The Combatants & Our Test System
Maxtor's DiamondMax 10 drive boasts some impressive improvements over last years DiamondMax 9 drive, including double the buffer, NCQ support and what Maxtor calls a "SATA-II" interface although the standard is still taking shape. The Raptor uses its high rotational speed to get the required position under the drive heads in a very short time as demonstrated by the low average seek time. That performance comes at a major price premium though, as the Raptors cost almost 6 times the price/GB of the DiamondMax 10 drive. At those prices, some even high-speed SCSI solutions start to look comparable.
Our test platform was based on an Intel D945GTP motherboard, which has the ICH7 Southbridge and four SATA connectors supporting NCQ and Intel Matrix Storage Solutions RAID levels 0, 1, 10 and 5.
1. The operating system used a separate hard drive from the tested configurations.
2. The tested drives were unformatted for HD Tach tests to enable write testing.