The IDE hard drive as we know it has come a long way, yet has changed little
in design. The IDE standard has seen many upgrades, but remains the same
basic standard with full backward compatibility. The physical 3.5”
format has remained unchanged, and the basic design of a spinning platter
and moving read/write head has not changed a bit.
If you take a machine of yesteryear, such as an 8mhz Amstrad 8086, with
a 40 Megabyte IDE hard drive, this machine would have little in common
with the Athlon 64 PC sitting on my desk today. However, that 40 MB hard
drive could be installed into the latest and greatest PC of today, just
as easily as its modern counterparts with 5000 times the capacity.
This group test covers 15 different drives across 10 model ranges and
5 major manufacturers. The first 4 pages are dedicated to information
about hard drive technology and the benchmarks we used. We cover Serial
ATA technology, an understanding of how hard drives work, S.M.A.R.T, understanding
our benchmarks and believing manufacturer specifications.
Last but not least, we have a comparison
table, showing you the full specifications and benchmarks of all 15
drives that were tested.
A drive with an asterisk by it's name, denotes a drive worthy
of an award.