Maxtor's announcement last summer of the DiamondMax Plus 45 surprised more than a few readers. Everyone was, after all, expecting a DiamondMax Plus 60... a drive featuring four 15 GB platters to rival the IBM Deskstar 75GXP in capacity. As it turned out, the precision required to maintain a four head design with these ultra-high densities was infeasible. Thus, like almost every other manufacturer, Maxtor turned in the towel and proceeded with a three-platter flagship design. The result was the DiamondMax Plus 45... a drive that delivered just 5 gigs more capacity than its successor.
Maxtor, however, tends to hit every major areal density point. Their release of a 15 GB/platter drive, for example, doesn't mean Maxtor won't participate in the 20 GB/platter round. And indeed they are: the subject of this review is the long-awaited Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 60. Long-awaited? Why yes... some were expecting this review far sooner . And many expected the DM+60 from Maxtor last summer, no less.
As is the case with all drives in the DiamondMax Plus series, the DM+60 features a 7200 RPM spindle speed. It houses up to three 20 gig platters, producing a flagship capacity of up to 60 gigs. Like its predecessor, the DM+60 is spec'ed with an 8.7 millisecond seek time. A three-year warranty backs the drive.
Like all recent DiamondMax drives, the DM+60 features a toggle that allows the drive to run in "quiet mode," "quiet-performance mode," and a mode with quiet mode completely disabled. Our tests were run in the latter configuration. Further, performing an excess of ten cold boots before commencing tests disabled the factory-default write-verification... Maxtor's utility, for some reason, was unable to do so.
The DM+60 ships exclusively with an ATA-100 interface. Remember, since ATA drives have yet to break sequential transfer rates greater than even 45 MB/sec that ATA-66 (and in many cases, even ATA-33) interfaces will run a drive with optimal performance. Our testbed remains equipped with a Promise Ultra66 controller.
WB99/Win2k Low-Level Measurements