As is quite evident from the benchmark results, the 10K is no match for the second generation 10K II. It was consistently faster in all of our benchmarks and a lot quieter overall, a distinct advantage, we might add.
Quantum's Quiet Drive Technology proved very effective overall; with the Atlas 10K we could hear the disk's actuator arm reading and writing the data, whilst with the Atlas 10K II it was sometimes hard to determine whether it was indeed doing something. Although both drives have a slight high-pitched hum due to the 10000 RPM spindle speed, the Atlas 10K II was significantly quieter overall.
The Shock Protection System is a great feature, especially the next generation as featured on the Atlas 10K II, as it provides continued protection against data loss or corruption due to shocks, thus preserving data integrity whether the drive is operating or powered down.
One thing concerned us a bit, and that's the amount of heat the Atlas 10K II generates. Whereas the 10K gets pretty hot, the Atlas 10K II was often too hot to our liking, you couldn't even lay a finger on it. Although it comes fitted with small cooling fins, it might be a good idea to create some airflow across it to keep it safe from overheating. Especially when mounted in a small, midi- or rack-mounted-case, as meeting the disk's maximum operating conditions might be a bit of an issue then.
Fig 10. Quantum Atlas 10K II, notice the small cooling fins on the back of the harddisk.
To summarize, as an Ultra-fast, quiet and above all reliable harddisk, the Quantum Atlas 10K II certainly deserves your attention. With capacities ranging from 9.1 to 73.4 GB, a 68-pin or 80-pin SCA SCSI connection, mindboggeling throughput and all the other outstanding features, it might just be the disk to you're looking for. We were impressed by the Quantum Atlas 10K II's stellar performance, and it deserves a warm recommendation.