couldn’t we increase the performance of hard disk drives by adding more read/write arms?

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instead of waiting for a full revolution for the data to come back around, multiple arms can get to data much more quickly. Also, more arms means more read/write speed..

..right?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

We can. They have been tried several times. Never found a way to be profitable compared to magnetic technology advances, and then solid state.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The technology you’re referring to is called a *multi-actuator hard disk drive* and they already exist. Seagate’s Mach.2 and Exos 2X use the technology.

Anonymous 0 Comments

That’s been done, but permanent storage technologies have moved away from moving parts in general, so read/write *arms* aren’t really a thing in newer devices. For large/cheap storage that still uses arms, this is exactly what they do. There may be 2, 3, 4, etc., discs in a HDD, and each one has a read/write head on each side of the disc.

In using this arrangement, instead of putting data in a line on each surface of a single platter, they can arrange data stacked on the platters so that sequential bit is read simultaneously from multiple heads at once and pieced together so your computer can make sense of it.

The reason they don’t add additional heads is because HDDs have a limited form factor and there just isn’t enough space to put a whole nother stack of read heads in there (and all the electronics to run them). Plus doing this would add additional moving parts which would make them more prone to failure. Not necessarily a great solution when you have newer technology that’s still significantly faster than this addition would enable HDDs to be.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can accomplish basically the same thing with multiple drives that have the same data, which is cheaper and easier to implement. Aka, RAID0.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can. It was tried, but is complicated and takes up space meaning smaller platters and less data storage.

Much easier just to have multiple separate simpler and cheaper drives and use RAID.