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WinLab Reviews
Quantum Fireball TM 3.2GB Ultra SCSI-3
Blazing Fireball Mixes Space and Speed

-- by David Hafke

With the Quantum Fireball TM 3.2GB Ultra SCSI-3 hard drive, you can go for space and speed without going for broke.

In its unassuming silver case, Quantum's Fireball is a very impressive drive. Besides its enormous storage capacity, the Fireball proves to be a high performer. It cranked out a data throughput of 1.1MBps in the uncached disk category of our Wintune 95 benchmarks-a giant step ahead of its competition.

This Ultra SCSI model upholds Quantum's reputation for producing high-performance drives. It boasts a 10.5-millisecond seek time, a 4500rpm rotational speed and an estimated 400,000-hour mean time between failures.

With magneto-resistive technology and its thin-film inductive heads, this 3.2GB drive can achieve up to four times the areal density of standard drives, reducing both the drive's cost and the number of necessary disk components.

Installation is typical for a hard drive, except for one confusing area. The layout diagram atop the drive's case shows jumper settings for master, slave, cable select and storage. However, unlike an IDE drive, SCSI devices do not operate on a master/slave relationship; they are assigned IDs. Unfortunately, Quantum uses the same label for its IDE and SCSI drives, so you need to ignore the jumper setting label.

The drive's documentation is otherwise clear and concise, and includes tables that specify jumper settings for termination and ID assignments.

At $525, the Fireball 3.2GB costs approximately 16.4 cents per megabyte, consistent with other drives in its class. The price and top-notch performance put this drive on our Recommended List as a great buy.

W Info File

Quantum Fireball TM 3.2GB Ultra SCSI-
Price: $525
Pros: Good performance
Cons: Confusing instructions
Platforms: 3x, 95, NT
Quantum Corp.
800-624-5545, 408-894-4000
WinMag Box Score: 4.5

Copyright 1997 CMP Media Inc.

(From Windows Magazine, January 1997, page 144.)