see several icons indicating compliance with various standards, and we also see that the DT01ACA300 is a product of China.
The rear (or bottom) has almost no markings, showing the underside of the printed circuit board and the bottom cover. Visible are red PCB traces leading to the spindle motor area, which also has a round QR code label over it.
Next we see the SATA interface and its power and data connections.
The DT01ACA300’s spindle motor controller is stenciled as model or part number 4B1N07S, however no manufacturer is indicated. We do see that the spindle motor controller was produced in Malaysia.
LSI provides the model 6045 storage controller for this HDD. LSI has always had a strong presence in solid state drives, but they also are found in many manufacturers’ HDDs.
The DT01ACA300’s DRAM chip is Taiwan-made by Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology (ESMT). The model M14D5121632A-2.5B chip is DDR2 SDRAM operating at 400Mhz.