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Difference between Magnetic Disk and Optical Disk

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  • Last Updated : 04 Aug, 2022

The magnetic and optical disks are the storage devices that provide a way to store data for a long duration. Both are categorized under the category of secondary storage devices. 

Magnetic disk: 
A magnetic disk is a storage device that uses a magnetization process to read, write, rewrite and access data. The Magnetic disk is made of a set of circular platters. It is covered with a magnetic coating and stores data in the form of tracks, spots, and sectors. Hard disks, zip disks, and floppy disks are common examples of magnetic disks. The number of bits stored on each track does not change by using the simplest constant angular velocity. 

Optical disk: 
An optical disk is any computer disk that uses optical storage techniques and technology to read and write data. It is a storage device for optical (light) energy. It is a computer storage disk that stores data digitally and uses laser beams to read and write data. It uses optical technology in which laser light is centered to the spinning disks. 

Difference Between Magnetic Disk and Optical Disk:

S. No. MAGNETIC DISKOPTICAL DISK
1Media type used is Multiple fixed diskThe media type used is a Single removable disk
2Intermediate signal to noise ratioExcellent signal to noise ratio
3Sample rate is LowSample rate is High
4Implemented where data is randomly accessed.Implemented in streaming files.
5Only one disk can be used at a timeMass replication is possible
6Tracks in the magnetic disk are generally circularIn optical disk the tracks are constructed spirally.
7The data in the magnetic disk is randomly accessed.In the optical disk, the data is sequentially accessed.
8In the magnetic disk, only one disk is accessed at a time.An optical disk allows mass replication.
9The copying of data takes more time in magnetic disk compared to optical disk.The storing and accessing of data take place at a much faster rate using laser beams than a magnetic disk.
10The storage capacity is high in magnetic disk i.e. up to several Gigabytes, Terabytes.The storage capacity of optical disk is comparatively low i.e. up to 27GB in the case of Blue-ray.
11Magnetic disks are a crucial part of computers.Optical disk is optional component in computers.
12Magnetic disks are mainly used to hold data, instructions, software applications,Optical disks are portable and generally used to store music, videos, movies.
13

Examples include-

  • Hard Disk
  • Floppy Disk
  • Magnetic Tape, and more.  

Examples include-

  • CD
  • DVD
  • Blue-ray, and more.
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