The DeskStar 180GXP offers everything you could wish for in a drive: it's big, it's fast, it offers low seek times, and it comes with a three-year warranty. Considering that companies like Maxtor and Seagate have just shortened their warranties, this may be an especially important aspect for prospective buyers.
Of course, the performance was just what we expected from an IBM drive. The DeskStar's transfer rates are only marginally lower than those of the Western Digital WD2000JB. In return, the IBM drive offers a lower average seek time and scored higher in the high-end application benchmark WinBench.
IBM won't be able to hold onto its position for long, though, as the aforementioned WD2000 already has a capacity of 200 GB. Meanwhile, Maxtor is waiting in the wings, preparing the launch of its 250 GB and 320 GB drives
In the past, IBM's drives have usually been priced a little lower than Western Digital's. In the case of its 180 GB model, IBM has no other choice but to try to lure customers away from the WD2000 with a lower price. Another thing to bear in mind is that Western Digital mainstream sales could also suffer from the shortened warranty. This, too, may play to IBM's advantage. Combined with its lower price, IBM's longer warranty may very well help the company regain lost ground.