This week we will be taking a look at Quantum’s latest offering in the desktop hard disk drive market, the Fireball Plus LM, 30GB hard drive. This latest drive in the Quantum Fireball line is targeted at performance-conscience consumers who want optimum performance from their storage solution. The Quantum Fireball Plus LM is turning out to be a very popular drive on the market, thus our delay in getting hold of one.

Quantum Corporation was founded in 1980, and in that time, it has become one of the world’s leading storage solutions providers for the computing industry. Most of you associate the Quantum name with quality hard drives, but in addition, they also manufacture tape drives, network attached storage (NAS) appliances, and solid-state systems. Quantum has also begun to supply hard drives for the emerging personal video recorder (PVR) market, which includes such devices as the TIVO.

Quantum Corporation also developed the Ultra ATA/33 as well as the more recent Ultra ATA/66 specification. The Ultra ATA/33 specification doubled the transfer rate from the previous 16 MB/s, of the old PIO modes, and now the Ultra ATA/66 interface doubles the speed to 66.6 MB/s to keep pace with today’s high performance drives. Along with doubling the bandwidth, the Ultra ATA/66 specification offers additional data integrity protection. By utilizing 80-conductor wires, 40 of which are additional ground lines, the Ultra ATA/66 interface is able to maintain cleaner data signals, which are required in order to assure reliable data transfers at the increased speed. What is most impressive is that Quantum was able to design the interface in such a way, as to maintain backward capability, thus allowing users to migrate to the new interface at their own pace without incurring additional costs.

Quantum has been a major contributor to forward-thinking technology for quite a while and has long realized that advances in technology continue to push hard drive performance forward. This continual push forward means that the internal data transfer rates of hard drives are increasing approximately 40% per year. The internal media transfer rates of hard drives are expected to exceed the 33.3 MB/s maximum transfer rate that the Ultra ATA/33 interface can support, sometime this year. Since the Ultra ATA/66 interface is already in place with many drives and systems now employing it, Quantum had ensured that the interface would not become a performance bottleneck.

The Drive

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