And, they're cheap. About $150 for 45 gigs.
So I was pleased today to hear about IBM's newest offerings, the 60GXP line. From the announcement:
IBM today announced a new, enhanced generation of its record-setting desktop ATA drives, the Deskstar 60GXP. This new drive handles a wide range of advanced desktop and audio/video applications. The 60GXP features enhancements such as low acoustics, reduced power and tagged command queuing. . . . The Deskstar 60GXP stores 20-gigabytes (GB) of data per disk, a 33 percent increase per disk over the previous generation.The higher platter density should make the 60GXP even faster and relatively cheaper per megabyte. The acoustics improvements should make the drive virtually silent when masked by a PC cooling fan or two.
An interesting note at Storage Review observes that IBM has cut back the number of platters on their high-density, 7200 rpm units, possibly because of problems producing the drives. Rather than stacking four or five platters like they have in the past, IBM has kept parity with the rest of the industry at three platters. This change might have something to do with IBM's decision to move down from 75GXP to 60GXP in the model numbers. But I dunno.
Not that it matters. 60GB per drive is plenty (for now).