What Would You do with a 1.5 Terabyte Hard Drive?

Jul 13, 2008
Updated • Nov 29, 2012

When I got my first computer, my hard drive was all of 2.1 Gigabytes. At that time, it was a huge amount and I didn’t think I’d ever run out of disk space. Fast forward to 2008 and my current configuration includes two hard drives, one of which can hold 250 GB.

At current status, my hard drive is sufficient for my needs. Of course I keep transferring files to a CD or DVD every now and then so you could say I haven’t really tested the limits of my drive yet. Then today I read a news article that said that hard drive manufacturer is going to introduce a Barracuda hard drive with a capacity of 1.5 Terabytes (TB). That’s 1.5 trillion bytes of data all in one disk. The disk should be available by August.

I must confess the idea of a disk that can hold that much data in it is a little beyond my comprehension at present. I tried to calculate how many movies I could fit at 700 MB a file but came up short. It will definitely be a big number. Still, if I put together my entire multimedia collection, I’m sure it’s close to that number so it's not that inconceivable in terms of size.

The primary advantage is the expanded storage so no more running to put things on CD because you’re running out of space. At least not for a while. An added benefit of this hard drive is that it will obviously make the lesser capacity models cheaper so if you’re planning to buy a new hard drive, I’d suggest you wait for a month or two.

The biggest disadvantage of such a huge capacity is the sheer amount of data you would lose if your drive crashed. Still, as long as you do regular backups, you should be safe. What I’m curious to know is just what you would do with a 1.5 Terabyte hard drive? Store music, movies, games, software or something else? Let me know.


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  1. Farkes said on November 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Store every abandonware game ever created?

  2. D Barriga said on May 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    In 1982, we had our first family computer. It was a clone of Apple II, had 64 kB of RAM, no hard disk. A few months later we bought an external 5.25 in. diskette drive. Each diskette can store 360 kB which was enough to store several arcade games. You can have pacman, galaxian, apple invaders, apple panic, crazy climber, etc. with just 1 diskette.

  3. mrogi said on October 15, 2008 at 1:43 am

    1.5 Terabytes? I will need 4 times that much space to contain my porn collection?

  4. David P said on October 14, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Just bought a 1TB HD for the movies I’m backing up. I have 312 DVD’s and some have 3 movies in them. My Q: Do you think thats enough space to put these movies in? :(
    PS. Half my movies date from 1922-1950, and most are only an hour long. Ty

  5. Brad456 said on July 25, 2008 at 9:14 am

    I have 2.5 terabytes right now.
    with 100 meg of free space.

    I need a 20 terabyte harddrive yesterday.
    then I can worry about what I need today.

    what about the terabyte optical disc that many have been promising over the last 8 years.
    I need it now.

  6. Rarst said on July 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    >At 700 MB per movie, 1.5 TB would hold 2247 movies. Not a whole lotta people have collections like that.

    700Mb per movie is too small for a modern rip. :) HDTV and such takes more space than ancient AVI.

  7. Otis said on July 20, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    At 700 MB per movie, 1.5 TB would hold 2247 movies. Not a whole lotta people have collections like that.

  8. Bruno said on July 16, 2008 at 1:51 am

    yea Dre, I remember it, because ZX81 was my first computer, I still have it with his box and it works. Me too, my first PC was a 8086 at 8Mhz. We speak about capacity, performance but rarely about hardware’s quality.

  9. Stephen Lynch said on July 16, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I just got through with backing up 500+ disk CD collection. I want my kids to experience the joys of listening to Black Flag, Miles Davis, Sonic Youth, etc.

    What would I use the 1.5 TB disk for? Well, I have books and videos, too….

  10. Kid British said on July 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I love the idea of huge drives, but having had a HDD fail on me in the past I can’t help but feel worried about the prospect of losing 2TB of data if a disk goes faulty.

  11. Rarst said on July 15, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    >Pretty soon solid state hard drives will make 20TB storage capacity commonplace.

    Or not. They are still extremely expensive and not all believe that they are best possible variant.

    btw hybrid (HDD+Flash) drives failed miserably and were pretty much dropped… I remember lots of hype about them as well.

  12. mrogi said on July 15, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Pretty soon solid state hard drives will make 20TB storage capacity commonplace.

  13. thunder7 said on July 15, 2008 at 10:26 am

    never mind the 1.5TB check this
    “Hitachi to launch 5TB hard drive by 2010”

  14. thunder7 said on July 15, 2008 at 4:42 am

    I download all the killer freeware and Open Source programs that I find, and movies.

    I have already filled up 4 hard drives (2) 250GB (2) 80GB just with personal data. My raptor [74GB 10,000 RPM] just has Windows XP pro on it.

    I could fill up a 1.5 TB pretty quick with programs. And burn DVD’S all winter long.

    And as I normally do I give these programs away with the url’s of where they came from.

    My personal data though i have been collecting since Windows 95.
    Yes, I have a OCD!.

