Maxtor announces nearline SATA II harddrive with up to 300 GByte

Milpitas (CA) - Maxtor announced its third generation Maxline drive targeted at the growing nearline segment. The drive offers SATA II features and is available in capacities of 250 and 300 GByte.

As a nearline drive, the new SATA Maxline III hard drives are designed to work between primary and secondary storage solutions. While primary storage usually offers high performance, secondary offline storage tends to be slow and rarely accessed. Nearline drives are somewhat new breed of drives bridging those two storage types with reasonable performance data, reliability and low price. Commonly found in enterprise environments, nearline storage is also interesting for home users who are looking for more reliable drives without busting their budget.

Maxtor's new drives integrate 16 MByte buffer and come in a three-disc-design and 250 and 300 GByte capacity. At 7200 rpm, offer respectable performance. According to the specs released by Maxtor, the average seek time of the drives is about 9.3 ms. The devices support SATA II which includes native command queuing (NCQ) to enable multi-threaded performance and allowing the drive to reorder and efficiently execute up to 32 commands for greater data throughput, staggered spin up, hot-plug and, asynchronous signal recovery.

According to the manufacturer, the Maxline III will offer a 1 million mean time to failure (MTTF). The MTTF number indicates the average time before failure of a system or device occurs.

The new drives also come with hot-plug functionality, providing customers using RAID or other large storage arrays with better serviceability and flexibility when a SATA drive needs to be added or upgraded while the system is running, Maxtor said.

The SATA Maxline III will begin shipping in volume in the third quarter of this year, with ATA/133 models following, according to the manufacturer. Prices have not been announced yet.

Seagate also recently announced its move into the nearline market. The company will launch its fiber-channel-based NL35 series with a capacity of 500 GByte in the fourth quarter of this year.