It's a balanced race between the two storage giants. With nearly 60 MB/s, the MaXline Plus II reaches the highest measured value for IDE drives. Just slightly behind is the WD2500JB, which, however, has a higher minimum transfer rate.
The write performance of Maxtor's 7Y250P0 clearly lags behind that of the WD2500JB. This is either because of the conservative caching or the automatic verification of the writtten data. This also fits nicely into Maxtor's concept of appealing to the growing market for systems in continuous long-term operation, without risking damage to its own SCSI business. Looked at from this angle, we have nothing negative to say about it.
The access times of both drives are fine, but they're not record-breaking. The same thing goes for the temperatures as well as the I/O performance. With regard to the latter, however, the business-oriented Maxtor got somewhat better values than expected.
But theory is a grey area - in the application benchmark WinBench 99 2.0, both drives show that they beat previous models and rival products by a significant amount. In Highend Disk Winmark, the MaXLine Plus II books a new best score, while the WD2500JB dominates the Business Disk WinMark.
In the end, we got a lasting, positive impression of both drives. If you're faced with having to decide between the two, then you have no easy task ahead of you. The differences revealed in the test results are practically imperceptible if you're using a fast desktop computer. If you assume that they will be offered at similar prices, then the Western Digital model will offer you better value for your money, due to its integrated IDE controller and the extensive set of accessories. However, Maxtor could turn this into its advantage, namely by offering the 7Y250P0 (without a controller) at a considerably lower price.