iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Maxtor products Seminar

On September 27 ASBIS held a seminar on the prospects of Maxtor products. Grzegorz Kwolek, Distribution Sales Manager Eastern Europe took part in the seminar. First of all Mr. Kwolek outlined the general situation. Hard discs under the Quantum mark won't be produced anymore. At the same time Maxtor supports all guarantee obligations of Quantum. (Since Maxtor lacks for a solid distributor network in the Eastern Europe the company is going to make use of the Quantum's one.)

According to Mr. Kwolek, initially Maxtor had a more flexible production cycle which allowed the company to make a quick transition from one model to another, while Quantum's one allowed making larger volumes. After the amalgamation the company wants to take the best from these technologies.

Now some more information on the hard discs.

Discs with IDE interface

According to Maxtor, the company takes the first place in the production of IDE discs. But today they count on the discs with 40 GBytes per platter recording density and on the Ultra ATA/133 interface (until the Serial ATA appears). But after the companies amalgamated it has become easy to confuse one line with another. The D540X, for example, includes three lines of discs with a 5400 rpm spindle speed. Mr. Kwolek realizes that it is not the best solution from a marketing standpoint, but this is just a period of transition. There is an additional marking so that a user may not confuse:

  • D540X-4K (the internal name is "Galaxy") a disc completely developed by Quantum (the supposed name was lct40), 20, 40, 60 and 80 GB capacity, Ultra ATA/100 interface;
  • D540X-4D ("Romulus") developed by Maxtor, 40, 60 and 80 GB capacity, Ultra ATA/100 interface;
  • D540X-4G ("Neptune") a new disc developed by Maxtor. 120 and 160 (!!!) GB capacity, Ultra ATA/133 interface.

These discs and the 541DX ("Athena") series as the entry-level ones are a line of Maxtor discs with a 5400 rpm spindle speed.

The situation with 7200 rpm discs is simpler. The old ones are replaced with a new D740X-6L ("Viper") line which also has 40 GBytes per platter, is of 20, 40, 60 and 80 GBytes and has an Ultra ATA/133 interface. The disc is developed by Quantum, and it will use all standard Quantum technologies SPS (Shock Protection System) and DPS (Data Protection System).

Why Ultra ATA/133? First of all, it provides a full back compatibility. Secondly, Quantum had worse bugs in this sphere and they mustn't forget them. Thirdly, Serial ATA is still lacking, while Ultra ATA/133 controllers are present on the market.

Discs with SCSI interface

At the moment it is Quantum products which are used. This year there is only one new model - Atlas 10K III ("Orea") with a 10,000 rpm spindle speed and a density of 18 GBytes per platter. The interface is U320 SCSI. According to Maxtor, the U160 SCSI can't ensure the sufficient bandwidth as 4 connected discs such as Atlas 10K III can overload this interface.

Next year will be richer in news. The first new model is a disc with 15000 rpm codenamed Aurora which will be available in the Q1 2002. The recording density is 18 GBytes per platter, the capacity is 18.4, 36.7, 73.4 GBytes, and the interface is U320 SCSI.

Another interesting model will be a "Cobra" disc with a 36 GBytes density; this one will appear on the market in the second half-year of 2002. It will have up to 147 GBytes capacity and the same interface.

Well, our lab will do its best in publishing tests of all new Maxtor products in proper time.

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