With all the hoopla dished around about the newly arriving 7200rpm drives, its often easy to overlook the fact that increasing data density can increase throughput speed. Seagate's mighty 7200rpm Medalist Pro has arrived, delivering some impressive benchmark figures. Its interesting to note that while the Seagate drive was announced in October, its just now in March that we're seeing it widely available.
Just a month ago, Maxtor announced its new DiamondMax 2880 series of drives. Since the 2880 is still the same 5400rpm ATA design that we're all familiar with, the press release has been met with a relatively quiet reception. The 3.5" ATA drive does, however, break into some new territory. With the exception of the 5.25" form-factor Quantum Bigfoot TX, the 11.5 gig DiamondMax is the largest currently shipping ATA drive, packing 2.9 gigs of data on each of four platters. The other accompanying specs are rather mundane: 256k buffer, 9.0 millisecond access time, and, of course, the venerable 5400rpm spindle speed.
Maxtor drives, of course, are everywhere. Trot down to your local superstore retailer and gape at the mounds of red boxes behind the counter (not to mention those all those drives that also come in white boxes, but why do they still offer a maximum capacity of only 6.4 gigs? ) The review sample of this drive is a retail-packaged unit purchased from one of these said stores. The kit comes fully equipped with mounting rails, poster documentation, MaxBlast software, and cabling. Like Seagate's new 9.1GB offering, the DiamondMax 91152D8's size exceeds the limit of many older machines which may necessitate the use of the included software.
As usual, ZDBop's WinBench 98 along with Adaptec's Threadmark 2.0 were both run on the unit in Windows 95 OSR 2.1 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 The drive was partitioned into a single volume of maximum size. The average of 5 trials is presented below.