hard drive history

revolutions: 3600 > 4500 > 7200 rpm

Seagate Medalist 630xe

Photo: Red Hill.

Seagate Medalist 630xe

This was an updated version of the extraordinarily long-lived Medalist 545xe. The 630xe appeared for a short while just as the 545 was discontinued. (Sometimes we thought that faithful old performer would never die!)

By this time, the performance which had once seemed so decent at 14ms and 3800 RPM was starting to feel sluggish. Nevertheless, the Medalist 630xe was very cheap and came from a line of drives with an outstanding record for reliability, so we were happy enough to use it.

Later on there was an 850MB version too, the Medalist 850xe, but we only ever saw a couple of those. By that time, this elderly family of drives was starting to seem very slow indeed.

Illustration: a pair of Medalist 630xe drives with a contemporary VESA local bus mainboard and matching CPU.

(I don't recall the reason for the not-so-good reliability rating listed here. I no longer have the raw data from so long ago, but I was always very careful with those figures, so it will be correct. We must have had a fair number of returns.)

Data rate39.6 Mbit/secSpin rate3811 RPM
Seek time14msBuffer120k
Form3½" 1/3 heightEncodingRLL
ST3630A631.1MB4 thin film heads**
Platter capacity315MBInterfaceIDE mode 3
ST3850A850.5MB4 thin film heads*
Platter capacity425MBInterfaceIDE mode 4