The sweet spot for storage: 750GB

Every once in a while it’s amusing to go back and look at the cost of hard disk storage on a cost-per-gigabyte basis. I’m often struck, when I do this exercise, at how closely prices and capacities align with Moore’s Law, with capacities doubling every 18 months or so. Back in August 2005, I noted that terabyte drive arrays were in the $999-1499 range. That was roughly a 100% premium, given that around the same time I was paying $110 or so for a 200GB hard drive.

So here it is, roughly three years later, and I’m seeing 750GB drives at the $120 price level and 1TB drives breaking below $250. That’s still a premium for the larger sizes, but not nearly as great. For the past year or so, the 500GB drive has been the sweet spot in terms of cost/GB, but it looks like sweet spot is now shifting to the 750GB size. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before the 1TB drives drop to the $120-150 level and take over the sweet spot.

Back in 2005, I had a total of about 1TB available on all available systems. Today, I have three or four more computers than I did then, and as I look around my office I figure I now have close to 10 terabytes of total storage available, half of it on three machines. More than 2TB of that is in my CableCARD-equipped Media Center system, which has a 500GB main drive, plus data drives of 750GB and 1TB (the latter in an eSATA enclosure).

I also have two Windows Home Servers, each with more than 1.5TB of storage. (Why two? One is always in service, running production code, while on the other one I play with add-ins, beta releases, and other stuff.)

Music, movies, recorded TV, backups … it all adds up.

5 thoughts on “The sweet spot for storage: 750GB

  1. Same thing with monitors…. for a long time 19 inch was the ceiling on “deals” you could get… now it’s 22″ and below. You go to 24″ and suddenly it gets VERY expensive!

    TV’s? 42″ is the deal capper!

  2. I just added 2 WD GP 750 Drives to my HTPC for Movies and Recorded TV.

    My total storage is now over 2 TB.

    Life is good!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. It is amusing to look back at hard drive prices. If you go back far enough it’s mind boggling. The first hard drive I bought (in early 1988) a 20MB one cost about $400 as I recall–and 20MB drives were the sweet spot at that time. That means the cost was $20 dollars a MB making the price per GB $20,000. If that was the price of a GB today the two 500GB drives in this computer (and never mind the 500GB external one) would cost, if I’ve done the math right, $20 Million! Oh, and correct that for inflation (1988 dollars to 2007 dollars, the latest I could find) it would come to $36 Million plus!

  4. Ed,

    Have you read this? It’s just too brutal to discribe:

    “So why the need for the Barry? Well, in my case, I was able to test the Lenovo X300 with the old Microsoft XP operating system, which I have learned to live with. But at some point soon, Microsoft is going to stop selling XP, and buying a Lenovo with Vista is like buying a Ferrari with square tires. Or a G-IV jet with wings made out of dump trucks. I really can’t think of another important device or service that is as morally bankrupt, stupid, and plain worthless as Microsoft’s Vista. Someone should do jail time.”

    Bad journalism, don’t know what you would expect from Esquire but it’s bad!

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