King of storage this isn’t. 36GB is way too little for most people nowadays and I struggled to find a purpose for this drive in my day-to-day life. A lot of people recommended striping two drives together in a RAID 0 array (which I did), but the end result of data insecurity (and a failed stripe set) did little to assuage my opinion that this drive is best left in the enterprise market. That being said, it’s loud, it’s hot (scalding), it’s incredibly fast. It’s not a good value (at over $3.41 per gigabyte), but if you’re looking for a drive that will blow the veritable doors off of anything else, this is the way to go. Matched pairs would be the best, as this is a not a one drive show.
Evaluating these drives was tough. Not only were there 3 different sized drives, there were 2 separate spindle speeds present too. One drive was targeted towards enterprise while the other two were aimed at general consumers. The variables present in this test were challenging. However, looking back over the data we have seen, I can honestly say that what you see before you are the pinnacle of Serial ATA technology. Since these drives were manufactured, Samsung and Hitachi have both released Serial ATA drives that will compete well with these three mainstream giants.
In the meantime, evaluate your storage decision carefully. Take inventory of what you do most often and buy with that in mind. If you're constantly using office applications and light gaming, take the Seagate 7200.7 home. If you're more into the Audio/Video or Home Theater PC thing and do some heavy gaming as well, focus on Maxtor's DiamondMax Plus 9 offering. If you like RAID and are willing to sink more money per gigabyte, buy the Western Digital Raptor in sets of two. Each of these drives has proven to me that Serial ATA is mature, is ready to work hard, and can revolutionize future storage systems that are on the horizon.
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