file vs variable in powershell

How come I have to use the split option when dealing a list in variable but not when pulling from a file with gc? Both look identical to me but clear

$servers='aaa
bbb
ccc'
$a=0;
$servers -split '\n'|%{
write-host $a - $_;  
$a++
}

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gc test1.txt
aaa
bbb
ccc
gc test1.txt|%{
write-host $a - $_;  
$a++
}

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LVL 21
MazdajaiAsked:
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footechConnect With a Mentor Commented:
In your first example, $servers is just a string that happens to span multiple lines.  There's nothing that says a string can only be one line.
On the other hand, gc produces an array from a multi-line file.
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becraigCommented:
Try explicitly declaring the array

$servers= @('aaa','bbb','ccc')
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MazdajaiAuthor Commented:
>>Try explicitly declaring the array

Typing 100+ items with single quote and comma would be working backward.

I would like the list in original format for portability purpose.
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becraigCommented:
Is there some reason you have to type these in ?
What are you trying to do and why can't your list be populated dynamically ?
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MazdajaiAuthor Commented:
Most list I work with is often one per each line, therefore declaring an array would not work.

I can put them in a file and use gc but for some something quick I would like to do it in one shot. It came across that the split option is needed for variable and there I would like to know, out of curiosity.
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becraigCommented:
If you've got an array there must be a way to determine an element

A comma works I used the quote to let powershell know its a string

You don't need to use split if a known delimiter is used with each element.
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becraigConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The quick answer is your example wraps all the entries (carriage return or not) as a single string.
Eg: $var = "the lazy brown Fox"
Is the same as
$var = "the
Lazy
Brown
Fox"
More information on arrays
 http://ss64.com/ps/syntax-arrays.html
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