Samsung’s New $100 Million Hard Drive!

August 16th, 2015 • iizthatiiz

Immediate Full Disclosure: This headline is not exactly accurate.

But $100 million is what the storage equivalent of Samsung’s new 16 Tb drive would have cost you in 1988!

The 16TB Samsung PM1633a SSD Hard Drive

The 16TB Samsung PM1633a SSD Hard Drive


Samsung has unveiled the world’s largest computer hard drive and it’s a whopper!

This new 16 terabyte solid state drive is a technological leap past the most advanced 8 and 10 Tb drives currently offered by competitors.  The new drive is all solid state flash memory.  No spinning platters or moving parts.

16 terabytes is enough capacity to store over 3,400 full sized DVD films, or about 280 days of straight 24 hour binge watching.  If  you prefer music, you can pack about 4 million mp3 music files onto this baby.


1.44 Mb Floppy diskBack in 1987, the 3 1/2 inch diskette became the universal standard on virtually all Macintosh and PC hardware. The original standard diskettes back in 1987 were 720 Mb’s, but by 1988 the 1.44 Mb double-sided high-density disk became the storage option of choice.  This was basically the end of the evolution of the diskette.  An extended-density disk was developed in 1991, but the increase in capacity wasn’t enough to compete with the emerging hard drive market.  The 1.44 Mb disk has remained the standard to the present day.

To put Samsung’s new 16 Tb drive into context, it is the equivalent of over 11.1 million 1.44 Mb diskettes.


Not even close to 11 million disks

Nowhere near 11 million disks

In 1988, you could purchase 10-packs of 1.44 Mb disks from Radio Shack for $89.95, or $8.99 each.  Buy 11.1 million of them and you could get an out the door price just shy of $100 million.  That is about what it would’ve taken to own 16 terabytes of storage back in those days.

1988 Radio Shack Catalog Prices

1988 Radio Shack Catalog Prices

What you could have stored on those 11.1 million disks is a whole other discussion.  There wasn’t anywhere close to 16 Tb’s of software written for the entire PC and Mac industry back in 1988.  The largest government and corporate computer operation centers at the time only had need for at most a few gigabytes of storage.  This 16 Tb drive could easily handle the storage requirements for 50,000 of the average computer centers in existence at that time.

PC magazine estimates the introductory cost of Samsung’s new 16 Tb solid state drive will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,000.  Within a year or two, it will drop to a fraction of that price.  Computer hardware always drops dramatically as the technology ages.  Even at seven grand, Samsung’s new drive is a bargain compared to the equivalent technology of 1988.

By the way, those 10-packs of 1.44 Mb disks cost less than $4.00 today.  That’s a price drop of over 95%, and that is 27 years later in 2015 dollars!


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