What’s more cost effective for storage? DVD, BLUERAY, or hard drives?

Like many photographers, I seen to have an unending appetite for storage. For years, photographers used a variety of methods to backup data with many choosing optical media. But is that really the most cost effective media given the rapidly declining prices of hard drives?

Like many photographers, I seen to have an unending appetite for storage. For years, photographers used a variety of methods to backup data with many choosing optical media. But is that really the most cost effective media given the rapidly declining prices of hard drives? Two terabyte internal 3.5″ sata hard drives can be had for $100 on sale. That’s 5 cents per gigabyte. At that price, there’s really no reason to use optical media to backup data.  Here’s a breakdown of what various media cost on a per gigabyte basis. The calculations are based on actual storage capacity, not the stated manufacturer capacity. As many know, the stated capacity is often larger than the effective capacity due to the way Windows and other OS define gigabytes. To calculate effective gigabyte under Windows, use this conversion tool and select gigabyte (10^9 bytes) as the source and gigabyte [GB] as the target.

Cost per GB

You can also download this Open Office spreadsheet to use your own calculations.

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  • Anonymous

    Where are you buying your HDs? Where I live, 2TB is cheaper than 1TB and 500GB.

  • Anonymous

    Where are you buying your HDs? Where I live, 2TB is cheaper than 1TB and 500GB.

  • Anon-y-mouse

    The problem with HDDs as storage is that the recording medium (i.e. the platters themselves) are integral with the access mechanism, so when that part fails, even though your data may be intact, it’s very difficult to get at it.  If your tape or optical drive dies you just replace it without affecting your data, and ditto if a disc gets scratched – you’ve only lost a part of your data and replacing the medium is much cheaper than replacing the drive they’re used with.