Abstract: A hard disk is a hard disk, right? Well not anymore. The variety of drives on the market can give us a hard time in deciding which one is most suitable for our needs. We are now starting to see hard disk drives going into 15,000rpm rotational speeds and reaching never before achieved storage capacities. |
Hard Drives/SSD >
Comparison Chart and Conclusion
The Fireball lct line of drives have introduced another new
feature to come out of Quantum's labs. SPS II is a step over the orginal SPS
which was featured on earlier Quantum models. The significance of SPS II (or
even SPS) is that it provides direct benefits to buyers of data storage products
by raising the bar over previous shock protection methods and delivers these
- Reduction of lost time due to drive replacement
valuable customer data
- Improved non-operating and operating shock
protection - (up to 300 Gs at two milliseconds)
Along with providing
enhanced protection against shock during handling and integration, the next
generation SPS II now guards against kicks and jolts while the PC is running,
further reducing field failures.
Drives fail for a variety of reasons
but Quantum was focusing on the effect of shock on the drive, and in particular,
how SPS II minimizes the effects of shock on long-term reliability. Shock levels
are expressed in terms of acceleration, and are measured in multiples of Gs,
with 1 G being the acceleration of gravity. The duration of the shock is also
important, for it is the combination of shock level and shock duration that
determine the effect on the drive.
So does SPS II actually deliver what they promise? It is
nearly impossible to tell in the short term. There is no way to actually measure
the shock resistance handling without performing some extraordinary acts and
perhaps damaging the drive. Basically, only time will tell whether or not the
return rate of Quantum drives enabled with SPS II actually goes down. Even then,
there are so many parameters to hard disk failure, it is almost too vast to come
to any exact conclusion whatsoever.
Though Quantum does boast of ..."reduced damage and drive failures during
system integration by more than 70%, cut the average field return rate (AFR) by
30%, and now leads the industry with the lowest defects per million (DPM). SPS
II promises to increase this lead even further."
"The main contributors of noise in a hard disk drive are the
spindle motor and the actuator arm. In addition to the motor's bearing, the
frequency with which the spindle driver integrated circuit modulates the spin
speed has a distinct impact on the acoustic signature of a drive. Moreover, the
faster a drive's seek time, the louder the contribution of the actuator motor,
as well as the switching noise of the coils and the arm. The idle acoustics of a
drive typically represent the sounds emitted from the spinning disks, while seek
acoustics add the sound of the actuator movement."
Keeping this in mind, Quantum had developed Quiet Drive Technology or QDT
for short. QDT reduces the overall acoustic "noise" of a hard disk thereby
significantly reducing the amount of sound emitted from the hard disk itself. This is probably one of
the features most evident on the Fireball lct. And in this case, one can definitely see
(rather hear) the results.
In an environment without a noise-reduced drive,
the hard disk certainly contributes to the overall sound emitted from a computer
system. Even during a drives "idle" state, one can certainly tell by the noise
emitted from the drive that it is actually powered on. During read and write
operations, it level of sound being given out by the drive becomes very obvious.
QDT eliminates this by tuning the drive so that the sound which is considered
distinctive to the human ear is eliminated.
Before using the drive, I never
realized how much different it is when noise from a hard disk is greatly reduced
to a whisper. While using the drive, and after being used to a certain level of
system noise, I could really tell the difference between the Fireball lct and my
Fireball CR. It was total bliss! You really have to try it out for yourself in
order to know what I am talking about. I would buy this drive just on this
The Quantum Fireball lct08 is targeted for the budget user
and offers great performance at a low price. Being a 5,400 rpm drive may be a
turn-off for some, but as you saw in the performance figures, it really doesn't
lag behind that much at all. Leaving aside SPS II, DPS and whatever else, the
biggest attraction for me was the lack of noise that was being emitted by the
drive. I was really skeptical at first and figured that QDT was just another
useless feature used in order to try and give it a competitive edge. What I now
realize is that QDT really works.
extremely pleasing to the ears and will definitely make your work environment
just a bit less noisy. You have got to hear it to believe it.
And at 26GB, you can bet that you will not be outgrowing
this drive for a long time. If you find 26GB too much, you also have a choice of
4.3, 8.4, 13.0 and 17.3GB capacities as well. It may not be as fast as other
drives on the market but it gets the job done in a relatively quick amount of
time. I would certainly recommend this drive to those who are not looking for
the fastest speed demon on the market and one who is looking for a large amount
of space with value. The Quantum Fireball lct08 provides just that... and you
won't even know its there.
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