Well, as the test results indicate, the Bigfoot TS isn't going to be challenging the Cheetah line
for drive supremacy any time in the near future
. The TS is not within the upper echelon of disks. In fact, it dwells among the lower divisions. There is no use comparing the drives to today's performance leaders (among them being Quantum's own Fireball EX
). All things considered, however, I wouldn't expect a drive marketed as a value-class unit to be challenging speed limits. What is
noteworthy, however, is that the TS churned out WinBench 98 scores between 36% and 46% higher than it's TX predecessor. This increase allows us to draw some interesting comparisons. Consider, for example, the top offerings from two current manufacturers: Western Digital's Caviar AC10100
and Fujitsu's Desktop 10
. Both are 3.5" disks, ostensibly representing the cream-of-the-crop of ATA performance. Yep, the lowly Bigfoot TS trounces both in most performance figures. To put things further into perspective, a comparison between the TS and the ATA champ of less than a year ago, the IBM Deskstar 8
, the TS outdistances the Deskstar in most performance catagories.
I'm sorry to report that the TS seems to be substantially louder than the whisper-quiet Bigfoot TX. While the older drive ranked among the quietest units ever to pass through our testbed, the TS exhibited a low-pitched rumble when seeking for data. No, it's nowhere near the league of the rocks-in-a-blender levels that Seagate SCSI drives treat their users with, but its several notches louder than the previous Bigfoot series. Heat, as can be expected from a 4000rpm design, was simply not a problem.
Ok, what's the bottom line? Is the TS a recommended drive? If it were substantially less expensive than 3.5" disks of similar capacities, the answer would be a "yes." The Bigfoot line has elevated itself from being in a class on its own (on the wrong end of the spectrum) to placing among the middle of the pack of today's ATA disks. Unfortunately, the price, at least for end users, is not much less than other top performers. At a suggested retail price of $399, it costs the same as, say, the Maxtor DiamondMax 4320. Granted, the Maxtor stores 2 gigs less of data, but we're talking a difference between a 17 gig and 19 gig drive. The 4320, though, significantly outmuscles the TS when it comes to performance. Retail PC manufacturers, however, seem to endear themselves to the Bigfoot line, whether it be for cost or some other reason. In such a light, it should be comforting to know that while the drive you'll get in a typical Pavilion or Presario isn't a screamer by today's standards, it isn't holding back your CPU nearly as much as in systems from those manufacturers less than a year ago.