Quantum Atlas II QM34550AL-SW

Average Score

Business Disk WinMark 98 (KB/s)

1240

SS/Database

1122

WP

1442

Publishing

1186

Browsers

1310

Task Switching

1912

High-End Disk WinMark 98 (KB/s)

3504

AVS/Express 3.1

1966

Frontpage 97

3242

MicroStation 95

6658

Photoshop 4.0

3240

Premiere 4.2

5912

PV-Wave 6.1

2260

Visual C++ 5.0

9132

Disk/Read Random Access (ms)

13.3

Disk/Read Transfer Rate (KB/s)

Beginning

9860

End

5874

Disk/Read CPU Utilization (Percent)

5.3

Transfer Rate (KB/s)

9839

Quantum's Atlas II was something of a puzzle. Priced at about $100 more than the Viking, the Atlas II is offered as the high-performance drive of Quantum's lineup. Even so, the Atlas II posted disappointing scores, bringing up the rear in the Business Disk Winmark and scoring second-to-last in the High-End Disk Winmark. It trailed its own lower priced cousin, the Viking, by 10%. Drive documentation was minimal, consisting of a leaflet describing how to set the SCSI ID of the device along with termination procedures. Given the lower cost and higher performance of both the Viking and the Seagate Hawk 4XL, The Quantum Atlas II cannot be recommended.

Quantum Viking QM34550VK-SW

Average Score

Business Disk WinMark 98 (KB/s)

1372

SS/Database

1216

WP

1680

Publishing

1278

Browsers

1502

Task Switching

1894

High-End Disk WinMark 98 (KB/s)

3884

AVS/Express 3.1

2410

Frontpage 97

3156

MicroStation 95

7152

Photoshop 4.0

3016

Premiere 4.2

7316

PV-Wave 6.1

2868

Visual C++ 5.0

8782

Disk/Read Random Access (ms)

13.7

Disk/Read Transfer Rate (KB/s)

Beginning

10700

End

6258

Disk/Read CPU Utilization (%)

5.8

Transfer Rate (KB/s)

10745

Positioned between the Atlas and Fireball families, Quantum's Viking is marketed as the companies middle-of-the-line drive. In this roundup of drives, the Viking proves to be the bargain of the group. Priced at a relatively skimpy $381, it resides at the bottom of the price hierarchy yet provides performance that approaches Seagate's much more expensive Barracuda XL. Although Seagate's Hawk 4XL provides virtually the same performance, Quantum back's the Viking with a 5 year warranty rather than the Hawk's 3 year protection. The drive operated cool, easily handled after extended use. The only drawback was a tiny bit of noise. During operation, the Viking seemed to create a low-pitched hum. Though noticeable, the noise was nevertheless much easier to tune out than the Cheetah's whine. Curiously, the drive came with no documentation whatsoever; SCSI ID and termination settings had to be retrieved from Quantum's web page. Caveats aside, a low price combined with good performance and solid warranty merit the selection of the Viking as Storage Review's low-priced UltraSCSI drive recommendation.
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