15 Years Of Hard Drive History: Capacities Outran Performance

Areal Density Analysis

The increase in hard drive capacity is impressive: in the last 15 years, storage density has gone up 10,000x!

The storage industry is still finding ways to keep increasing storage densities. The latest technology is called Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), which moves magnetization of particles from a horizontal to a vertical alignment, so more bits can fit the same space.

If you take 1991's maximum capacity of 130 MB and compare it to today's 750 GB per hard drive, capacities have increased by a factor of 5,700 in the last 15 years. If you compare the per-platter capacity, the difference is even larger.

  • There is a typo in the article:

    Quantum's Fireball was available about five years after the 40 GB Maxtor drive discussed above,

    It should be 40MB, obviously
  • badcat
    "And Samsung, finally, may have a decent advantage in the future with a possible hybrid hard drive; it is the only firm in this quartet that manufactures both magnetic and Flash storage." WRONG! This technology existed in enterprise level hard disks for some time now.
  • i am still looking a 40Mb hard disk for my machine in 386dx