In pictures: 30 years of Seagate storage

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Seagate put together a museum of hard drives that reach back to the company's inception.

  • Seagate made headway in consumer storage too; the Medalist Pro 9140, introduced in 1997, was the first hard drive to use the Ultra ATA interface for desktop computers. With a 9.1GB storage capacity, the hard drive was also known to be significantly quieter than previous models because it used fluid bearings.

  • Seven months later, Seagate entered the 2.5in enterprise market with the Savvio 10K.1 hard drive, which span at 10,000rpm.

  • Though Seagate already offered 2.5in hard drives, the Momentus 5400.1, released in June 2003, was the company's first drive built specifically for notebooks.

  • Four years after reaching 7200rpm spin speeds, Seagate reached another landmark with the Cheetah 10K. The 3.5in hard drive was capable of spinning at 10,000rpm, making it a suitable addition to enterprise systems that required high performance and low latency.

  • The Momentus Thin is the first of its kind: a 2.5in hard drive for notebooks that is only 7mm thin. That's 1.5mm thinner than conventional notebook hard drives — which might not seem like much but it means manufacturers can make sleeker notebooks and other consumer devices while still providing decent storage space.

  • Boasting a spin speed of 15,000rpm, the Cheetah X15, released in 2000, was quickly adopted by OEMs thanks to high performance and reliability.

  • The Marathon SL, also released in 1992, was the company's first 2.5in laptop hard drive to feature shock-sensing technology. Still in use today, shock sensors park the hard drive's heads if dropped or hit to prevent any damage to the platters. You still wouldn't want to drop the hard drive on purpose, but it can help prevent data loss.

  • Perpendicular recording technology came into its own with the [[Artnid:267572|Barracuda 7200.11|Review: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB 3.5in internal hard drive]], which offered a substantial 1.5TB of storage capacity. Released in July 2008, the Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive is still regularly used in the PC World Test Centre, thanks to its reliability and capacity.

  • Seagate lagged behind Western Digital when it came to reaching the two terabyte capacity mark for consumers, but in April last year it finally produced the goods. Like the [[Artnid:277366|Caviar Green|Review: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB (WD20EADS) 3.5in internal hard drive]], Seagate's [[Artnid:310013|Barracuda LP|Review: Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB (ST32000542AS) internal hard drive]] focuses on cutting power consumption rather than performance. Because of this, the hard drive has a spin speed of 5900rpm, which is slower than most conventional 3.5in hard drives.

  • Seagate's collection of hard drives commemorates 30 years in the storage industry.

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  • Seagate also took the opportunity to show off some of its more recent consumer storage devices, like its BlackArmor external hard drives, network-attached storage devices, Replica backup drive and [[Artnid:325473|FreeAgent Theater+|Review: Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ media streamer]]. Notably missing was the Pulsar, Seagate's first solid-state drive. Announced last month, the drive will only be available to OEM manufacturers and is designed purely for enterprise use.

    The BlackArmor PS 110 is the [[Artnid:331643|first USB3.0 hard drive|First USB 3.0 hard drives to reach Australia soon]] by Seagate, though don't expect to see it in Australia for a few months.

  • To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Seagate put together a museum of hard drives reaching back to the company's inception. We were privileged to visit briefly, so we thought we'd let you have a look at how far the world of hard drives has progressed.

    Seagate, initially called Shugart (after its founder Alan Shugart), launched the world's first 5.25in hard drive, the ST-506HDD, in 1980. Equipped with an ST412 interface, this hard drive span at 3600rpm and had a whopping 5MB storage capacity.

  • Here's the same 5MB ST-506 hard drive next to Seagate's latest release, the 7mm 250GB Momentus Thin internal hard drive.

  • Skip ahead 12 years to 1992 and Seagate launches the second hard drive in the Barracuda range — the first to spin at 7200rpm. At the time, the drive was capable of storing 2GB of data; enough to store two standard-definition movies today.

  • Data security is a high priority these days, with external hard drives beginning to offer 256-bit AES hardware encryption as standard. Seagate implemented full hardware encryption on the Momentus 5400 FED.2, allegedly the world's first laptop drive to offer this.

  • The most recent addition to Seagate's hard drive range is the Barracuda XT, which boasts 2TB of storage capacity and a SATA 6Gbps interface; that's double the bandwidth offered by current SATA II connections. Whether or not this hard drive actually takes advantage of those speeds is still to be seen — keep an eye out for an upcoming review.

  • The Serial ATA interface we all know and love first made the rounds in 2002. Seagate's Barracuda ATA V offered 160GB of storage capacity over two platters, as well as new hard drive diagnostic technology to prevent common problems. The storage company also demonstrated perpendicular recording technology in 2002, which would go on to keep the hard drive industry alive after traditional recording technologies reached capacity limits.

  • Perpendicular recording technology entered the notebook market in 2005 with Seagate's release of the [[Artnid:124682|Momentus 5400.3 2.5in hard drive|Review: Seagate Momentus 5400.3 2.5in internal hard drive]] for notebooks. Due to the larger areal density of the hard drive, it offered 160GB of storage, surpassing the competition at the time.

  • Competing against enterprise heavyweights like the [[Artnid:319494|Western Digital RE4 (WD2003FYYS)|Review: Western Digital RE4 (WD2003FYYS) 2TB 3.5in internal hard drive]], Seagate's Constellation offers 2TB of storage capacity on 7200rpm platters. It's designed for minimal power consumption in the enterprise environment.

  • By the end of 2000, the world hungered for more storage; and Seagate delivered. The Barracuda 180 (ST1181677lW) provided — you guessed it — 180GB of storage capacity in a 3.5in form factor. A drop in the ocean compared to today's 2TB behemoths but quite an achievement 10 years ago.

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