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Bottom line: Western Digital doesn't elicit the most positive reaction from consumers as of late because of how the company staked its reputation by quietly selling slower SMR drives. However, for enterprise, it's a different story. The compnay's CMR-based Gold lineup is usually among its top sellers. Now, 16TB an 18TB Gold HDDs are set to launch, first in the UK then coming to the US.
Despite what's going on with WD in the consumer HDD space, it continues to expand its offerings for businesses and data centers. Clients with large storage demands can now look forward to WD's 16TB and 18TB models in its Gold lineup of SATA drives.
The 3.5-inch 7400 RPM Gold series use "conventional magnetic recording" (CMR) technology, and are built to withstand yearly operation (24x7x365) within the most demanding storage environments. WD also highlights enhanced reliability by specifying up to 2.5M hours of MTBF (Mean time between failures) for these drives.
As Tom's Hardware notes, both new capacity models are currently available with UK-based retailer, SPAN, and are yet to be listed on WD's official website. The 16TB version sells for £464 (~$580), while the 18TB costs £520 (~$650). Both models are expected to cost less when they become available in the US.
WD's Gold series scales up drive cache and data transfer rate with capacity. For reference, the 14TB model features a 512MB cache and is rated for 267MB/s of max sustained transfers. Although expectations won't be jumping significantly with the new 16TB and 18TB models, a slight increase in cache size and transfer rates is expected.
These specs, along with other info like power requirements and noise levels, will likely appear soon on WD's product brief. The company offers a 5-year warranty on all existing Gold models, and these new variants will likely ship with the same.