Hard Drive Performance

Today I spent an hour or so reconfiguring the hard disks in a few of my home machines. The idea was to boost the Windows Home Server machine  to 2Tb and also replace the aging 120Gb ATA drive in my main dev box (the oldest of four drives in that box and my last remaining ATA drive in service).

Once I was done swapping physical drives I wanted to check that the drive I was going to use to install the Windows 7 64bit RC build was sufficiently speedy. I decided to run a simple drive benchmark across my widely varying collection of disks. The results are as follows:

            120Gb                          200Gb                              400Gb                           640Gb                         1500Gb

HDD Benchmark 120Gb HDD Benchmark 200Gb HDD Benchmark 400Gb HDD Benchmark 640Gb HDD Benchmark 1500Gb

So the 120Gb drive that cost me AUD$413 in July 2002 has about one third the read speed of the latest 1.5Tb drive that cost me AUD$199.

From a cost perspective the 7 year old drive cost me $3.44 per gigabyte, compared to the new drive at just $0.13 per gigabyte. Still this pales in comparison to my first 20Mb hard drive that I bought 20 years ago for $950. That works out to $45000 per gigabyte!