History of the External Hard Disk Drive Prices


Hey folks, Let’s see the transformation of External Hard Disk Drive prices today 😉.

External Hard Disk drives are also Hard Disk Drives which are connected outside from your computer along with a protection cover which is also known as an “Enclosure”.

First Generation of the Hard Disk Drive initially begun in 1950’s. At the time Hard Disk Drives (which is also known as HDD) were very expensive. I can imagine that the price of a Hard Disc Drive with the capacity of 1 megabyte was very close to the price of Gold 😮 .

Yeah , That’s true folks. The storage capacities of Hard Disk Drives were around 1 megabyte at that era and people had to spend tons of their money just to get several megabytes.

It’s fascinating that nowadays we are using External Hard Disk Drives with storage capacity with more that 4TeraBytes. (1Tb = 1000000 Mb).When considering the early stages of the hard disks , it’s a huge development.

Hard Disk Drives in 1950’s

Have you ever heard about RAMAC?

“RAMAC” is the first Hard Disk Drive ever created. In long form it means “Random Access Method of Accounting and Protocol”.

Storage system in this HDD was known as IBM 350.

In Interior Design , it consisted with 50 Platters (or Disks) of 24 inch , and could store 5 million 6 Bit characters. But after all folks , 5 million characters equals 5 Megabytes.

Ramac’s introductory price was $3200.

Photo Creadits – www.ibm.com

Photo Credits – historyofinformation.com

Main Disadvantages of the First ever Hard Disk Drive

Because of the higher cost , only rich people ( in your words “posh”) were able to afford .The cost of 1mb was nearly $640 per month.

The Size of the HDD was massive and it required an entire room as it equals to size of two large sized refrigerators.

Development of the Hard Disk Drives during the period of 1960’s to 1970’s

Nowadays we love to have lot of storage capacity in our computers. Like now , people in 1960’s too were in need of excess data storage. In order to fulfill the requirements of Customers , the company IBM invented a model “IBM 1311”.Based on that technology IBM 1316 Disc Pack came to the stage.

“1316” Was a removable Disk pack with 6 disks , while it could store 2 million characters. So the storage of entire disk pack was 2 Megabytes.

Size of the Disk was been reduced by reducing the diameter from early 24 inches to 14 inches , while it was fixed to a device which looked so much similar to a modern washing machine.

Several outstanding features of 1316 Disk pack

⦿ The Disks can be directly accessed

⦿ Unlimited offline capacity

⦿ Portability between several computer systems

⦿ Secured offline storage

In addition to the above facts people had the ability purchase additional packs and interchange them according to their requirements like magnetic tape reels. Opposite type of Removable Disk drive was called as “fixed hard drive” , since it was unable to remove.

As a result of several developments , scientists found the way to increase the storage capacity of HDDs nearly to 300mb , at the beginning of the 1980 decade.

Good time for Hard Disk Drives – Introducing System 360 by IBM

IBM after several successful tests introduced their newest computer which is also called “IBM 360”.

It became very popular in the Market. And with the successful selling , customers requested for a flexible storage.

Photo Credits – www.righto.com

Due to this demand IBM created an interconnected hard disk device.

So, with the development of the system 360 , another group of manufacturers were formed to produce hard disk drives.

From 1950’s to 1970’s , computers were massive sized and highly priced. These computers could be afforded only by Government institutions or rich people in the society.But with the falling down of electronic component prices , new market for Personal Computers (pc) emerged.

Technology in 1970’s

In 1973 IBM created a newly developed Hard Disk Drive and the name ” Winchester” was given to it. This drive can be considered as the first modern design of Hard Disk Drives.

Photo Credits – storagenewsletter.com

Main difference between traditional hard disk drives and the “Winchester” was – when the HDD is powered down , disk heads were not completely withdrawn from the stack of disk platters. Instead heads were place in a special place on the disks. When powered off , disk head is spin down for the place and after powering back , the head is taken back for reading.

First Winchester drives used platters of 14 inches in diameter just like the first removable disk pack.

The fact that , using of small disk platters are advantageous was revealed after a set of continuous tests.

After sometime 8 inch and 5.25 Diameter Disk Drives with non removable disk platters came into the market.These small sized HDDs were highly used for the personal computers.

What Happed in 1980’s

In early 1980’s also Hard Disk Drives were rare and expensive. It was given as an additional feature to the customer and was called an additional sub system.

In 1980 , a newly founded Company called “SHUGART” (now the world known “Seagate” ) introduced an Hard Disk Drive for personal Computers with the capacity of 5 Megabytes And with a Diameter of 5,25 inches. It was priced to $1500.

Photo Credits – computerhistory.org

IBM in 1983 , introduced another remarkable PC “IBM PC/XT”. They used an internal hard disk drive of 10mb for it. Later on , huge development in the computer industry took place.

Photo Credits – www.flickr.com

Nowadays world famous “Apple” company used External hard disk for a long time on their computers. On every MAC produced within 1980 – 1998 , a “SCSI” Port was fixed to the back with the purpose of making external expansion easy.

External Hard Disk Drives now

A tremendous development have been emerged in the field of Hard Disk Drives , as nowadays we have the ability to store more than 4Terabytes data to a memory disk , which is smaller than the size of our nail 😎 .

In modern HDD World , technologies like “Energy Assisted Magnetic Recording” (EAMR) are rising up. Several EAMR technologies called “shingled” and “Perpendicular Magnetic Recording” (PMB) has shown the way for increased hard disk drive capacity.

We will point out few important facts on the development of hrd disk drives.

⦿ Weight – Have been reduced from 910kg to 48g.

⦿ Price – Cost of 1mb has become $0.000073 from $12000

⦿ Access time – from 100 milliseconds to few milliseconds

⦿ Capacity – Storage Capacity has been increased from 1mb to 16Tb or more…..

Comparison of the External Hard Disk Drive Prices from 1950’s to 2021

YearPrice per 1 mb (US$)ModelAccess time (msec)Size(MB)Cost (US$)
19569200IBM 35015003.7534500
19597600IBM 35035007.557000
19603600IBM 1405-16251036000
19643518IBM 2311-197.57.2525510
1970259IBM 3330-138.310025970
19732500DEC RK05 2.46120
1988997SEAGATE  ST-2387030299
19897.48SEAGATE ST-2774060449
19905.22SEAGATE ST227R-12865339
19913.07MAXTOR 8760E 6501994
20000.0070MAXTOR M94098U8 40000279
20020.00122IBM 07N9219 120000140
20100.0000733SEAGATE 1.5TB , 5900 rpm , 32 MB 1500000109
20200.0000194SEAGATE  8TB,5400 rpm , 256 MB 8000000154
20210.0000194SEAGATE  8TB , 5400 rpm , 256 MB 8000000154

If you need more understanding please watch this video..

That’s all folks. Hope you will love to see the next Post ..😎😉


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