The PC Class of 2012

Michael Vizard

By now, most IT professionals are aware that most PCs acquired in 2012 will be running Windows 8 on much faster, next-generation multicore processors based on Sandy Bridge or Bulldozer architectures from either Intel or Advanced Micro Devices, respectively. But until today, what the underlying storage looked like for those systems was unclear.


Seagate unveiled today a new Barracuda set of hard disk drives (HDD) that provide 1TB of storage per disk platter with a maximum of three platters per drive to provide 3TB of storage that Seagate says will cost about six cents per gigabyte. Features of those drives include a SATA 6GB/second interface, 7200RPM spin speed and up to 64MB cache.

Of course, most of those features are familiar to anyone who buys servers. But the fact that standard PCs are going to be configured with such drives in 2012 tells us a lot about the volume of data that PCs in 2012 are going to be expected to routinely handle.

Perhaps more interestingly, however, was an accompanying statement of direction concerning solid-state drives (SSD). According to David Burks, Seagate product marketing manager for desktop, Seagate plans to deliver a hybrid SSD/HDD offering as part of the Barracuda series for use in high-end PCs that will leverage Seagate's multi-level cell (MLC) SSD technology.

Given the fact that most IT organizations are starting to plan how they intend to spend their 2012 PC budgets right about now, the announcements from Seagate today provide some better insights into what to expect next year in the way of standard PCs that, by the looks of them, are going to be nothing less than personal server-class systems.

But if history is any guide, the chances are good that many of these systems won't be generally available until the middle of 2012, so IT managers may want to plan accordingly.

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