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  A Look at Maxtor's D740X, and ATA-133 
  Nov 08, 2001, 07:00am EST 


By: Dan Mepham

We’ve been very impressed with Maxtor’s latest drive. In our tests, the drive continuously turned in results anywhere from 5-20% faster than the previous generation DiamondMax. It’s faster, quieter, cooler, features new technologies like ATA-133 and fluid bearings, and is in every way improved versus previous models.

Let’s be realistic for a moment here, shall we? If you buy one of these, and swap it with your old DiamondMax Plus 60, you’re not likely to shout “Wow, this hard drive is 10% faster!”. In fact, you’re not even going to notice. But that’s not why we’re impressed. We’re impressed because Maxtor has managed to take a technology that’s already very sophisticated and matured, and extracted another 5-20% worth of performance. From a design and engineering standpoint, that’s fairly impressive. It’s great to see Maxtor still pushing the limits. Most of the time, it’s incremental improvements and diligent engineering that take a company to the top.

This isn’t the Second Coming of hard drives. It is, however, going to raise the bar for everyone else, and that’s something we love to see. Kudos to Maxtor on a job well done.

As to ATA-133, we see it as being more of a headroom thing than an immediate performance boost. Then again, ATA-100 was a headroom thing too. We’ve got enough headroom, already. If you find yourself buying a new drive, we wouldn’t worry too much about ATA-133. If you can save a few bucks by not purchasing a controller card, and using your motherboard’s on-board ATA-66 or -100 channels, there’s really no reason not to. If, however, you’re still working on an ATA-33 or older system, you’re probably ready for an upgrade, and you may as well step all the way up to ATA-133.

Two thumbs up for Maxtor’s DiamondMax D740X. Whatever the company absorbed from Quantum seems to be working. As to ATA-133, well, take it or leave it.

Dan Mepham

1. Introduction
2. New Standards, Old Parallels
3. ATA-133, All Show, No Go?
4. PCI Bus Loading
5. Maxtor's DiamondMax Plus D740X
6. Test Setup & Procedure
7. Performance - Burst Transfer Rate
8. Performance - Access Time
9. Performance - Sequential Transfer Rates
10. Performance - IOMeter
11. Performance - SYSMark
12. Conclusion
13. Appendix A

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  Product Ratings 
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X
Performance: 9/10
Quality: 8/10
Features: 10/10
Price: 6/10
Overall Rating: 9/10

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