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I just purchased my 100th hard drive: by the numbers

By robo_dev ·
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Actually, I have no idea how many hard drives I have purchased in my life.

But the first one was a 20 Megabyte Seagate drive, which cost something like $350 back in around 1989 or so. At the time I worked for a company with a $500 limit on 'expense' items, and we were able to sneak in Western Digital full-height 80 MB RLL drives for something like $496 each.

Yesterday I picked up a pair of 1TB WD Sata drives which cost around $50 each.

If I did the math correctly, to get to One TeraByte using 20 MB Seagate drives that cost $350 each would take 50,000 drives at an approximate cost of $17.5 Million USD. 50,000 drives in boxes would fill a standard cargo shipping container or semi-trailer.

Of course, since the ATA bus can handle only four devices, that would take a total of 12,500 PCs to RUN all those drives. While that would only cost around $10M USD for that many PCs, consider that if each has a 500 Watt power supply, and is drawing half that amount of power, they would draw 3 million watts of power, which is roughly enough power to feed 2000 average homes. (Not to mention the noise).

Consider too, that 12,500 PCs would generate 18 Million BTUH of heat, while an average Nuclear Power plant produces something like 4 Million BTUH. In a data center, if these were 1U PCs, they would take up something like 300 42U racks, or I would guess, a 20,000 square foot data center.

But I digress....

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