• [Article] Hard drives: happy 60th birthday and RIP

    From Your Name@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jan 16 19:10:32 2017
    XPost: comp.sys.mac.misc, comp.sys.mac.vintage

    From one of today's junk emails from a mostly-Windoze website ...

    The hard drive is 60 years old!
    This year marks the 60th anniversary of the magnetic
    hard drive - but it also marks the beginning of the
    hard driveıs demise. This month Mark Williams looks
    at why hard disk drives are finally getting the boot.

    Image of early hard drive:

    Hard disk drives (HDD) have been around seemingly
    forever, since the 1950s in fact. Thatıs right, over
    sixty years of the same storage medium. When you
    think about it thatıs quite a feat in and of itself.
    Data tapes have been around longer (by about five
    years) and are still used in the corporate scene for
    backups and cold storage, but theyıve been long gone
    in the consumerıs eyes.

    HDDs have served us well, offering reasonable storage
    speeds and good capacities for many a decade. I
    remember my first hard drive, 20GB in size it seemed
    it was massive, leaving me wondering why anyone would
    need a drive so spacious. These days thatıs merely a
    single game or a beefy DLC patch.

    HDDs have their fair share of problems though. Being
    a mechanical device theyıre susceptible to shocks and
    impacts and can contribute to vibrations in the
    chassis which doesnıt help them, or your ears.

    Then thereıs the bit rot, motor failures, head
    crashes and fragmentation.

    When processors, memory and bandwidth speeds started
    to rise, HDDs started to get left behind. So bigger
    caches were included and spindle speeds were
    ratcheted up paving the way for the likes of the
    famous Western Digital Raptor with 10,000rpm spindle

    When even that wasnıt enough we threw them into RAID0
    arrays to literally throw more read heads at the
    problem. My four 80GB HDDs way back when in RAID0 had
    beastly performance, it was glorious, and noisy! But
    thereıs only so much you can do with a spinning metal
    platter. Thereıs physical limits on spinning it and
    thereıs only so much you can cram onto it. Although to
    be fair Seagate and Western Digital et al. have been
    doing a good job of improving areal density year on
    year, even coming up with techniques like shingled
    storage to improve densities (at the cost of

    However, weıre now at a tipping point. HDDs are so far
    behind the performance curve these days compared to
    SSDs that itıs just a question of SSD capacity and
    dollars per gigabyte, and it appears that time is now.

    Just about all PCs you can buy now have an SSD in it,
    at the very least as the OS drive with a slave HDD to
    bring the needed extra capacity. However in the top
    end where you can drop a bit more coin for the
    privilege you can get capacious amounts of SSD only
    storage included.

    With this trend continuing itıs only a matter of time,
    perhaps less than a year, before SSD-only PCs become
    the norm.

    <http://mobile.pcauthority.com.au/Feature/447662,system-news-the-hard-dr ive-is-60-years-old.aspx>

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