Again, our review sample features ball rather than fluid bearings. Even so, this D740X is quiet when idle. Though it can't quite compare to the Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (all of which ship with fluid bearings), idle noise should be undetectable in all but the quietest systems. A sample equipped with fluid bearings may exhibit an even lower noise floor. As one would expect from a drive that delivers a best-of-class access time, the D740X is relatively loud when it comes to seeks... a definite notch above what we've witnessed from today's competition. Note that one can mitigate this noise through the use of Maxtor's Acoustic Management utility. When it comes to heat, even after extended use, the drive gets only warm to the touch.
Overall, the DiamondMax Plus D740X is an admirable effort from Maxtor. It combines the best Business WinMark score we've recorded from a drive with a 2-megabyte buffer with a respectable High-End showing and top-flight IOMeter scores. Neither Seagate's Barracuda ATA IV nor Western Digital's standard-edition WD1000BB offer quite as attractive a package. Only Western Digital's WD1000BB Special Edition, delivering superior performance and a bit more capacity, holds the D740X at bay... albeit at a hefty price premium. Users looking for a high-performance storage upgrade while not breaking the bank need search no further than the D740X.