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Approximately how heavy was the first 1GB hard drive?

2017 03 18 image 8

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2017 03 18 image 8

The IBM 3380 Direct Access Storage Device (DASD) marked the pinnacle of 14-inch disks in 1981. Using nine platters to break the 1 gigabyte barrier with a total capacity of 1260 MB, and ultimately 2.52 GB when two HDAs were paired. A three-capacity version was offered in 1987.

One HDA (as pictured) cost approximately $50,000, weighed 64 pounds, and the set was stored in the largest cabinet ever used for disks, measuring one meter wide, one meter deep and two meters high. The IBM 3380 offered customers the ability to store “up to 2.52 billion characters of information,” which was four times the amount previous IBM storage devices were capable of. This came at a hefty cost.

The IBM 3380 was available in different models with different feature sets depending on what customers required (e.g. control functions and fixed head technology). Based on those requirements, IBM 3380 storage was sold from $97,000 to $142,000 each, in 1980s dollars.

By 1991, IBM had squeezed 1GB into the 3.5-inch, eight-platter 0663 Corsair HDD, and by 2018 you could purchase a 16TB 3.5-inch Seagate hard drive off the shelf, which equates to the storage space of more than 10,000 IBM 3380 HDAs.

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