hard drive history

1999: maturity

Quantum Fireball Plus KA

Photo: Red Hill.

Quantum Fireball Plus KA

Oddly enough, Quantum was the last of the major makers to produce a 7200 RPM IDE drive.

Though Quantum took a long time getting to 7200 RPM, when the Firebal Plus finally arrived in mid-1999 it proved well worth the wait: by a narrow margin from the Expert/GXP twins, it was the the fastest IDE drive of all.

Here at Red Hill we sold the Western Digital Expert and, a little later, Seagate's Barracuda ATA so we had no requirement for the Fireball Plus and never sold it as a new drive, but in the wider market, Quantum had a good deal of success with this model.

(Surely Quantum's marketing department could have thought of a better name than "Fireball Plus" though — Quantum used to be pretty good at this sort of thing once.)

⇒ The Fireball Plus AS illustrated was a later model, but looks similar.

Performance1.33Reliabilityno data
Data rate235 Mbit/secSpin rate7200 RPM
Seek time8.5msBuffer512k
Platter capacity6.1GBInterfaceATA-66
KA 6.16.1GB3 MR heads
KA 9.49.4GB4 MR heads
KA 13.213.2GB6 MR heads
KA 18.218.2GB8 MR heads