  15. David said on July 15, 2008 at 2:50 am

    http://www.demonoid.com? There goes your 1TB of space.

  16. bmunch said on July 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I would use it as a backup for my other 1 terabyte HD. That’s life, the more disk space you have, the more backup space you need…

  17. Josh said on July 14, 2008 at 10:40 am

    people neeed this kind of space, especially when dealing with raw footage of something, say, HD film editing, WAV files for music etc. MP3’s may only take up a few megabytes for one song, but if you are mixing a track yourself you may find you have hundreds of different takes of different instruments all in .WAV files which could take up a LOT of space.

  18. MrD666 said on July 14, 2008 at 8:04 am

    I myself got 1 TB of storage (500GB WD 7200) and another 500GB WD External 7200). Both are SATA, and I wouldn’t ever go back to anything else. I would of bought another one, but my wife wouldn’t let me (yet!)… We are living abroad, and my wife likes to watch FAMILIAR TV shows, so we store all of them on the drive(s). She takes it with her on trips, as I do with our EeePC or the other laptop. I would like to have another 2 TB so I could put all of the DVD movies we got on there as well. I find it better than amassing tons and tons of burnt out media. Media becomes useless after a while and bulky, honestly.

  19. Dre said on July 14, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Wow… my first pc was a pc-xt with a 8088 processor running at blazing 4.77Mhz and i believe 512kb of ram… It had a 10Mb hd…. my first computer was a brazilian tk-85 a clone to the sinclair zx81 with a cassete player to load and record programs/codes… I’m only 30y/o anybody remember those??

  20. Greeze said on July 14, 2008 at 5:44 am

    My first computer didn’t have a hard drive: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html

    When I finally have over 1TB of storage, it’ll be filled with TV series and movies. The games will go on my current drive until I get bored of them.

  21. Izzatz said on July 14, 2008 at 5:28 am

    How bout create our own server? That would be awesome. But you should have a decent connection though.

  22. Bruno said on July 14, 2008 at 1:01 am

    my first PC didn’t have any hard drive! only 2 floppy drives 5″1/4, it’s was 20 years ago, my second 40Mo and etc.

  23. mrogi said on July 14, 2008 at 12:58 am

    You can never be too rich, too thin, or store too much porn on your hard drive. 2TB hard drives are in my future.

  24. Dante said on July 14, 2008 at 12:25 am

    I’m lazy. I have 2 terrabytes so that I can store all my movies on it. I have PC’s hooked up to my HDTV’s and just use the remote keyboards to access them. Same with music. And of course, all those downloads from the newsgroups takes up space too. Than, I have another 2 terrabyte to mirror my data. I’ll be needing an upgrade soon :)

  25. Nagungo said on July 13, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I recently bought a 1TB External Hard Drive. I use it to rip all my dvd’s in full dvd quality with special features and all. It’s incredibly convenient as I’ve had a few movies borrowed without returning or scratched to the point they skip certain parts.

  26. SlimDan22 said on July 13, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    If i had a 1.5 terabyte hard drive i would probably rip every DVD i own which is around 220 which im guessing would be close to a terabyte if i did it in divx or just uncompressed avi

  27. Roman ShaRP said on July 13, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    My first HDD was 10 Mb in size, that was in 1993, as I remember… Then in 1995 it was good to have 40 Mb HDD, 2 Gb in 1997 and 6 Gb in 1998…

    1.5 Tb? Backup storage for all my home PCs, and one more for backup of storage itself.

  28. Rarst said on July 13, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    It’s not sheer size that matters, it’s cost per Gb as well (which is falling rapidly). For example people who manage huge video archives on DVD (anime :) ) start to shift towards HDD storage little by little. It’s much easier to manage… And backing up single HDD is times less pain then backing up few hundreds of DVD disks. And since external drives are affected by falling prices as well they are quickly replacing DVDs for carrying and exchanging data as well.

    Personally I am fine with 250Gb I have now and I think that I want to go for performance model (like ones from WD) instead of huge storage one next time I upgrade.

  29. Rich said on July 13, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I actually manage to fill 2TB and have another 2TB for a backup. I’ve nearly lost important data in the past, so I replicate everything.

    Media (usually uncompressed) takes up 80% of the space and the rest (400GB) is taken up with all kinds of stuff.

    Yes, I don’t need that much and I could never watch all my backed up stuff in a reasonable amount of time — but it’s nice not to carry my entire DVD collection to college.

  30. htiawe said on July 13, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    When i got my first computer the hard drive had 420mbs of storage. I could not grasp what i would need all that storage of. Even tho the computer was slow (compared to todays standards anyways) the defrag ran fast because of how much space there was avaible. The next upgrade i made brought me a 500-something mb big hard drive and i could still not understand what i could need all that space for.

    Today i have about 2.2 terabytes of storage and the need for space comes and goes, ofcourse its mainly media that explains the need and use of all the space. I wish that i would do regular backups tho..

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