Hard drive spec change

Eric Sandeen sandeen at redhat.com
Thu Mar 11 04:41:18 UTC 2010

Felix Miata wrote:
> On 2010/03/10 19:11 (GMT-0800) John Reiser composed:
>>> MultiGHz, Multicore CPUs consume magnitudes more power than HDs.
>> Not always.  A typical 3.5" harddrive consumes about (max):
>>      0.65A *  5V =  3.25W
>>      0.50A * 12V =  6.00W
>> which totals 9.25 Watts, and less when not transferring data.
>> I am composing this message on a system with a 2.5GHz, two-core
>> processor that consumes 45 Watts maximum, and less when "idle".
>> So in this case the ratio is closer to 5:1, not 10:1.
> RAM, GPUs & fans are also nonzero power consumers, so any reduction in HD
> power consumption in typical desktops and laptops is minimal in the grand scheme.

For a data center, this matters.  Maybe not for your laptop, but not all
the world's storage is on small systems.

> OTOH, loss of backward compatibility means accelerated additions to landfills
> of otherwise perfectly useful hardware.

linux will be backward compatible with 512-sector drives just fine; nothing
will stop that ...

> It should be fine to have an option for larger sector sizes, but it shouldn't
> mean extinction in the foreseeable future of a happily working standard for
> those who only want to replace a HD when the HD dies, and not commit whole
> systems to landfills for want of a generic component.

.... it doesn't mean extinction, your old drives will continue to work just fine,
and if you -have- to buy a 4k sector drive, linux is ready for you.  (for that
matter, I expect 512 sector drives will be available for a good long time, too).

> Sounds to me like the HD manufacturers want to make 512 go the way of PATA,
> accelerating obsolescence to drive up profitability of the whole computer
> hardware industry. People shouldn't have to buy whole new systems for want of
> replacing a dead 20GiB 512 byte sector HD.

I really don't understand why this bothers you so much; there is new hardware
on the way, and Linux works with it.  If you want to keep your 20G drives until
they die, nobody is stopping you.  These things will likely coexist for a long time.
Nobody is forcing your hand.

I suppose this now-off-topic discussion has gone on long enough, though, so this'll
be my last word on the subject here.


More information about the devel mailing list