Surprise From An Outsider: Samsung SV1204H With 120 GB

At The Technical Peak Of The Times: 60 GB Per Platter

The most important step in getting larger hard drives and increasing performance is to raise the data density (in bit per surface unit). The more information that fits on an existing surface, the larger the capacity of the disk drive. Analogous to this, the data transfer rate can also be increased using this method: the closer the sectors are to one another, the more sectors pass through the read and write heads per rotation.

Another advantage to having higher data density is that the fewest possible platters can be used per disk drive. This is an advantage because production costs are reduced (due to fewer materials and heads needed), as is the friction within the hard drive.

On the other hand, a high data density can also be used to boost the total capacity. The more data that fits on a platter, the larger the capacity of the hard disk. As an example, IBM used this method to the extreme with the 15-75 GB models of its DeskStar 75 GXP series - these had from one to five platters at 15 GB each.

Seagate and Western Digital have also announced products based on 60 GB platters (Barracuda ATA V and 2000BB, respectively), but these run at 7200 rpm and are geared toward the high-end sector. Therefore, they are considerably more expensive than the Samsung hard drive.