In the past, SR has been slow to review Fujitsu's drives. Indeed, Fujitsu disks were almost always the last of any given generation to receive a review. This arises, unfortunately, from our lack of contact with the Japanese conglomerate's American division. Fujitsu's latest 7200 RPM ATA drive, a drive that's been available for some time, is no exception. As it turns out, Fujitsu is withdrawing from the ultra-competitive ATA drive arena as a whole. In a sense, this review is a wistful tribute to the last unit shipped by a major player.
The MPG-AH has been especially interesting since its 5400 RPM brother, the MPG-AT, brought signs of life to an ATA drive line that hasn't exactly been stellar in our benchmark suites. Along with its 7200 RPM spindle speed, the AH brings a faster specified seek time of 8.5 milliseconds as well as a uniform 2-megabyte buffer (smaller AT's only had 512k) to the table. Each platter stores 20 GB of data yielding a 2-platter flagship around 40 gigs. The model tested in this review features the manufacturer's "Fluid Dynamic Bearings" rather than conventional ball bearings, a feature that should theoretically reduce drive noise while improving reliability.
Fujitsu's drive targets market segment that seek high performance without heading down the SCSI path. High-end home and office machines as well as entry-level servers represent the AH's sector. A 3-year warranty protects the drive.
The MPG-AH 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.
Let's see how Fujitsu's final stands up.