Can Old-School Hard Drives Compete With Today's?

Well… no. But it is kind of a fun exercise to compare the HDDs of yesteryear with modern ones. The performance increase is really spectacular, and it’s helped enable things like HD video playback, high-resolution textures, and all kinds of other stuff. You may not have thought your drive was slow back in ’98, or that the one you’ve got now is particularly fast, but this little comparison ought to put things in perspective.

Hot Hardware gathered up a number of drives from the last 15 years, starting with a 2.1GB WD Caviar from ’96, and ending with another Caviar, a 2TB from last year. How nice: a near-perfect 1000x increase in space, and a significant (but not quite as large) improvement in performance. They hooked them up to a modern machine as well as they could, and put them to the test.

Check out the whole comparison here. And if you’ve got any old hard drives lying around… well, they’re pretty useless. But they make good decorations!