You know what it's like. Your hard drive finally got so cluttered that the entire system has ground to a standstill and now even simple tasks like opening up a small text file seems to take for ever. Time for a new hard drive, and if you don't want to fill the thing up again within a few months you'd better make it a big one - like this 20.4Gb lump from Maxtor.
The upgrade kit we looked at is a specially packaged retail box and is ideally suited to situations where you need a quick, one-off upgrade.
The hard drive itself is a pretty impressive piece of kit. It occupies a standard 3.5in sized shell, features a 512Kb SDRAM cache and has a spin speed of 7,200rpm. The manufacturer claims an average seek time of 9.0ms and a maximum of less than 20ms. Fairly impressive performance for such a large capacity drive - one might reasonably expect it to be somewhat slower.
As well as the drive, this kit includes everything else you need to perform the upgrade including cables, screws and mounting brackets. If you're planning to add the unit as a second drive it's worth checking that your machine has a spare internal power cable with one of the large four pin connectors. Although most reasonably competent support staff should be able to install a hard drive manually, it's a job which isn't always as straightforward as one would hope. To help guide people through the process Maxtor provides a utility called Maxblast to help work out the correct jumper settings and such like. Also supplied is a helpful crib sheet and FAQ which explains the upgrade process in great detail, making this kit a safe bet for those who wouldn't normally venture inside the PC's casing.
Somebody with a reasonable working knowledge of PC hardware should be able to install this upgrade inside half an hour. You do, of course, pay for the nice retail packaging and extra bits and pieces, but for the sake of a quick and easy installation it's worth it.
As well as this unit, the 5120 range features several lower capacity drives starting at a piffling 7.6Gb. Our test system featured an UltraDMA interface capable of 33Mbps data transfer; according to Maxtor, later additions to the range will offer 66Mbps capability. These drives will be distinguished by the letter "U" in their model numbers, and you will need a compatible IDE controller to take advantage of the improved data transfer speed.
A high capacity disk drive upgrade kit supplied with everything most people should need to set the drive up.
- large capacity
- good performance
- easy installation
- the user friendly trimmings cost extra
- Price: #369
- Contact: Maxtor 01923 712448, www.maxtor.com.
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