In addition to performance, IBM drives have been renown for quiet, unobtrusive operation. IBM's Deskstar 5, for example, was markedly quieter than the competition... and remember, that was a couple years before the emphasis on acoustics currently sweeping ATA drive manufacturers. The Deskstar 75GXP is no exception, turning in muted performance reminiscent of the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40. In other words, it's a bit quieter than the similarly performing Quantum Fireball Plus LM.
The drive also operates just slightly warm to the touch in our minitower-based testbed without active cooling. Remember, however, that we've deviated from our usual policy of testing flagship models. We're normally able to deliver "worst case" scenarios when it comes to heat and noise projection since it stands to reason that the drive model with the most platters would emit the most of both in the family. The larger brothers of the 45 gig 75GXP (60 gigs and 75 gigs) may be a bit hotter, or a bit noisier than what we experienced here.
Though many seemed to view the 75GXP's imminent arrival as a major revolution in the ATA drive landscape, it turns out that IBM's entry merely matches the top-performing drive that's already been shipping for a while from Quantum. The 75GXP, however, delivers performance matching the Fireball Plus LM in capacities that easily exceed the maximum provided by Quantum's line. Further, it manages to do so while operating a touch more quietly. And let's not forget the record-setting WinBench 99 scores, still important to quite a few. Taken as a whole, the Deskstar 75GXP series offers a mighty attractive package. The only mar in the deal is the somewhat high pricing that initially accompanies the intro of IBM's latest series. Given just a bit of time, however, prices should come right in line.