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Elitists On The Test Bench: Ultra320 Hard Drives With 15,000 RPM

Conclusion: Photo Finish

In comparing such high-class hard drives, it's practically impossible to recommend one particular model for all possible uses. In addition, apart from the raised requirement of cooling - which cannot in any case be got around in professional use - none of the models revealed failings.

As in the comparison of the latest 10,000 rpm generation, the highest transfer rates were achieved by the Fujistu drive, closely followed by Hitachi. The MAS3735NP is ranked slightly above its three rivals, but clearly takes the lead in mimimum transfer rate: The drive doesn't fall below 59 MB/s even when writing. That's an important consideration for data-processing applications.

Maxtor distinguishes itself when fast drives for top-end workstations are required. It achieved best results in both sub-disciplines in the applications benchmark Winbench 99 2.0. Its I/O performance is also worth its salt. In this respect, Maxtor came top followed by Seagate.

Seagate, as mentioned, produced the best I/O performance averages and is thus highly suited for server and database applications - even if there are differences according to use, access mode (sequential or random) and block size that should be taken into account before a purchase.

ManufacturerFujitsuHitachi/HGSTMaxtorSeagate
ModelMAS3735NPUltraStarAtlas 15KCheetah 15K.3
Capacities18,4 GB36,7 GB73,5 GB36,9 GB73,9 GB18,4 GB36,7 GB73,4 GB18,4 GB36,7 GB73,4 GB
Rotation15.000 U/Min15.037 U/Min15.000 U/Min15.000 U/Min
Access Time3.3 ms3.9 ms3.2 ms3.6 ms
Cache8 MB8 MB8 MB8 MB
Warranty5 Years5 Years5 Years5 Years
MTBF1.200.000 h1.200.000 h1.200.000 h1.200.000 h