Hard drive technology from the early days to the latest super capacity drives.

Hard Disk Drive versus Solid State Drive.
Hard Disk Drive versus Solid State Drive.

The hard disk drive has come a long way since the first one I used, a 10 megabyte capacity beast. In 1979, you would have paid US$5,350,00 for an external hard drive housing that could store 10 megabytes of data. That would have been a luxury item back then. Another thing that I remember was using a 40 megabyte hard disk in an old 486 and using the old DOS Doublespace to compress data and give you close to 80 megabytes. That was quite the hack, but not the best idea. Now that we can buy 2 terabyte hard disks for cheap, we do not need to worry about Doublespace. The first hard drive ever was the RAMAC 305 system. This stored 5 megabytes of data on a hard drive with 50 platters and cost US$50,000 dollars. This was built in 1956. A 40 megabyte hard disk drive offers more storage space, this Maxtor model has much faster access times than the old RAMAC system. But this old 10 megabyte hard disk is an even better deal, US$3389.00 for 10 megabytes of storage. But that was a lot in the time it was released to the public. You could store a lot of documents and data on a disk of this size. Text documents and other files you would have in 1991 would be easily accommodated.

6 Terabyte WD red NAS drive.
6 Terabyte WD red NAS drive.

The latest Solid State Drives allow faster access to your data. A Samsung SSD 840 EVO 1TB (MZ-7TE1T0BW) SSD drive has 1 terabyte of storage space and this would be plenty for your data. Sequential Read speeds of up to 540MB/sec mean this is perfect for holding your main operating system while your hard drives hold your other data. The speed benefits are great, this translates into a faster Windows or Linux boot time. I would have movies and music on a conventional hard drive myself and keep the operating system on the SSD. You could install space hungry software on a separate drive if you wished to save space with a Windows installation. They sure are faster than an old 5400 RPM drive from the olden days of computing. The Seagate ST-412 hard disk drive was one of the first mass-produced hard disks that stored data on an IBM XT. That drive had a 10 megabyte capacity. The 85ms access time and 5 Megabit per second read speed contrasts quite well with the modern data transfer speeds of SATA SSD drives. But these drives had a very long life. One drive has been taken out of a machine that lasted for 20 years. That is impressive. If only modern drives would last that long…

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