What was the best in 1999?

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Please don't judge... and its better just to nod and say, oooohkay.

But what was the fastest Hard Drive in 1999? It could have come out as late as the end of '99, but if it released in Jan 1 of '00, it is off the table.

I made it to the legacy hard drive benchmark comparison, but it wasn't able to show many any results.

I have the Seagate Cheetah 18LP, the Fujitsu MAG3182LP, and the Atlas 10k. I don't think those products were refreshed until the first quarter of '00. I don't know what a user would have chosen for an in home experience back then if money wasn't an option. For some reason I don't remember much about the Cheetah 18LP. I want to say, most of the attention for in home use during that time was focused on the Fujitsu MAG, and the Atlas 10k.

I also don't know what was hot in the IDE space at the time.


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Fastest Hard drive IOPS = Seagate Barracuda 2 2HP ST12450W (dual actuators).  But out of production by the time 1999 rolled around albeit still was, by far, the fastest although the 1.4gb capacity and the $2500 price tag didn't do it any favours… 

Fastest Hard drive by sequential transfer = Seagate Cheetah LP, 10krpm HDD.   ST18404LW maybe??  Though that was very late 1999, if I recall, as I was delivered an early 18XL in May/June 2000 which was obviously some Seagate pre-mass production drive that somehow made it out the door (had obviously hand-soldered jumper wires on the mobo!).

If you can access Usenet postings from the time. comp.periphs.scsi might have some info you're looking for.  

IDE-wise, I don't think they were doing 7200rpm's quite yet (Maxtor seemed to lead the charge into that segment).  Quantum Bigfoots were cheap, albeit "big" 5.25"-format drives.  IBM's "Deskstar" drives were expensive, but had good performance.  Models like the notorious 60GXP hit the shelves ~early 2000.  Most failed due to media defects giving rise to the moniker "Deathstar" and ultimately (as it as widely believed) causing IBM to shed the unit entirely to Hitachi.  Micropolis died (their 9gb flagship drives never worked properly), Conner got absorbed by Seagate and everyone knew to avoid the Conner drives or their Seagate re-badges.   WD's drives were complete jokes at the time and nobody trusted them after they blamed the failure of their AC31600 drives on Asus motherboards.  Their SCSI "WD Enterprise" drives were complete jokes and they never really did field a competitive SCSI offering.  





Edited by mark0f0

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Places the IBM Deskstar 75GXP (aka the Deathstar) around 2001 (Anandtech's review of that and the 40GV are July 2000), so that and the successor 60GXP are too new for your timeline.

Storagereview has the Deskstar 40GV in August 2000 for review, but the earlier Deskstar 34GXP as September 1999. Anandtech's roundup is March 2000.

IDE-wise, I don't think they were doing 7200rpm's quite yet

7200rpm is recent but established enough that none of these are first-generation products. IBM Deskstar 34GXP, Quantum Fireball Plus KX, Seagate Barracuda ATA, and WD Expert WD273BA were all 7200rpm. Storagereview's Summer 1999 ATA Drive Roundup and the Deskstar 34GXP review has the Deskstar 22GXP and WD Expert AC41800 listed, both of which are a generation older than the drives mentioned in Anandtech's roundup. Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 6800 is also a thing.

Now if you mean IDE not hitting 10K rpm then you'd be correct, ATA didn't hit that til the WD Raptor.

But what was the fastest Hard Drive in 1999?

Going back to the OP tho, if he really means the fastest drive possible, looks like the Quantum Atlas 10K is it, the Seagate Cheetah X15 (the first to get to 15K rpm) dates to 2000, at least per the review right here on SR. (even the manual is dated July 2000).

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In August 1999 I was using the Atlas 10K, which was the best at that time.  I received the 18LP sometime in the spring of 2000, and then of course the X15 was vastly superior to any 10K drive at the time.  Back then many of us ordered SCSI drives from Hyper Microsystems which had the new models in stock fairly early and was a SR sponsor.

IIRC I was using the 28 GB Barracuda in late 1999.  They were hot and noisy, but fast for ATA at the time. ;) The 27GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 6880 was probably a bit better, but I opted for the BIOS-busting Maxtor DiamondMax 36/40 5400 RPM capacity drive around that time. :)

The WD raptor was an SATA drive from the start, but a 21st century product.  It was neither fish nor fowl, having low capacity compared to 7200 RPM ATA drives and mediocre performance compared to 15K SCSI drives.  However, it was cheap and popular with the gamer types.  I still have that clear window version purchased more out of curiosity than for any other reason.

Edited by LOST6200

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Good info! Much appreciated! I completely forgot about the 34GXP! I will start poking around to see if I can find one. I do conclude the Atlas 10k was the best you could get. Can anyone place the production date for the Seagate 36LP? SR looks like they reviewed one in Feb of 00, but when did production start? Seagate publications would indicate late 99. Can anyone confirm this?

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