Idle noise is virtually non-existent and should be inaudible over all but the quietest of power supply fans. During heavy activity, seek noise is audible, though unobtrusive. The drive runs cool to the touch after extended heavy use.
Overall, the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 60 provides formidable competition to the Western Digital Caviar WD400BB when it comes to WinBench performance. Unfortunately, the DM+60's regression in IOMeter scores means it has no chance in keeping up with the WD. To Maxtor's credit, the DM+60 is available in capacities of up to 60 gigs, something matched only by the Quantum Fireball Plus AS (along with the older-generation IBM Deskstar 75GXP). It is, as a result, a drive to consider if you're looking for more than 40 gigs. If not, however, Western Digital's offering is probably a better solution.