As one might expect, the Fireball Plus AS' increase in average access time yields some acoustic benefits. Seeks don't churn away like they did on the LM. This drive's subjective noise profile is in line with units from the competition. After extended use, the AS runs warm but not hot to the touch. It should work in most cases without the use of a drive cooler.
Overall, we can't help but be disappointed with the Fireball Plus AS. The Fireball Plus' SCSI heritage set high standards for this newest member... standards that the AS couldn't quite reach. Western Digital's Caviar WD400BB offers better performance with comparable noise parameters... albeit in a maximum capacity of only 40 gigs. And though the AS does offer a maximum of 60 GB, stiff competition from Maxtor, IBM, and Seagate waits right around the corner. We advise holding off until then... or, if you need a unit right away, consider leading units from IBM or Western Digital.