evolution of hard disk drive PCBs
Although the physical dimensions of 3.5'' hard disk drives have changed little over the years, the same can not be said about their PCBs and technical specifications. I would have liked to include two additional HDDs from ~2000 and ~2006 respectively, but believe that this montage still reasonably illustrates the progress in the field of degree of integration and furthermore the slightly different approaches the manufacturers took when implementing the necessary controller ICs. As discussed earlier, the low-profile Seagate Medalist SL (1995) delivers an average transfer rate of about 3.4 MB/s, while the slightly younger Quantum Fireball ST is faster by a factor of roughly two point six.
In early 2004, consumer-grade 7200 rpm drives could generally be expected to read at ~45 MB/s, as represented by the two contemporary exemplars of Samsung and again Seagate - a number I would even today consider high enough in some situations, however demanding applications will greatly benefit by more modern models like Hitachi's Deskstar 7K1000.C (2009) and their offered performance in the range of an average 105 MB/s or greater.
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