Hard drives skyrocket in capacity

Just like memory chips and processor speeds, hard drive sizes continually increase. Typically, they double each year but they recently took a huge jump from 160gb to 500gb. The price difference between 80gb and 500gb drives dropped to $1, so our supplier has stopped stocking SATA drives below 500gb. IDE drives are still available in 160gb sizes, but we expect this to eventually end soon as 500gb or larger becomes the new minimum. At the same time, SSD drives are now widely available in a range of sizes starting at 40gb.

We expect that 2011 could be the last year for business desktop computers with hard drives, since 80gb for a desktop has proven adequate most users. We expect that by 2012 all new desktop computers will have 80gb SSD drives.

For home computers storing music, pictures and video, 1tb or larger drives will become common, and we expect 4tb drives that can store hours of high resolution video will be common on new desktops in 2012.

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