The Quantum Fireball lct10's
relatively swift access time
keeps the Seagate U10 at bay in IOMeter
. Under a Linear Workstation load
, Seagate's drive lags behind Quantum's by 15%. The gap only widens under heavier loads
, peaking at over 24% under a Light load
As a 5400rpm drive with only two platters, the flagship U10 operates very quietly. Subjectively, only the Maxtor DiamondMax 60 is quieter. Likewise, heat is simply a non-issue at this level. The U10 has been designed to easily integrate into any system.
Overall, like most other value-class drives, the Seagate U10 doesn't offer the speed that performance-oriented users are looking for. Such readers would be better served with competing drives... even in the 5400rpm arena, one would be better served by the Maxtor DiamondMax 60 if one needed capacity or the Quantum Fireball lct10 if performance was the goal. The U10's combination of low heat, noise, and cost seems to have endeared it to OEMs, propelling sales to impressive heights.
We should also take a moment to note that the value-class hierarchy is about to go through a shakeup. Take the two players contrasted here, for example. Seagate will continue on its course, skipping the 15 GB/platter plateau in favor of releasing a 5400rpm drive that packs an incredible 20 gigs of data on one platter. Quantum, on the other hand, is charting a different path. The speedy lct10's successor, the lct15, features a 4400rpm spindle speed, in an effort to further minimize the "big three" issues: heat, noise, and cost. It will be interesting to see which tactic prevails as this new generation of drives hits the market.