Seagate rates the U10 at a relatively peppy 8.9 milliseconds on seeks
. Combined with the rotational latency
of 5.6 milliseconds yielded by the drive's 5400rpm spindle
, the U10's net specified access time
is 14.5 milliseconds. It's thus with some disappointment that we recorded a WinBench 99
Access Time of 17.7ms... well
out of spec.
Contrast this with the current seek time leader, the Quantum Fireball lct10. Quantum's drive is rated at 9.5ms. Add in the 5.6ms of rotational latency and we get 15.1ms. Interestingly, the lct10 beats its specified access time by nearly a full millisecond, weighing in at 14.2ms. Thus there is indeed a gap in between the U10 and the lct10... more significant than the specs indicate, and in the opposite direction that one would expect.
The U10 does excel in the area of sequential transfer rates. Here the Seagate bests the Quantum by 2 megs a second when it comes to outer-zone transfer rates. The difference is nearly as great in the inner zones, where the U10 posts a 1.5 MB/sec lead.
Let's examine the ramifications of these differences in WinBench99's high-level tests.