Despite its "Quiet Drive Technology," the Fireball Plus LM's seeks are a bit more noticeable than those of the DiamondMax Plus 40. This can be expected to some extent: it's simply the price one pays for swift access. The drive runs slightly warm to the touch in our new testbed. Active cooling is not necessary in most situations.
Overall, the Fireball Plus LM delivers the most impressive performance we've yet measured from an ATA drive. Many readers have undoubtedly noticed SCSI's rise to prominence during StorageReview.com's recent "realignment" during our 2nd anniversary series. The Fireball Plus LM, however, goes to show that when given the proper mechanics, an ATA drive can keep up with similar SCSI units. Compare the LM to, say, Quantum's own Atlas V. While featuring similar data densities, the Atlas V boasts an impressive 10.4 millsecond access time. Under a Workstation Access Pattern, the LM actually comes out on top under lighter Loads. Even when the Load gets heavier, the LM trails by far less than many would believe.
The bottom line? Though the term is certainly an overused cliché, the Fireball Plus LM's "SCSI-like" performance allows it to topple the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40 to claim the coveted 7200rpm SR Leaderboard slot. As long as you can live with 30 gigs of capacity or less in a single drive, the LM is the ATA drive to get!