February 1, 2023
H_Ko/Shutterstock.com Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) drives write data on a hard disk in tracks that do not overlap. Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) allows tracks to overlap, which results in higher data densities, but slower read and write times compared to CMR drives.Since 2015, hard disk manufacturers have produced a new type of drive: SMR, which…

H_Ko/Shutterstock.com

Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) drives write data on a hard disk in tracks that do not overlap. Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) allows tracks to overlap, which results in higher data densities, but slower read and write times compared to CMR drives.

Since 2015, hard disk manufacturers have produced a new type of drive: SMR, which stores more data per disk but comes with some drawbacks compared to the conventional storage method, called CMR. Each type has pros and cons—let’s take a look.

Two Different Ways of Storing Data on a Disk

Hard drives store data in “tracks,” which are circular paths typically oriented in concentric rings on the top and bottom surfaces of a hard disk platter. Each hard disk unit can contain multiple platters, which allows the drive to store more data.

Historically, manufacturers have increased storage capacity in hard disk models by either increasing the number of platters in the drive or increasing the write density on the disk. In the past, the circular tracks written to the disk never overlapped. The data storage industry calls this “Perpendicular Magnetic Recording” (PMR) or “Conventional Magnetic Recording”…

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