Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Hard Drive Prices Continue to Fall

Have you thought about buying an 8 TeraByte hard drive? How about a 10 TB or 14 TB hard drive? Perhaps you can't imagine needing that much memory storage capacity. The constant technological advancement to higher and higher capacity hard drives is not particularly driven by consumers. The real forces behind this constant increase in capacity are the huge server farms or commercial arrays of thousands or millions of hard drives that run the businesses and industries of our world.
But this demand for larger and larger capacity hard drives has a side benefit of driving down hard drive prices for the rest of us. We all need to be concerned about backing up our data. I have recently lost a considerable number of my old family movies to upgrades that rendered them unreadable. We may yet find a way to read those older files by finding the originals on CDs and DVDs, but presently, I cannot get the files to work and these files were created in 2012!!! That problem is one of migration, that is, updated the file format of all of our files, but there is always and just as important the challenge of preserving the digital files on storage devices.

The good news is that the price of purchasing a new hard drive or two or three is rapidly falling. You can buy a 1 TB external hard drive for less than $50. In fact, you can buy a 2 TB hard drive for less than $50. Let me remind you that a 1 TB drive can hold the following from "How much is 1 TB of storage?"

  • 250,000 photos taken with a 12MP camera;
  • 250 movies or 500 hours of HD video; or.
  • 6.5 million document pages, commonly stored as Office files, PDFs, and presentations. It's also equal to 1,300 physical filing cabinets of paper!
Multiplying that out, a 14 TB hard drive could hold 3.5 million photos which is probably more than most people would take or acquire in their entire lifetime. 

Here are some of the current Seagate hard drive prices shown on of the different levels of storage:
  • 4 TB Hard Drive less than $80
  • 5 TB Hard Drive less than $110
  • 8 TB Hard Drive less than $140
  • 10 TB Hard Drive less than $200
  • 12 TB Hard Drive about $270
  • 14 TB Hard Drive less than $650
  • 16 TB Hard Drive about $700+
These are not arrays or RAIDs, but individual hard drives that would plug into your computer with a USB cable. If you divide out the cost per TeraByte, you will see that 8 TB hard drives are still the least expensive but are about the same price as 4 TB drives but all of them cost about the same until you get up to the very high capacity drives where the price per TeraByte jumps considerably. But wait a while and the price will come down. 

There is really no excuse for losing data even though I do so myself on occassion. 

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