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Quantum Fireball Plus AS 40GB Hard Drive
Quantum Fireball Plus AS 40GB Hard Drive - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Quantum Fireball Plus AS is a two platter 7200RPM 40GB hard drive with Ultra ATA/100 support and 40GB of storage.
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Maxtor Dec 16 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Maxtor Fireball Plus

Quantum FireBall Plus AS 40GB Hard Drive

When this drive originally came out I think Quantum and Maxtor were still two separate companies. So while this a rather dated drive these days, it works well representing the lower end of the consumers buying spectrum - after all, many purchases are driven by price first when all you really need is 20GB of space.

The Quantum Fireball Plus AS is a two platter 7200RPM 40GB hard drive with Ultra ATA/100 support and 40GB of storage. The Fireball plus comes with 2MB of cache buffer and demonstrates a average seek time of 8.4ms, and 0.8ms for track-to-track seek. It produces 3.4 bels of noise on average.

Quantum Fireball Plus AS 40GB
  • MFG: Maxtor/Quantum
  • Model No: Fireball Plus AS
  • Est Drive Cost: $115USD
  • Cost/GB: ~$2.88 USD

Memory Type

Comparison Drive Specs

Parameter   Quantum Fireball Plus AS     Samsung SP4004H  
- Capacity 40.0 GB 40.0 GB
- Areal Density 20GB/platter 20GB/platter
- Interface Ultra ATA/100 Ultra ATA/100
- No. of Platters 2 2
- No. of Heads 4 4
- Buffer Size 2 MB 2 MB
- Rotational Speed 7200 RPM 7200 RPM
- Acoustic Noise 3.4 bels 3.1 bel
- Avg. Rotational Latency 4.17 4.17 ms
- Internal Data Rate (max) N/A 473 Mbit/s
- Avg. Seek Time (Read) 8.4 ms 9.0 ms
- Avg. Track-to-Track
Seek Time (Read)
0.8 ms 0.8 ms
Approx cost/GB: $2.88 $2.45
EST unit cost: $115 USD $98 USD

Test Bed System Specs:

Each of the test hard drives was cleanly formatted and set to one partition of the maximum size. Hard drives were connected to the test motherboard via an 80 wire ATA-100 compliant cable in groups of two. No other devices (like CD ROM's for instance) were connected to the same IDE channel as that of the drives being tested.
Test System Specs

Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz
MSI 845Pro Motherboard
ProLink GF2 Ti200 Video card
TwinMos PC166 256MB SDRAM
10/100 Realtek NIC
Enermax 430W PSU

Software: Windows 2000 SP2
All devices had their respectable latest drivers

HD Tach 2.61
Winbench 99 V1.2

Drive Performance Benchmarks:

Access Time (ms)
  Quantum Fireball Plus AS     Samsung SP4004H  
Winbench 99 13.3 ms 13.6 ms
HDTach 1.61 12.8 ms 13.7 ms

The Quantum drive showed us just slightly better access times than the Samsung SpinPoint was able to produce. The FireBall Plus shows a bit of a lead in the HDTach test, but other than that the test results are just about dead on. Both drives feature two platters and a spindle speed of 7200RPM.

HDTach 2.61:

Hard drive Tach 2.61 is standard for benchmarking drives and provides a wealth of data on the peculiarities of each drive tested. The software tests four major points; access time, burst speed, read speed and percent CPU utilization.

Quantum Fireball Plus AS Hard Drive Performance Graph

HDTach 2.61
  Quantum Fireball Plus AS     Samsung SP4004H 
Access time (ms) 12.8 ms 13.7 ms

Read burst speed (mbps)

57.4 mbps 53.6 mbps
Read speed max (kps) 37013 kps 36106 kps
Read speed min (kps) 18349 kps 18128 kps
Read speed avg (kps) 30029 kps 28547 kps
CPU ultilization 6.2% 6.0%

The Quantum drive outperforms the SpinPoint with an average Burst Speed of 57.4 mbps, and read speed of 37013 kps. The only loss in ground to the Spinpoint was evident in terms of CPU utilization where the Fireball plus utilized 6.2% to the 6.0% of the Samsung drive.

WinBench 99:

WinBench 99
  Quantum Fireball Plus AS     Samsung SP4004H  
Disk Transfer Rate
- Beginning: 35400 kbs 34500 kbs
- End: 20300 kbs 20300 kbs
Disk Access Time: 13.3 ms 13.6 ms
CPU Utilization: 1.25% 1.25%

Winbench is useful for testing drives on a more realistic set of measurements, as the tests are based on real software applications utilizing the drives. Between the two 7200RPM drives there wasn't much of a discernible difference. The Quantum and the Samsung both showed a 1.25% CPU utilization and nearly identical access times.

The Quantum Fireball Plus AS and Samsung SpinPoint hard drives are very evenly matched in the sets of benchmarks we threw at them. In terms of cost, the Quantum drive is a bit more expensive, and goes for about $2.88/GB compared to just $2.45/GB for the Samsung drive. However the largest influencer will probably be the Quantum name as more people are familiar with their brand in North America.


Contents of Article: Maxtor Fireball Plus

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