Interface: Ultra ATA/66
Seek time: 8.5ms
Average 7200RPM rotational latency: 4.17ms
Total average seek time: 12.67ms
Internal data rate: 235MB/sec
Buffer size: 512k
Data Protection System
Shock Protection System
With only 6.4GB of space, the Quantum drive is one of the smaller 7200RPM drives available on the market, but Quantum's Fireball Plus KA series also offers 9.1GB, 13.6GB, and 18.2GB sizes.
The drive supports the ATA-66 interface, and is backwards compatible with older EIDE/ATA interfaces. Don't worry about buying the drive if your motherboard only supports ATA-33. You can use the hard drive in an older system, and then take it with you when you upgrade to a system with ATA-66 support. The 8.5ms seek time is the fastest advertised non-SCSI seek time we've seen. Add the extra 4.17ms of 7200RPM rotational latency, and you have a 12.67ms average seek time.
The 512k buffer size is smaller than the 1024k and 2048k buffer sizes we're seeing in other 7200RPM drives, but the actual impact of buffer size on performance is still in question.
DPS and SPS
Quantum also boasts a new Data Protection System (DPS). According to Quantum's DPS whitepaper,
Major system OEMs consistently find that more than 40 percent of hard drives returned by customers show no failure when tested. This means the PC user needlessly parts with his or her hard drive and, more important, all of his or her data. To avoid this kind of data loss, an easy and fast method for PC users to determine whether their hard drive is the source of a system failure is needed.
If you're having problems with your system, you can use Quantum's DPS to check your hard disk to make sure it's working properly. DPS will make troubleshooting a little easier, and prevent possible hard disk misdiagnoses.
Quantum drives also have a Shock Protection System (SPS) that "protects against trauma during handling and integration." It's nice to know the Quantum drive will sustain less damage if someone accidentally drop kicks your computer case.