Table: Comparison of Storage Media
Cost of Drive Capacity (GB) Transfer Rate (MB/sec) Unit Media Cost Cost/GB for media # Needed for 20 GB
CD-R $200 0.65 1.2 (8x unit) $1.50 $2.31 31
CD-R/W $250 0.65 1.2 (8x unit) $4 $6.15 31
DVD-R (4.7GB) $5,400 4.7 1.4 $45 $9.57 4
DVD-R (3.95 GB) $5,400 3.95 1.4 $40 $10.13 5
DVD-RAM (single) $500 2.6 1.4 $30 $11.54 8
DVD-RAM (double) $500 5.2 1.4 $40 $7.69 4
DLT-IV (Digital Linear Tape) $2,000+ 20 1.5 $70 $3.50 1
Magnetic Disk $160-$1,000 20 540 * $8 - $50 1
Jaz $300 2 4.98.7 $100 $50 10
Zip $150 0.25 .82.4 $15 $60 80

* for magnetic disks, the cost is based on the drive itself; there are no separate media costs. Magnetic disks have substantial variance in pricing reflecting interface (IDE or SCSI), speed, and reliability. Courtesy of Tim Au Yeung, Manager of Digital Intiatives, Information Resources Press, University of Calgary.

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