If you're looking to pack a massive amount of storage into your PC, the best you can do these days is 6 terabytes--as long as you're willing to shell out close to $300. But there may soon come a day where you can get a whopping 8TB stuffed into a single hard drive.
Seagate recently announced it is now shipping the world's first 8TB 3.5-inch hard drives. The new drives aren't for consumers just yet and are specifically designed for enterprise data centers that need major disk capacity.
But there will almost certainly come a day in the not too distant future when 8TB drives will be available for your tower of power sitting at home. Exactly when that future will arrive is anybody's guess, but it's certainly on its way. Hard drive prices tend to plunge quickly once models hit the open market, however.
Seagate is shipping its 8TB drives to select enterprise customers right now with general availability for the enterprise-class storage slated for the fall.
The company did not announce a price, but you can bet it'll be hefty given these are enterprise devices and the first of their kind. The 8TB drive ships with a SATA 6 gigabit-per-second interface.
The eventual arrival of an 8TB drive for regular folks could also mean some price drops for smaller capacity drives.
Right now on Amazon you can get a 4TB desktop drive for just under $200, with 5 and 6 TB drives edging closer to $300. When 8TB drives do arrive, perhaps those 4TB drives will drop closer to $100?
For most users, however, filling up an 8TB drive would take a lot of effort. The average two-hour, 1080p movie on iTunes takes up about 5GB of space, meaning you could fit about 1,600 movies onto an 8TB size.
Gamers are in a different situation. The installs for some of the latest big name titles take up as much as 50GB of disk space. (Curse you, Wolfenstein!) If you use your gaming PC for stashing personal files as well as games, an 8TB drive probably can't come fast enough.