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Fujitsu MAE3182LP

  July 11, 1999 Author: Eugene Ra  
Evaluation unit provided by Fujitsu Computer Products.

Not as glamorous as their 10k rpm brethren, 7200rpm SCSI drives still provide the majority of the SCSI market with mainstay performance and reliability. Though breathtaking in speed, 10k rpm units invariably deliver high levels of noise and heat. If a user wants to go SCSI yet can't put up with noisy and/or hot operation, 7200rpm drives are the only way to go. We've taken a look at almost all of 1999's 7200rpm offerings from four major manufacturers, with Quantum's Atlas IV staking out a position as the leader. Only Fujitsu's 18.2 gig MAE3182LP remains to challenge the Quantum.

A 7200rpm drive, the MAE3182LP packs 4.6 GB/platter, just like the Atlas IV. The drive's seek time is listed at 7.5 milliseconds- a tad slower than the Quantum. A roomy 2048k buffer, seemingly standard for today's drives, rounds out Fujitsu's package. The drive is backed by a five-year warranty.

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We found the MAG3182LP lagging behind the best-of-class Atlas IV in most cases. Disk WinMark 99 scores place the Fujitsu drive between 7%-12% below the Atlas in Windows 95. Under NT, however, the difference dropped to an almost insignificant 4%-6%. ThreadMark tests illustrate a substantial Quantum lead, with the Fujitsu drive trailing by 14%-20%.

As we've come to expect with all Fujitsu drives, heat and noise levels for the MAE3182LP are commendable. Though it doesn't come close to approaching the silent operation of its Fujitsu ATA cousins, the drive probably is the quietest of this year's SCSI drives. The drive also runs rather cool in our well-ventilated case; a drive cooler is probably unnecessary in many instances.

The Fujitsu MAE3182LP is an alternative to the quiet and cool WD Enterprise WDE18300, though in most cases we found the WD drive edging out the Fujitsu in performance. If, however, you're looking for the best 7200rpm performance available, nothing has changed: Quantum's Atlas IV is still the best around.

Fujitsu MAE3182LP
Estimated Price: $799
Also Available: MAE3091LP (9.1 GB Version)
Specifications
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* Note: Threadmark 2.0 test results are the average of five trials.
WinBench99 test results are the average of three trials.


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