2.1 TB of storage ought to be enough for anybody. At least, that's what IBM and Microsoft must have been thinking when they set the maximum supported size drive of the venerable Logical Block Addressing (LBA) standard that's now embedded in motherboards, RAID drivers and firmware, and operating systems across all segments of the PC industry. So when Seagate confirmed longstanding rumors that the drivemaker is prepping a 3TB drive for the end of the year, it also had to give a number of caveats along with the news.
"Nobody expected back in 1980 when they set the standard that we’d ever address over 2.1TB," Seagate's Barbara Craig told Thinq. That was the year that IBM introduced the world's first gigabyte drive at a retail price of $40,000 (about $68,300 in 2009 dollars) and a weight of 550lb; it was also the year that Seagate introduced the first 5.25-inch hard drive for the IBM PC-XT, the 5MB ST-506. Given those data points, it's easy to see how 2.1TB was essentially just an arbitrarily large number of bytes, sort of like "a gazillion."
So if you're in the market for a new system as we head into the summer, you'll want to keep an eye out for hardware that can support the larger drives. And you'll also want to keep an eye out for the next version of our long-delayed System Guide, which we're currently working on.
Source: ars technica