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The IBM 75GXP 7200 RPM Series of Hard Drives

Introduction

Woe is me, the king has fallen. Yes, my beloved Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40 series of hard drives no longer rule the roost. Yes, Maxtor has a Diamondmax 60 series, but alas, it's not of the 7200 genre just yet. When the 60 Plus series arrives, I will eagerly anticipate testing one. Until that day arrives, have a gander at the fastest IDE hard drives on the planet, the 75GXP series. While not quite the 10,000 rpm screamers made by other brands, the 15GB per platter density, 7200 rpm spindle speed and 2MB of cache easily grabbed my attention. Not to mention the configurable ATA 33/66/100 spec: i815 here I come!

Factory Specifications
The Unit
  • 7200 RPM spindle speed
  • Up to 15.3GB of storage capacity per disk
  • 8.5 mS average seek
  • 2MB cache buffer
  • Fast data transfer rates (up to 100 MB/s)
  • 3-year warranty



http://www.ibm.com

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10/10 Rating

Description & Specifications

This IDE hard drive is of the standard 3.5" inch drive bay variety and requires no extra cooling. IBM has six drives in it's 75GXP lineup. Entering at 15.3GB and expanding all the way to 75GB, the 15.3GB is the smallest of the group. The overall specifications are so similar in all six drives (except the 20GB model, which has 10GB per platter density) that all performance tests will be excruciatingly close across the spectrum.

A quick glance at IBM's spec sheet reveals the power usage. Because no current peak was given for the 5.0 volt line, I can only assume a peak power usage of over 30 watts upon bootup. Placing multiple drives in a RAID array or on 3 IDE connectors will stress most power supplies to their limits upon pushing the power button. Make sure that if you use multiple high speed, power hungry drives you have sufficient power to spare. After your computer has completed the boot phase, this drive idles at a more reasonable 6.7 watts.

An ATA66 connector plug fits into an ATA33 drive and vice versa. What you will notice is that the ATA66 cable is twice as dense as the older standard. The 80 connections are from an extra 40 ground or signal return wires that assist in a more stable signal and therefore higher potential transfer rates. Using an ATA66 connector the wrong way can lead to disastrous results. First, notice the bright blue end. This end must be plugged into the ATA66 motherboard plug and not anywhere else. Remember floppy cables? The black end must be plugged into whatever you're calling the master HD. Many controllers also prefer not to have anything else but ATA66 specific devices plugged into them, so caveat emptor if you try to use your hot rod IDE CD-ROM drive as a slave. Compatibility was not tested in this case.

The Tests

Two types of tests were used. The first is using HDTach version 2.61 to view the STR (sustained transfer rate). This is the rate at which the drive could manipulate large files (i.e. several MB in size). The second test is a more practical one. After copying the entire contents of the Windows 98SE CD to the hard drive, I simply copied the contents to another folder and timed the procedure. This will be a very realistic average of what the HD will "feel" like in every day use, such as booting up and running many standardized business applications and web browsing. These numbers will be significantly lower than the best case scenario maximum transfer rates.

Many people have the Maxtor Plus 40 ATA66 drives and for comparison purposes, I will display the Win98SE results from an earlier review, the 30.7GB model. This drive sports a 7200 RPM rotational speed, 2MB cache and of course the ATA66 compatibility.

 





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