As expected, the Deskstar 25GP performs quite similarly to the latest Caviar from WD. This does mean, of course, that the 25GP ranks right up there with the WD disk as the fastest 5400rpm drive currently available. Performance differences between the 5400rpm IBM and WD units were even tighter than the correlation between the companies' 7200rpm drives. Differences in the Business and High-End Disk WinMark tests running under both Windows 95 and Windows NT were held within a negligible 1%.
Once again, the questionable Adaptec ThreadMark was the only test to reveal a significant difference between the two drives. Though the Deskstar 25GP edges past the WD Caviar by 2% in NT tests, it falls short of WD disk by a significant 12% in Windows 95. It's interesting to note that this is the same discrepancy (by the same magnitude) featured between the 22GXP and Expert: in that match-up, the IBM also falls behind by 10%.
When it comes to heat and noise, the 25GP performs just like the Caviar: i.e., it's quiet and cool, but not much more so than the 7200rpm units available from IBM/WD. Again, these latest drives illustrate how the penalty one pays in heat and noise by switching to faster spinning drives is slowly fading away. With such considerations diminishing, it's easy to see the approaching future where 5400rpm drives will be phased out.
IBM has once again reestablished itself as the capacity king with the gigantic Deskstar 25GP. Its performance is right up there at the top with the best 5400rpm drives. If you absolutely need the biggest disk out there, this drive is the only one for you. If, however, you can live with 5 gigs less space, it may behoove you to compare the 20 gig Deskstar 25GP with the 20 gig WD Expert. Once again, go with the drive that costs less.