Despite some impressive specifications verified by outstanding low-level test results, we found the MAG3182LP trailing the Cheetah 18LP in most areas, albeit in many cases by small margins. Under Windows 95, the Business Disk WinMark, the Fujitsu drive trails the Seagate by an insignificant 1%. High-End Disk WinMark tests, though, show the gap opening up to a more substantial 13%. Interestingly, standings in tests run under Windows NT were virtually identical: the two drives were neck-and-neck (0% margin) in the Business test while the Fujitsu fell behind by 13% in the High-End WinMark. Adaptec ThreadMark shows the Fujitsu trailing the Seagate by a margin of 6% in Windows 95 and 21% under NT.
Aesthetics are definitely where this 10k rpm drive shines. Despite its high spindle speed, the drive runs only moderately warm to the touch outside a drive cooler. Our testbed's large case provided enough air circulation even without active cooling. A faint high-pitch squeal could be heard during idle, though less intrusive than the Cheetah 18LP. Seeks, though not as muted as ATA drives, come in a notch below the Cheetah. The MAG3182LP is arguably the quietest and coolest 10k drive we've yet tested.
After all is said and done, the Fujitsu MAG3182LP doesn't quite have the oomph to displace the Cheetah 18LP as "the fastest drive around." Impressive aesthetics, however, allow the drive to advance as an interesting alternative to the hot and noisy Cheetah. Though it's not -quite- the bleeding-edge performer that the Seagate drive is, the Fujitsu still offers premiere SCSI performance with much more tolerable noise and heat levels. If you simply must have the fastest drive regardless of other concerns, the drive of choice is currently the Cheetah 18LP. If not, however, consider the MAG3182LP.