The 36ES joins Maxtor's Atlas 10k III in exploring new lows when it comes to 10,000 RPM noise floors. Seagate's latest emits idle noise that's a wee bit quieter than even the 10k III. Seek noise is approximately the same between the two also, with perhaps a slight nod again to the Seagate. Our sample of Maxtor's, though, features four platters to the 36ES' two. Nonetheless, no matter how it's sliced, noise levels are better than ever. The 36ES is just short of being hot to the touch after extensive use in our small testbed case. Active cooling may be warranted in many configurations.
So, what is the Cheetah 36ES? Performance results suggest that its neither a 36 GB Cheetah 73LP nor a successor to the Cheetah 36XL. Its excellent placing in WinBench combined with its subdued results in IOMeter indicate that the 36ES targets high-end desktop machines that either are configured with SCSI or would benefit from implementing SCSI's flexibility and expandibility. How large is this market? We're not sure, but rising ATA stars from Western Digital and Maxtor make it an increasingly crowded arena.