Seagate has announced a consumer hard drive that will give consumers virtually unlimited home storage— for now, at least.

Think about it for a second: one terabyte (TB) is a 1,000 gigabytes (GB). The new BarraCuda Pro offers 10 TB of storage, or 10,000 gigabytes. Yes, it’s probably more than most consumers could use today, but storage capacity abhors a vacuum. So today’s massive drive with seemingly lots of extra capacity could get filled up quickly in a couple of years.

Only a few years ago, 500 GB seemed like almost-limitless storage for a PC. But today it's standard to have at least a 1-TB hard drive on a desktop PC. So, it’s not a giant leap of the imagination to anticipate a future with PCs packing 5 TB – or more – of storage. 

Solid state or magnetic HDD?

While solid-state/flash – which stores data on chips – is the most common storage today for laptops, tablets, and smartphones, traditional spinning (magnetic) hard drives like the BarraCuda Pro still deliver the most bang for the storage-capacity buck.

Today when you buy a laptop at an electronics store or online retailer it typically comes with a solid-state drive. That’s the kind of storage tech you want in your laptop: solid-state drives are generally faster and more power efficient than magnetic drives. And they can be squeezed into the thinnest of laptops like the 12-inch MacBook or Hewlett-Packard Spectre 13.

But they’re a lot pricier than magnetic drives. For instance, Samsung recently announced the “world’s largest” solid-state drive, which is priced at $1,500 for 4TB of storage. That’s a little over 37 cents a gigabyte, while the Barracuda Pro is about 5 cents a gigabyte, according to PC World.

So, if you need lots of extra storage, magnetic drives are the way to go. The Barracuda Pro drive is for “customers who are struggling to keep up with the vast amounts of data they’re creating and consuming,” Merle McIntosh, SVP Sales and Marketing, at Newegg, a major online retailer, sand in a statement.  “Seagate is pushing the boundaries on capacity and a cost-effective 10TB option is a product our customers will appreciate.”

The Barracuda Pro is plenty fast for a consumer magnetic drive, spinning at 7,200 rpm instead of the 5,400 rpm of slower drives. Seagate also includes 256 MB of cache memory – chip-based memory that speeds up data access.

The drive has already popped up on Amazon at just over $500, which is less expensive than the MSRP of $535.