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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Performance, Quality and Reliability | Hard Disk Performance | Hard Disk Internal Performance Factors ]

Data Recording and Encoding Factors

One of the most amazing sets of technologies in the world is the combination of various construction and geometry characteristics of the hard disk, which allow data to be stored at such incredible capacities and retrieved with such speed and precision. The end results of the advances of recent years are capacities approaching 100 GB and incredible read/write speed, attributes that seemed unattainable in such a short period of time a decade ago. And there's nowhere to go but up from here!

This chart shows the progress of areal density over the
last several years, as refleced in IBM's Travelstar series
of 2.5" form factor hard disk drives. Increased areal
density leads directly to larger capacity and better
performance. Note that the density scale is logarithmic!

Original image IBM Corporation
Image used with permission.

In this section I will discuss some of the key influences on performance that are related to the way that data is stored on the hard disk. This includes a look at the way data is written to the disk medium, and also how it is organized on the disk.

Next: Recording Density

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