IBM 180GXP Hard Drive
Well, I would just like to start off by saying this hard drive is huge. The only way to fill up a hard drive of this size is to download every single video you could possibly find. IBM has made three hard drives with the following sizes: 60GB, 120GB, and 180GB. If you are a quick one you should be able to pick up on how they got the name 180GXP.
The drive spins at a, what seems to be a standard these days, 7,200rpm. It has a fluid dynamic bearing motor that keeps noise at a minimum, 31dB to be exact. The average read time is 8.5ms, average latency is 4.17ms, typical seek time is 8.8ms, track to track time is 1.1ms and uses Ultra ATA/100 interface. The 180GXP is quite similar to the 120GXP in most respects, but there are quite a few features that stood out to me while looking at the specs. First off, the 180GXP is much larger. The 120GXP has a 2mb data cache while the 180GXP has 8mb. In my opinion this is a very noticable difference. A very interesting feature is called TCQ or Tagged Command Queing. In a nutshell it speeds up file transfer by preforming a data pre-fetching.
The drive runs beautifully. It seems to be a very reliable drive (watch it'll crash once I get done saying this). I have only had a few problems with the drive. The one problem that is actually worth speaking about is the fact that the drive wouldn't boot if it was set to master which is why it is set to slave at the moment. I am certain that it is just my unit that has this problem. Now, back on the good stuff. As I've said before it is a fast drive. Load times on games and other apps are affected by its speed. It isn't just a little bump up in speed either. And hey, you can never have enough speed.
Nothing odd about this. You just have to make sure that you have either a
new motherboard that can handle a hard drive of this size or a motherboard
with the newest possible bios. After you do that, the installation goes the
same with any other drive...that is before you Fdisk and format it.
Ok, here's the thing. I've been asked a few questions about someone installing a large hard drive like this, but for some reason Windows tells them they only have a 50GB hard drive.
Here's what you have to do, well at least what I did. I booted into Win98 using a boot disk of course and went into Fdisk and made a partition. Exited, rebooted, then went to format it. After it was done formating, which felt like 5 hours, I went to install the OS. I install the DOS part of the whole part, and get into the Windows part. For some reason it didn't feel like installing. So, I go back do the process over and get the same result. I did this a few more times before I finally got everything installed.
So what was the point of that whole story? To show that it does still have problems. It could be just my drive or it could be every 180GXP that was released around the same time. I might never know for sure.
The drive does have a few kinks that still need to be worked out. Not many but they are still there. Once I did get the OS installed I do have to say it was very stable and very very fast. In this case the good outweighs the bad by a huge margin. If you are looking at upgrading from an older hard drive this is something you should get now. If you have a somewhat decent drive I wouldn't worry about getting the 180GB model much unless you need a disk of this size and this speed, but I would recomend the 120GB model. This is the sweet spot in all three models since it is a decent price for quite a large drive.
60GB model: $67 $1.12 per GB
120GB model: $74 $0.61 per GB
180GB model: $151 $0.83 per GB
(all OEM from Newegg.com)
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