here's the down and dirty on this drive. Information is taken from the IBM website, so we'll see if their claimed speeds are on the mark or not.
Setup was pretty straightforward with this drive. There were no problems with either the partitioning or formatting. There were no hidden settings to mess with, and all jumper settings are clearly marked right on the drive itself. This is nice for those who don't want to go digging through the manual, or worse, for those who buy OEM and don't want to have to go to the IBM website to get the proper jumper settings.
One thing that I noticed was that the standard sticker on the drive for those jumper settings have both a 15-pin and a 16-pin guide for jumpers. This can be a little confusing for those who are not accustomed to building their own systems. Since the drive can't be both, it would have been nice if the manufacturers would just put the appropriate labels on the unit. It will ease some confusion to those who are building a system for the first time.
I went with a simple dual partition of 20GB each. This allows for a large partition for the hungry Windows OS and also a large partition for all my normal programs. By using a separate partition for programs, I can reformat the primary without losing important data. We all know that Windows will screw up from time to time, and a little prior planning helps enormously when it comes time to scrap it and install fresh.
The testing consisted of both synthetic and real-world benchmarking utilities to give us an overall idea as to how it performed. Tests used include SiSoft Sandra 2001se, HD Tach, and Ziff Davis WinBench99 (version 1.2). Although SiSoft has a newer version out, I stayed with the "se" version since it was the same one that I used for the Western Digital and Seagate drives that I'll be using as a comparison.
The test system consists of:
AMD Thunderbird 1000 @ 1333
256MB Crucial PC133 CAS2 SDRAM
Creative Annihilator II GeForce2 GTS
The drives used for comparison:
Western Digital 20GB 7200 RPM ATA-66
Seagate 80GB 5400 RPM ATA-100
Editors Note: For those who have read the review of the Seagate 80GB drive, these graphs will look familiar. I am building a database for future comparisons, and since current results are limited the results will be the same. As drives keep coming in for testing, the results will be updated.
- SiSoft Sandra
The IBM drive with its ATA-100 rating as well as a 7200-RPM spindle dominated this test. Though SiSoft Sandra is a synthetic test, it does a fair job of telling us the overall performance factor of the hard drive. As expected, the level of performance was above the other units in this test.
- HD Tach
After looking at the IBM rated 8.5ms access times, I was happy to see that their claims were not too terribly inflated. Anything under 10ms in the HD Tach tests is very good indeed. And who can argue with average data transfers of over 36MB/sec?
- Ziff Davis WinBench99
Overall a very nice job by this drive. While it didn't take every test outright, it was always pretty close to the top. The programs used in this series of tests are programs that are used in business on a daily basis and have a tendency to use up some resources. The results show how well the drive is able to compensate with the heavy resource usage and still maintain high-end performance. And the transfer rates were outstanding in this set of tests as well!
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