hard drive history

size still matters: is there ever enough?

Quantum Fireball ST

Photo: Red Hill.

Quantum Fireball ST

The outstanding high-performance drive of 1997, and the first drive to feature an Ultra ATA-33 interface. Several other individual drives from other makers came close to the Fireball ST family's speed, but no other manufacturer had across the board performers in all capacities the way Quantum did in the second half of 1997.

We mostly carried the 3.2 and 4.3GB versions, as 6GB drives were still quite expensive and not yet popular.

In 1997, Quantum was in the odd position of making both the fastest IDE drive on the planet, and the slowest! The Fireball ST was unmatched among fast drives; there was the unspectacular but competent Fireball TM, and then the execrable Bigfoot.

Data rate132 Mbit/secSpin rate5400 RPM
Seek time10msBuffer128k
Platter capacity1.6GBInterfaceATA-33
Read channelPRMLHead technologyMR
ST 1.61.61GB2 heads
ST 3.23.23GB3 heads**
ST 4.34.31GB4 heads**
ST 6.46.45GB6 heads*