Reliable Business Partners: Three Ultra320 Hard Drives at 10,000 RPM

Conclusion: Maxtor's The Sprinter; Fujitsu's For Long-Distance

Our benchmark results spell it out: the access times and the transfer performance of all three candidates are excellent. Maxtor reaches 70 MB/s, while the other two are not far behind. In access times, the Atlas 10K IV is the speed king with only 7.6 ms, although Fujitsu's MAP drive is no tortoise at 8.1 ms.

Things look quite different if you want to install these drives in high-end desktop systems. The applications benchmark WinStone 99 2.0 reveals substantial differences. The Cheetah 10K.6 loses a bit of ground - Windows applications were apparently not that important in its development. It does shine, however, with the best burst performance.

The Atlas 10K IV has to break quite a sweat in order to stay at the head of the pack; the Fujitsu drive remains a tad cooler than the competition.

Fujitsu really wipes the floor with its competitors in potential I/O performance. Our two test profiles simulate query patterns for standard file and Web servers. The MAP series leaves the competition in the dust for both low and high command queue depths - a clear sign that it was heavily optimized for server applications.

Seagate and Maxtor are roughly on a par in this discipline. While the Atlas 10K IV reacts a touch faster for short command queue depths, the Seagate comes into its own with high command queue depths.

All in all, one thing is clear: Maxtor attains the best raw and application performance, while Fujitsu is able to flex its muscles in server applications, among other areas.