by February 4, 2002 0 comments

Ran out of hard disk space again? Well, here’s something to keep you going for a long time. Maxtor’s D540X can hold 160 GB of data, and is targeted at desktop systems, enterprise servers, and consumer electronics appliances. It was also the first hard drive with an UltraATA/133 MHz interface we tested. However, your existing motherboard may not support this new interface. Therefore, you’ll need to get an Ultra ATA/133 PCI adapter card that works with most UltraATA 133/100/66/33 devices to be able to use this feature. You can still use the drive without the card on an old motherboard, but won’t be able to use the UltraATA133 feature. The drive has a 2 MB cache buffer.

drive is well priced at Rs 125 per GB

Maxtor D540X 
ATA 133
Price: Rs 20,000
Meant for: Enterprise servers/desktops
Features: 160 GB drive, 5,400 rpm drive, Ultra/ATA 133, 2 MB cache buffer, rated seek time less than 12 ms.
Pros: Good performance.
Cons: None.
Contact: Cyberstar Inforcom, New Delhi. Tel: 011-6438216, 6235442 

We tested the drive on a Windows 98 machine with a PIII/700 processor, 128 MB RAM, and ASUS CUV4X motherboard. The tests were done both with and without an UltraATA133 PCI card. We used WinBench 99 to test the seek time, transfer rates, and CPU utilization of the drive. It performed quite well in all our tests using the card, and scored 37 MB/sec in data transfer rates, so far the best we have got in 5400 rpm drives. The drive gave a disk access time of 9.97 ms, which was at par with its rating. The drive hardly loaded the CPU, showing a utilization of just 2.17 percent. Without the card, there wasn’t much of a difference in the transfer rates and seek time, but the CPU utilization shot up to 14.3 percent.

The drive comes with Maxblast Plus installation software and a diskette for formatting and partitioning your hard drive. It also comes bundled with an ATA interface cable and 5.25” mounting brackets. The per GB cost of the drive comes to Rs 125, which is cheaper than that of other 80 GB drives. So, if you are looking for a fast performing drive with tons of storage space, this is a good option.

Neelima Vaid at PCQ Labs

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