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Quantum Fireball 26GB HDD Review
Quantum Fireball 26GB HDD Review - PCSTATS
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.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Quantum Apr 20 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Quantum Fireball

Comparison Chart and Conclusion

Shock Protection System

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 benefits:

- Reduction of lost time due to drive replacement
- Protects 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."

Quiet Drive Technology

"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 feature alone...


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.

It is 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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Contents of Article: Quantum Fireball
 Pg 1.  Quantum Fireball 26GB HDD Review
 Pg 2.  Test System
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: SiSoft 99
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Winbench 99
 Pg 5.  HDD Technology
 Pg 6.  — Comparison Chart and Conclusion

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