Articles: Storage

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Introduction: The Return of the Vancouver

When Norton had glimpsed Rama for the last time,
a tiny star hurtling outwards beyond Venus, he knew
that part of his life was over.
And on far-off Earth, Dr Carlisle Perera had as yet told no one
how he had woken from a restless sleep with the message
from his subconscious still echoing in his brain:
The Ramans do everything in threes.

Arthur C Clark, Randezvous with Rama.

Back in the September of 2002 when IBM announced a hard disk drive codenamed Vancouver 2, we had suspicions that it wasn’t the last time we heard that name. A successful product shouldn’t leave the scene too hastily, as the development of a new design is a costly and even dangerous business as concerns market competition.

Besides that, the 180GXP series didn’t include any Serial ATA models, but they were sure to appear, just because of the same competition. But as IBM handed over its HDD business to Hitachi, the future of the Vancouver became less certain. The Deskstar 180GXP was continued under the Hitachi brand, but time was passing by and Hitachi Global Storage kept silent about new products. Not only Maxtor and Seagate, but also Samsung announced their new series with 80GB platters and Serial ATA interfaces, but there was still no news from Hitachi.

This long delay made us think that against all common and marketing sense Hitachi had started to develop a new design for the Deskstar series from scratch. But on June 25, 2003, they at last issued a press release announcing the new Deskstar 7K250 series. The nomenclature of the models changed completely, but the intrigue persisted – what had Hitachi done in all the passed time? The answer came in August when first samples of the new models appeared in retail shops. Hitachi couldn’t help completing the cycle. So, the Vancouver is here again – welcome its third reincarnation!

To anticipate your obvious question, here is the proof the 7K250 does belong to the Vancouver family.

The family affiliation is marked in red and the indication of the number of the operational surfaces is marked in blue. Now that we have no doubts about the relations between the 180GXP and the 7K250, it’s time to find the differences between them.

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