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Davin

IBM Ultrastar 73LZX

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As always, thank you for the great review.

I would say the Maxtor Atlas 10k III kills it in the benchmarks--considering they are approximately the same price for 18GB units, and the Atlas 36GB unit is cheaper, the choice seems clear.

I am feeling a bit disappointed... I was hoping that IBM would bring some real competition to the SCSI performance market. Im sure the drive will still sell well however; IBM enterprise drives always do regardless.

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Why is it that despite their enormous R & D facilities and the fact that they are in possession of some of the best technologies available that IBMs SCSI drives are always so very, very average? They don't even seem to be trying with the 73LZX - 4MB buffer? Likewise the 36Z15 is a bit wide of the mark in both performance and noise/heat, and the 36LZX wasn't great when introduced and then went on to be their only offering long past it's retirement date. This just seems really odd to me - do people buy it based on the IBM brand?

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do people buy it based on the IBM brand?

absolutely.

The 36Z15 wasn't that bad of a drive when compared to the first gen X15, just the seagate shortly thereafter released their second gen 15k unit and fujitsu released a remarkable 15k that performed very well on the server marks.

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Whats up with 12GB platters, but 9GB & 18GB drives?  Wouldn't it make more sense to have 24GB, 48GB, & 60GB models?

They do that because people expect fixed sizes in the SCSI world.

9GB, 18GB, 36GB, 73GB, etc...

People expect those sizes...

Likewise, there is little point to doing a 60GB version of a 120GXP, Cuda IV, or D740X, but they do them anyway. Waste of a good platter, but they need 60GB drives to sell...

Jason

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More noticeable, however, is a screeching noise that occurs approximately every 70 seconds. This sound occurs only when the drive is idle- [ ... ]  An IBM representative indicates that this is a normal period of rapid seeking and recalibration that occurs every minute or so during idle time. Though IBM states that it should not be noticeable when the drive is mounted in an enclosure, the noise was very noticeable within our testbed's case.

I can confirm that behavior. I have an 18G DDYS-T18350, and it does exactly the same thing. The IBM rep I spoke to said it wasn't a recalibration, but rather a gathering of reliability statistics. Further, I was told that older drives used to do this only once every ten minutes or so. Now it happens every 61 seconds (on my drive).

It really is a disconcerting noise; it sounds like a failing bearing. I recommended to IBM that they place a sound sample on their Web site, with a note explaining, "This noise is normal. Don't Panic."

Schwab

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9GB, 18GB, 36GB, 73GB, etc...

People expect those sizes...

I don't get it. Technically.

12GB/platter -> 6GB/surface

73GB drive -> 6 platters, 12 surfaces

36GB drive -> 3 platters, 6 surfaces

18GB drive -> 2 platters, 3 surfaces (ok we know that game...)

9GB drive -> 1 platter, ... (huh?)

So the 9GB drive (maybe also the 18G) obviously doesn't use the same platters. Or is it some firmware thing? Like, "thou shalt not format me over 9gig", or something?

Anyway, who wants a 9gig drive today? :roll:

CM

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Great review, looks like I made the right decision with my 10K IIIs. Very disappointing that it took IBM so long to release such an average performer which runs both noisy and hot.

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So the 9GB drive (maybe also the 18G) obviously doesn't use the same platters. Or is it some firmware thing? Like, "thou shalt not format me over 9gig", or something?

Anyway, who wants a 9gig drive today? :roll: 

CM

It's probably destroked for better performance.

And I'd love to have a 9 GB SCSI for my workstation. I really don't need much space for my apps and it'd make a dandy boot drive. :)

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Anybody think it's about time IBM did what Fujitsu did in the 3.5" IDE market?

IBM's SCSI units are sub-par, and their IDE drives are less than reliable.

The last competitive IBM I had was the 18ES - I used it along with a pair of Atlas IV units. The 18ES was about as fast and quieter than the 4s. Less said about the 36LZX I got, the better I think.

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I had the 9LP and the AtlasIII. I had only one free drive bay with cooler. I used to like the IBM more. The Quantum died, the IBM lived.

That was pretty dumb.

CM

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How come you guys are using PNG compression for the images in your reviews? The top drive photo can be compressed to JPG since the quality isn't of prime importance and it will probably become 10 times smaller as a result.

Lower load times, lower bandwidth, good for all! :D

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I've had two LZX drives and they have been in my experience, mediocre.

I bought a Fujitsu 3184..18GB with an 8 MB buffer, and what a drive. Cool, quick, very little noise. I now have 2 18 GB and 2 3367 36 GB models. I can't speak about IBM 15K drives, but concerning 10K....Fujitsu builds a first rate product.

8)

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