News HDD Areal Density Growth Slows as Capacity Increases

Alvar "Miles" Udell

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Apr 1, 2020
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Have to wonder if the 5.25" form factor could make a comeback. Given advances in computer machining tolerances as well as higher density, platter count, multiple read actuators, and RAID allowing for lower RPM while retaining throughput, I think it could work in the enterprise market.
 
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InvalidError

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Have to wonder if the 5.25" form factor could make a comeback. Given advances in computer machining tolerances as well as higher density, platter count, multiple read actuators, and RAID allowing for lower RPM while retaining throughput, I think it could work in the enterprise market.
3.5" HDDs are the go-to size because it is the optimal choice between density and reliability. If you make platters larger, they also need to be thicker to maintain the necessary stiffness all the way to the edge. Since the moment of inertia scales with the fourth power of radius, making the platters 50% larger by diameter would require making them ~4X as strong unless you lower the RPMs. The performance and density would take a substantial hit. Everything being 50% bigger and 70-150% heavier will put that much extra strain on motors, drivers, bearings, etc. too.

The biggest problem with 8+TB drives is the time it takes to rebuild an array: if you average 100MB/s, you are looking at 22+h in downgraded status, possibly several times more depending on how much usage still needs to be served while the rebuild is in progress. The very concept of 20+TB spinning drives sounds almost like data genocide. You need some serious redundancy to use these with any degree of confidence.
 
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hasten

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CPU Manufacturers arent advertising clock speed you say?

"Core i9-12900KS World Record: How I Hit 7.8 GHz on 8 Cores"

"Intel Alder Lake-HX Leak: 16 Cores, 5 GHz Boost Clock"

Must be better for clicks than selling cpus ;)!
 

pug_s

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Mar 26, 2003
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Have to wonder if the 5.25" form factor could make a comeback. Given advances in computer machining tolerances as well as higher density, platter count, multiple read actuators, and RAID allowing for lower RPM while retaining throughput, I think it could work in the enterprise market.
I doubt it. I recall the last company which made 5.25 factor of hard drives was Quantum bigfoot drives. They are extremely slow which ran 3600 rpm while 3.5 drives ran 5400 rpm.
 

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