hard drive history

finding the formula: ide as we know it

Seagate ST3144A

Photo: Red Hill.

Seagate ST3144A

The Seagate ST3144A was a very popular drive in 1992. It was the genuine article, a real voice coil drive with all the performance and reliability advantages voice coil construction brought.

There are sure to have been other models in between which we don't remember now, but compare the capacity and performance of this big, modern 130MB unit with the cheaper, smaller 351A/X (which was still in high volume production when the 3144A was in its prime).

We sold just a few of these new — we specialised in entry-level systems back in those days, so these were a bit too big and expensive — but saw any number of them traded in and out again in subsequent years.

Notice the peculiar spin rate: 3211 RPM. Remembering that the great majority of drives of this era were nominally 3600 RPM units, and allowing for minor variations, compare with the slightly earlier ST351A/X (3048 RPM), and then with various later Seagate drives up to around 850MB that all ran at Seagate's trademark 3811 RPM.

Data rate15 Mbit/secSpin rate3211 RPM
Seek time16msBuffer32k
Platter capacity65MBInterfaceIDE
Actuatorvoice coilForm3½" 1/3 height>
ST3144A130MB4 thin-film heads**