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Quantum quiets down with new hard drive

Quantum Corp.'s, Hard Disk Drive Group announced the Fireball Plus AS, a 20G Byte per platter, 7200 RPM high-performance desktop hard drive with Ultra Quiet Hydrodynamic Bearing Motors.

According to Milpitas, Calif.-headquartered Quantum, this new drive fulfills its vision of creating a one-stop shop for reliable and quiet value and performance-class storage solutions.

"It is the first 7,200rpm drive that stores 20G Bytes per disk, so that is a milestone," said Mark Geenen, founder of TrendFocus, a storage market research firm located in California. Competitors are just now ramping up 15G Byte disks, so Quantum should have a lead of two to three months. Target customer is high-end PC user. It really benefits Quantum, in that it can now meet higher capacity requirements with fewer disks and heads." Geenan said that this yields a lower cost for production for Quantum.

The Fireball Plus AS is targeted for those who rely on a high-performance drive to handle demanding computer applications ranging from CAD/CAM, desktop publishing, multimedia and financial modeling to e-commerce Web sites, online gaming and MP3 downloads. Using a new firmware caching scheme, the company said the Fireball Plus AS is expected to demonstrate an approximate 15% WinBench performance improvement over its predecessor, the Fireball Plus LM.

The Fireball Plus AS, utilizing HDB motors supplied by Quantum's manufacturing partner Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics (MKE), generates less than 28 decibels of sound power at idle. In seek mode, the drive produces 32 decibels. Using standard ball bearing spindle motors and QDT, the Fireball Plus AS is one of the industry leaders in acoustical performance in the 7200 RPM class generating less than 30 decibels of sound power at idle and 34 decibels in seek mode.

Estimated suggested retail pricing for the standard 60G Byte Fireball Plus AS is $299 and will ship in September. The drive will be available in capacities of 10.2G Byte, 20.5G Byte, 30G Byte, 40G Byte, and 60G Bytes. The Fireball Plus AS with HDB motors is available as an option in the 10G Byte through 40G Byte models.

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