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Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP


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Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP
  July 19, 2001 Author: Eugene Ra  

Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP Available Capacities *
Model Number
Capacity
ST318452LW
18.4 GB
ST336752LW
36.7 GB
* The benchmark scores presented in this review represent expected performance across the entire line.
Estimated Flagship Price: $699 MSRP (36.7 GB)
Evaluation unit provided by Seagate Technology.


Introduction

Over a year ago Seagate, as usual, was the first to elevate drive performance to a new level with the introduction of the Cheetah X15. The X15 was the first drive to feature a spindle speed of 15,000 RPM and the first drive specified with a seek time below four milliseconds; as a result, the anticipation felt by both SR's staff and readers was immense. Three long months passed between the X15's February 23, 2000 announcement and its review here at SR. In the end, the wait was worth it. The X15 was by far the fastest drive around.

Since then, two other manufacturers have risen to the challenge by announcing 15,000 RPM units of their own. We reviewed the 36-gigabyte version of IBM's Ultrastar 36Z15 a few weeks ago- it proved to be a stellar performer in its own right. Fujitsu's MAM3367LP has proven to be a bit elusive; we're still trying to get our hands on one. In a recent poll, however, StorageReview.com readers made it clear that the drive they were waiting for was the successor to the X15, Seagate's own Cheetah X15-36LP.

Which upcoming SCSI hard drive do you look forward to most?
  Poll Choices  
  Popularity  
Fujitsu MAM3367LP
5%
IBM Ultrastar 36Z15
31%
Maxtor Atlas 10k III
18%
Seagate Cheetah X15-36LP
44%

Some may say that the X15-36LP pretty much reads like an evolutionary improvement over its predecessor. Spindle speed, obviously, remains at 15,000 RPM. Seagate specifies seek times at 3.7 milliseconds, a scant 0.2 ms lower than the X15 (note that the 18 GB model is specified at an insignificantly faster 3.6 ms). The X15-36LP features a notably improved areal density... while the original X15 had to use five platters to achieve its 18 GB capacity, the X15-36LP utilizes only four 9-gigabyte discs to hit its 36 GB flagship mark. Buffer size has also increased, doubled to 8 megabytes.

Available in 18- and 36-gigabyte capacities, the X15-36LP squarely targets the highest of high-end applications, areas where speed is of utmost importance. Though it has initially shipped with an Ultra160 interface, the family will migrate to Ultra320 as the improved SCSI interface starts to permeate the industry. Fibre Channel versions of the drive are also available. An enterprise-class 5-year warranty protects the drive.

Does the X15-36LP live up to the hype? Let's find out!

 Low-Level Measurements...


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