hard drive history

1998: a year of transition

IBM Deskstar 16GP

IBM Deskstar 16GP

Along with the Deskstar 14GXP, these drives introduced Giant Magneto-Resistive heads: another of IBM's continuous series of fundamental improvements to head technology. By the turn of the century, GMR heads had become standard in all new drives.

There were no less than seven individual drives in the Deskstar 16XP family, ranging from a single-platter 3.2GB unit to a five disc 16.8GB monster.

Through much of their market life the 16XPs (of all sizes) were rather overpriced, and sold slowly. (This left us wondering what IBM's actual aim was with these drives: If it was to sell in volume, why not offer them at a sensible price more consistently? And if volume was not the aim, why sometimes (with other drives) offerer such outstanding value? As always, IBM's marketing department was unfathomable.)

Data rate161.9 Mbit/secSpin rate5400 RPM
Seek time9.5msBuffer512k
Platter capacity3.2GBInterfaceATA-33
DTTA-3503243.2GB2 GMR heads
DTTA-3504304.3GB3 GMR heads
DTTA-3506406.4GB4 GMR heads*
DTTA-3508408.4GB5 GMR heads*
DTTA-35101010.1GB6 GMR heads
DTTA-35129012.9GB8 GMR heads
DTTA-35168016.8GB10 GMR heads