Photo: Red Hill.
The Seagate U Series 4 — confusingly, the first of the U Series drives — looked very odd when it first arrived but soon showed itself to be firmly in the tradition of the Medalist 4500s: unfashionable, reasonably cheap, as reliable as sunrise, and generally quite sluggish.
On the whole, we didn't like U4s all that much, largely because of the quite noticeable speed difference between a U4 and competing products (initially the 6.4GB Western Digital and outgoing Seagate ST36422).
Nevertheless, we ended up using a reasonable number of them for a time, mostly the 6.4GB version, because the older, faster ST36422 went out of production and the Western Digital suffered from alternating bouts of stock shortage and too-high pricing. Eventually we switched to the Samsung Spinpoint 6.4, which was equally well-priced, noticeably faster and (as we gradually began to realise around this time) superbly reliable.
|Data rate||206 Mbit/sec||Spin rate||5400 RPM|
|ST-34311A||4.3GB||2 GMR heads|
|ST-36421A||6.4GB||3 GMR heads||**|
|ST-38421A||8.4GB||4 GMR heads|