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Thread: 1TB Hard Drives: Does the number of Platters matter ?

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  1. #1
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    1TB Hard Drives: Does the number of Platters matter ?

    Most aspects of Hard Drives are well understood by the typical Computer user.

    Capacity, Speed, Cache, Latency; we know how these affect performance, heat, and energy use (or think we know).

    But as 1TB Drives become more common, it is apparent that some manufacturers build these drives with more Platters, while others use less (Samsung?).

    Is there any advantage to the End User if a Hard Drive has more Platters or less ?

    Or should we ignore the number of Platters altogether ?

    At least do Drives with fewer Platters weigh less ?

  2. #2
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Of course drives with more platters and more read/write heads will weigh a few ounces/grams less but that doesn't matter.

    Drives with more or less platters doesn't really matter either. If it works, then so what? If it does what you need and stores all your data, who cares?

    Some people get real nit picky about technical specs when all they are doing is confusing themselves and everyone around them. Technology changes so fast that the next time you go to buy a hard drive, it will be an SSD or other newer technology and platters will be out of the picture.

    Enjoy the technology and live a little. Wake up and smell the coffee and the flowers outside.

  3. #3
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    Less platters usually means higher platter density. Higher platter density means more data will pass the read/write head per rotation. Yeah, that helps performance, but you probably won't notice difference in the real world.

    I wouldn't think too long about it. You get what you get. I usually recommend Seagate or Hitachi, regardless of the platter count.

  4. #4
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte
    Less platters usually means higher platter density. Higher platter density means more data will pass the read/write head per rotation. Yeah, that helps performance, but you probably won't notice difference in the real world.

    I wouldn't think too long about it. You get what you get. I usually recommend Seagate or Hitachi, regardless of the platter count.
    I add Western Digital to my personal list for favorites.

    I also added Quantum and Maxtor to my list of NEVER, EVER PURCHASE!!!

    You get what you pay for and those two brands are cheap for a good reason.


    If we had a time machine and went back in time so 15 years and took along a new 1TB hard drive and plugged it into a current system from that time, yes you would notice a dramatic performace gain. With todays systems, it is lees of an issue as MK said above. It isn't a real bid deal either way.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member rmanet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterling_Aug
    It isn't a real bid deal either way.
    geez Sterling - I didn't realize you were coming down with a cold, take some Nyquil and get some rest
    "hope to someday have a clever or inspirational quote....."
    ANON

  6. #6
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    Fewer platters means:

    * Higher data density -> higher sequential read/write performance
    * Lighter head assembly -> potential for faster seeks
    * Less air drag -> less noise and power consumption
    * Fewer parts -> cheaper to manufacture

    but also

    * Higher data density -> potentially lower long term data retention

  7. #7
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    And as for progress ...

    25 years ago we had 5-megabyte drives that were 5,25" full height (full height is TWO of today's 5.25" drive bays or 3.2 inches, just in case you forgot) with 0.3 MB/s read/write speed, and seek times around 100 milliseconds.

    Today we have 1-terabyte drives in 3.5" (height 1"), which is roughly one fifth of physical volume. Average read/write speed is about 100 MB/s. Seeks are about 10 milliseconds.

    So we got a 200,000-fold increase in size with only a 300-fold increase in sequential speed, and only a 10-fold increase in seek speeds.

    Backups have become a waking nightmare - literally.

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    And they are a whole bunches cheaper than the $468 price tag on a new 2 GB hdd back in its day.

  9. #9
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    I paid $1000 for my 1st harddrive, a 20-MByte model - and it was a demo unit, not even all brandnew. That was 1986.

    It's still working btw.

  10. #10
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    My first hard drive was a 10 MB model in a Tandy 1000, IBM XT clone with a 4.77 MHz processor and 64 KBytes of RAM.

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