MojoKid writes: "When the likes of WD or Seagate launch a new hard drive, the product is hailed as a more efficient means of storing data. Useful? Very. High class or sexy? Not so much. You've got to admit that hard drives have gotten a bum rap. Granted, they're still technically the slowest part of a system, but HDD manufacturers deserve a bit more credit than they typically get, especially these days, with the explosion of the SSD market. HotHardware decided to take a look at how hard drive performance has evolved over the past 14 years. This round-up shows a representative group of hard drives, formatted, scanned for bad sectors, and then a few modern benchmarks were invoked to see how much performance has improved over the years. The results were interesting and even surprising in spots."