Seagate has a very interesting history as a company and a long line of products to hold a historic first title. The company was the first with 5,400, 7,200, 10,000 and 15,000 RPM enterprise drives as well as the first drive with a fiber channel interface. Until recently the company's image was unblemished (if you don't frown upon that Grand Caymen Island HQ), but the BSY Error that plagued early 7200.11 era drives two years ago still rests in the back of many people's minds. I only bring this up because of how hard Seagate has worked to polish their image and more importantly their products. From disgust to a knight in shining armor, the 15K.7 has the highest MTBF rating on the market today.
There are a handful of disk manufacturers producing 15,000 RPM drives. Seagate has always managed to make theirs just a little bit faster, a little more reliable and in recent years a little more affordable. The 15K.6 was the first flagship in the modern era to break the 1,000 Dollar barrier and now the 15K.7 is approaching the 1 Dollar per Gig price point. While this is still in the realm of enterprise pricing, it has now trickled down to a level where enthusiasts can take a second glace and even strongly consider choosing enterprise storage for their personal computer. Not to spend too much time on justifying you enthusiasts out there, but the VelociRaptor at introduction was right around the same price as the Seagate 15K.7 in 300 GB capacity.
The Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 is a remarkable product, no matter if you see it as an enterprise tool or through the eyes of an enthusiast. Some may feel that the curtain may be coming down on the Cheetah with solid state drives quickly gaining momentum, but Seagate appears to be able to increase the capacity of the line at will, something that SSDs will not be able to do for at least a few more years.
I look forward to the scaling performance of the drive and spending more time using the 15K.7 in RAID arrays as it would be used in enterprise environments. Consider this your introduction to the Cheetah 15K.7. In the coming days we will have a slew of new performance benchmarks that will push enterprise hard drives to levels seen in their normal environments.