As is the case with virtually all 5400rpm drives, the DiamondMax 60 runs rather coolly. Active cooling should be unnecessary except in the most cramped of conditions.
It's when it comes to noise, however, that the Maxtor drive shines. As we've stated before, the drive ships in "Quiet Mode," where seek speed is slightly sacrificed in exchange for dampened operation. The DM60 is one of the quietest we've heard yet, with seeks just barely audible above the power supply fan... quieter even than the Quantum Fireball lct10!
In conclusion, though it continues Maxtor's impressive time-to-market with the latest in areal densities, the DiamondMax 60 isn't quite the performance leader we were hoping. At least not yet, that is. Currently the Quantum Fireball lct series tops the charts in IOMeter results. This may change, however, with the direct competitor to the DM60, the Fireball lct15. In an effort to target certain markets, Quantum has ratcheted the lct15 down to 4400rpm operation. The lct series' leading IOMeter scores, therefore, are likely in jeopardy.
All things considered, it should be obvious that 5400rpm (or sub-5400rpm, for that matter) drives aren't geared towards users seeking high-performance. Rather, these drives are made to fit the bill in other areas: high GB/$ ratios and situations demanding cool and quiet operation. Under such parameters, the DM60 is a success. Those looking for quiet operation need look no further than the DM60. And though the DM60 may not be the primary drive of choice for performance-oriented machines, the drive (especially in its flagship 60 gig incarnation) could serve quite well in such machines as a secondary/backup/archives disk... all the more so considering the surprisingly rock-bottom prices for which we've seen previously massive Maxtor's selling. There's no reason to expect the DiamondMax 60 will be any different.