A History of the Hard Drive

Matt Barton's picture

What's the #1 thing slowing down your modern PC? According to Tom's Hardware, it may be your hard drive. According to authors Patrick Schmid and Achim Roos, hard drive technology has greatly expanded in capacity, yet lagged seriously behind in terms of performance. The authors take a look back at the past 15 years of hard drive technology, going into plenty of detail about compression technology. However, all is not bleak:

The performance situation won't change unless technology changes dramatically. As long as hard drives keep using magnetic platters, there is not much that can be done to remove the inherent bottlenecks of physical mechanisms. Fortunately, next-generation hard drives will mostly be based on perpendicular recording technology, which allows building multi-terabyte hard drives while further increasing performance.

I've been hearing about this "perpendicular" technology for many years now, and am beginning to wonder why it's taking so long to become the standard. Come to think of it, I'm surprised that it isn't easier just to dump your OS into flash memory and be done with it. Oh--forgot about Windows bloat...!


Joined: 05/20/2006

Alas... flash memory is way slower than hard drives, in general. In the case where you have a huge amount of random seeks, it could possibly help. Windows Vista is able to use flash memory to speed up page file activity when it determines that the flash would be faster.

Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
Non mechanical fast memory storage is the future

Non mechanical fast ways to use memory is the future. There are in fact solid state 'harddrives' available at the small sum of $10.000,00 that are used by the US Military. Very pricy, but very durable and hard to crash.
So the technology is there but still too expensive for home users.

Here's some links - the subject doesn't seem to be that new really it's been discussed on various sites in 2005 and 2006:

Gigabyte's i-RAM storage device RAM disk without the fuss

Gigabyte Brings Solid State Storage to the Mainstream

1 Terabyte of solid state hard drive space

Getting rid of the disks...

Samsung launches 32 GB Flash disk for mobile computers

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-


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