The findings of Eugene really surprised me. I have to say that I'm not totally convinced that the results are accurate. During my short usage of the DM +8 with Adobe Photoshop, Pagemaker, Office XP, DV edit, DVD burning and multiplexing etc. I have to say the drive was definitely on par with my 80GB DM+9 8MB cache that since replaced the DM+8. My other drives are WD 800JB /w 8MB cache, IBM 120GXP 80GB and IBM 75GXP 30GB. In my (quite disk-intensive) usage, which includes also gaming with Max Payne, F1GP4, Flight Simulator 2002 and Ghost recon (quite heavy loading) I would rank the disks in following order in responsiveness:
1. WD 800JB
2. DM+8 / DM+9
Especially when I copied backup data from my 800JB to the Diamondmax +8 and Diamondmax +9 8MB cache, the DM+8 was faster- I clocked about a 10% difference in copy time when restoring the backup (pure file copy, about 4GB data, huge number of files). The disk access time (with AAM enabled in best performance mode) was similar with both drives, but actually the DM+8 had a faster access time with a measured 14.0ms timer (my DM+8 was 6E040L0)! If it were only pure STR (in which the DM+8 is noticeably faster), I believe it should have slower seeks times.
I believe Eugene you have something wrong with AAM in your test. With my DM+9 I got clearly worse results with AAM disabled(!), so I would try retesting the drive with different AAM settings. I got over 15ms with AAM _DISabled_, about 1.5ms slower than with it enabled in best performance mode.