IBM 34GXP: 2MB buffer, 7200 rpm, 6.8GB per platter, 9.0ms seek
Seagate U Series 5: 512KB buffer, 5400 rpm, 20GB per platter, 8.9ms seek
For overall performance, which is better?
I just happen to have both sitting around, and I personally have never used the U5 but I've never been too impressed with Seagate ATA performance. Meanwhile the IBM drive, though it has superior buffer size and spindle speed, is pretty "long in the tooth".
The closest I could come to a comparison via SR database was a review on the 34GXP, run on "Testbed 1", while "Testbed 2" ran some of the same tests on a U5. I don't feel this is a valid comparison, but we'll note that:
High-End Disk WinMark 99: 34GXP scored 13267 for NTFS (NT 4.0) and 13800 for FAT32 (95 OSR 2.1). The U5 scored 12300 (Win2K NTFS).
Business Disk WinMark 99: 34GXP scored 4253 for NTFS (NT 4.0) and 3980 for FAT32 (95 OSR 2.1). The U5 scored 5487 (Win2K NTFS).
These are on totally different systems, but I lean towards the IBM for the fact that it managed to beat the U5 scores in the high-end mark despite being run on a PII 266, LX chipset, with 64MB RAM... Whereas the U5 had the advantage of a PIII 700, BX chipset, and 128MB RAM.
Still, it's very difficult for *me* to draw any useful conclusions based on that data--just too many variables for me to sort out.
So, I'm looking for the ultimate expertise: feedback from knowledgeable users.