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Wild theorizing(what if 40 yrs of hdd knowledge were applied to the first hdd formfactors?)

the first HDDs were the size of refrigerators with platters 16 inches across
modern hard drives are all 3.5 inches or smaller
What if we took everything weve learned about manufacturing hdds and applied it to older form factors?

Like for example if we made 5.25 drives with modern manufacturing processes
we could get monstrously high storage capacities at the cost of physical size
im sure there are plenty of datacenters and digital archives that would have niche but lucrative use cases for such a drive

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56 minutes ago, DReznov said:

im sure there are plenty of datacenters and digital archives that would have niche but lucrative use cases for such a drive

Niche typically means lower sales volume and higher prices. Unless your single large disk is cheaper than multiple smaller drives with the same total capacity, it makes no economic sense to buy it. Having an uncommon form factor (by modern standards) might also mean it's not going to fit into existing infrastructure (e.g. server racks/drive cages). This alone might make it unattractive to potential buyers.

 

Here's an article that gives several reasons why smaller platters are preferable:

  • Enhanced Rigidity: The rigidity of a platter refers to how stiff it is. Stiff platters are more resistant to shock and vibration, and are better-suited for being mated with higher-speed spindles and other high-performance hardware. Reducing the hard disk platter's diameter by a factor of two approximately quadruples its rigidity.
  • Manufacturing Ease: The flatness and uniformity of a platter is critical to its quality; an ideal platter is perfectly flat and consistent. Imperfect platters lead to low manufacturing yield and the potential for data loss due to the heads contacting uneven spots on the surface of a platter. Smaller platters are easier to make than larger ones.
  • Mass Reduction: For performance reasons, hard disk spindles are increasing in speed. Smaller platters are easier to spin and require less-powerful motors. They are also faster to spin up to speed from a stopped position.
  • Power Conservation: The amount of power used by PCs is becoming more and more of a concern, especially for portable computing but even on the desktop. Smaller drives generally use less power than larger ones.
  • Noise and Heat Reduction: These benefits follow directly from the improvements enumerated above.
  • Improved Seek Performance: Reducing the size of the platters reduces the distance that the head actuator must move the heads side-to-side to perform random seeks; this improves seek time and makes random reads and writes faster. Of course, this is done at the cost of capacity; you could theoretically achieve the same performance improvement on a larger disk by only filling the inner cylinders of each platter. In fact, some demanding customers used to partition hard disks and use only a small portion of the disk, for exactly this reason: so that seeks would be faster. Using a smaller platter size is more efficient, simpler and less wasteful than this sort of "hack".

Remember to either quote or @mention others, so they are notified of your reply

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44 minutes ago, Eigenvektor said:
  • Enhanced Rigidity: The rigidity of a platter refers to how stiff it is. Stiff platters are more resistant to shock and vibration, and are better-suited for being mated with higher-speed spindles and other high-performance hardware. Reducing the hard disk platter's diameter by a factor of two approximately quadruples its rigidity.
  • Manufacturing Ease: The flatness and uniformity of a platter is critical to its quality; an ideal platter is perfectly flat and consistent. Imperfect platters lead to low manufacturing yield and the potential for data loss due to the heads contacting uneven spots on the surface of a platter. Smaller platters are easier to make than larger ones.
  • Mass Reduction: For performance reasons, hard disk spindles are increasing in speed. Smaller platters are easier to spin and require less-powerful motors. They are also faster to spin up to speed from a stopped position.
  • Power Conservation: The amount of power used by PCs is becoming more and more of a concern, especially for portable computing but even on the desktop. Smaller drives generally use less power than larger ones.
  • Noise and Heat Reduction: These benefits follow directly from the improvements enumerated above.
  • Improved Seek Performance: Reducing the size of the platters reduces the distance that the head actuator must move the heads side-to-side to perform random seeks; this improves seek time and makes random reads and writes faster. Of course, this is done at the cost of capacity; you could theoretically achieve the same performance improvement on a larger disk by only filling the inner cylinders of each platter. In fact, some demanding customers used to partition hard disks and use only a small portion of the disk, for exactly this reason: so that seeks would be faster. Using a smaller platter size is more efficient, simpler and less wasteful than this sort of "hack".

TL;DR Storage capacity at the cost of everything else. Like Chevys new 10.4L, but power.

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