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Why Are Hard Drives Still Rotational Devices?

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  • Why Are Hard Drives Still Rotational Devices?

    Why are hard drives still based on the principal of spinning platters? It's a slow and inefficient method of data transfer and it leaves a large margin for drive failure if, for some reason, the platters can't turn or if they shatter while spinning. It also uses a lot of power to spin the platters, especially at some of the high rotational speeds of some these days. Don't we have the technology to make drives that don't use moving parts and with less energy and still have faster transfer speeds?

    Heh... sounds like a "flotational" device... O_o
    "63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs, you get 1 whacked with a service pack, now there's 63,005 bugs in the code."
    "Before you critisize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you critisize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
    Utopia Software - Current Software: Utopia News Pro (news management system)

  • #2
    I believe the magic lies in either solid state drives (e.g. gobs of RAM) or holographic storage.
    Matt
    Sybase DBA / PHP fanatic
    Sybase v. MySQL v. Oracle | Why I don't like MySQL | Download Sybase TODAY! | Visit DBForums.com!

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    • #3
      Well, the reason for that is, RAM in the quantities that we find ourselves using up in our hard drives is still pretty expensive - roughly $40-50 per 512mb stick. And the kind of RAM that doesn't lose its data when it loses power is even more expensive. Then, holographic storage is still miles away from the mainstream.

      Meanwhile, platter-based hard drives are getting bigger, faster, and cheaper. They are reasonably reliable - the average computer lifespan of about a year is almost never abruptly ended by a hard drive unless it was a defective drive to begin with (*cough* IBM Deathstar */cough*)

      So basically until you want to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a solid state drive of equivalent size, you're pretty much stuck with platters.

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      • #4
        1 year lifespan on a computer? My current local webserver is about 7 years old and has never had any parts replaced except 1 stick of RAM, and it still runs fine. Still yet, I have a 12 year old computer that has never had any inner parts changed, and it still runs fine...
        "63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs, you get 1 whacked with a service pack, now there's 63,005 bugs in the code."
        "Before you critisize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you critisize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
        Utopia Software - Current Software: Utopia News Pro (news management system)

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        • #5
          it won't be long before the industry transitions to nonvolatile, solid-state storage. It will be 10,000x faster than current hard drives I am told.

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          • #6
            And longer until we can convert to quantum drives. Where all of the information is stored in an entirely different universe and any ammount of information is instantly accessible.

            The same goes for CPU's. All of the calculations are done separately in an entirely different universe and recieved back at the very same instant at which they were sent.
            "63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs, you get 1 whacked with a service pack, now there's 63,005 bugs in the code."
            "Before you critisize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you critisize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
            Utopia Software - Current Software: Utopia News Pro (news management system)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CeleronXT
              It also uses a lot of power to spin the platters, especially at some of the high rotational speeds of some these days.
              Not as much as you think. Just like a car and gas, it takes more umph to get it going than to keep it going. The platter must be accelerated (sp?) from no rotational motion to high rotational motion in a short period of time, and rotating around a center point. This requires a lot of energy. As a top stays spinning, your platter would too. The motor only needs to add energy to keep it going, which isn't very much

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              • #8
                Yes, true I suppose... But it's much like my CD player/radio combo thing. When the battery is low, it can play the radio just find (and for quite some time too), but it just can't get the CD spinning. To create movement takes a lot of energy. And this is energy that doesn't necessarily have to be used if we can create non-moving drives.
                "63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs, you get 1 whacked with a service pack, now there's 63,005 bugs in the code."
                "Before you critisize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you critisize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
                Utopia Software - Current Software: Utopia News Pro (news management system)

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                • #9
                  As for the IBM deathstar, I've owned 6 of them (75GXP and 120GXP) and not a single one failed... hmm, I seem to be using one right now...

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                  • #10
                    Lifespan of a year? I guess for someone who has a lot of cash to throw around. I would guess the average time someone keeps a computer for is more like 2 or 3 years. Maybe with a couple of upgrades.
                    Motorsport Forums

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                    • #11
                      hard drives still use platters because they still work just fine and im sure this wont change till hard drive makers hit a limit and cant add anymore space to a platter, its just like cpus, we have 64-bit cpus but cpu makers arn't pushing for 64-bit cpus to the desktop market because there not needed because the 32-bit cpus are work just fine

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CeleronXT
                        Yes, true I suppose... But it's much like my CD player/radio combo thing. When the battery is low, it can play the radio just find (and for quite some time too), but it just can't get the CD spinning. To create movement takes a lot of energy. And this is energy that doesn't necessarily have to be used if we can create non-moving drives.
                        Like Beorn said, once the platters are spinning it's relatively easy to keep them spinning; kinetic friction is much lower than static friction, especially with these kind of devices that are meant to be moving all the time basically. If you spin the CD in your player yourself then start playing it very well might actually play, depends on how much power the battery has left.
                        Chen Avinadav
                        Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

                        גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chen
                          Like Beorn said, once the platters are spinning it's relatively easy to keep them spinning; kinetic friction is much lower than static friction, especially with these kind of devices that are meant to be moving all the time basically. If you spin the CD in your player yourself then start playing it very well might actually play, depends on how much power the battery has left.
                          Newtons laws of motion again! In the absence of friction then the only energy which needs to be expended is that to accelerate a body up to a certain speed, at which point it will stay at that speed. So consequently, more energy is needed to start and stop all the time than keep moving.
                          Motorsport Forums

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CeleronXT
                            And longer until we can convert to quantum drives. Where all of the information is stored in an entirely different universe and any ammount of information is instantly accessible.

                            The same goes for CPU's. All of the calculations are done separately in an entirely different universe and recieved back at the very same instant at which they were sent.
                            instantly is not fast enough! Your stock will plumit
                            Running vB since 4-14-2002

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chen
                              Like Beorn said, once the platters are spinning it's relatively easy to keep them spinning; kinetic friction is much lower than static friction, especially with these kind of devices that are meant to be moving all the time basically. If you spin the CD in your player yourself then start playing it very well might actually play, depends on how much power the battery has left.
                              That's not a bad idea! (spin it first myself)

                              And Lol @ IDN.
                              "63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs, you get 1 whacked with a service pack, now there's 63,005 bugs in the code."
                              "Before you critisize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you critisize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
                              Utopia Software - Current Software: Utopia News Pro (news management system)

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