Adaptec Threadmark

Quantum Fireball SE (UltraATA)

Quantum Fireball SE (SCSI-2940U2W)

Data Transfer Rate (MB/s - Higher is Better)

5.498

3.46

Average CPU Utilization (% - Lower is Better)

22.158%

13.214%

The ThreadMark results were even more surprising: the ATA Fireball clocked in at 59% faster! One would expect from SCSI's multitasking advantage that the SCSI Fireball would have at least closed the gap between itself and its ATA sibling. Strangely enough, it's the other way around. ThreadMark unleashed the ATA drive, making the performance gap even more glaring.

A possible explanation for the SCSI Fireball's inferior showing would be poorly optimized control logic on the drive. Quantum is not a newcomer to the SCSI arena, though; one would figure that the company could provide a decent SCSI implementation even at the Fireball's relatively low price point.

In conclusion, the ATA version of the Fireball SE clearly seems to be a better performer than its SCSI cousin. Its very difficult to draw further conclusions to apply to ATA vs SCSI in general, however. The only thing we can infer from the results is that the SCSI version of the Fireball SE is a poor-performing SCSI drive. Paying $150-$300 for a good Ultra SCSI controller and then pairing it up with a SCSI drive which costs about $100 more than its ATA counterpart while providing worse performance to boot doesn't make much sense. At the expense of 2 gigs, one could pick up the better performing 4.5 GB Quantum Viking for about the same money. Seagate's 7200 RPM Medalist Pro Series is the next drive that will be available in both configurations. We look forward to testing the ATA and SCSI versions and presenting you with the results!

The Test

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