IntroductionRemember the times when we lived with 500MB hard drives and thought it was a real big deal. No...well I do. Not so long ago hard drive capacities hardly went above the 1GB mark. I remember when I first got my 1GB hard drive, and had absolutely no clue as what to do with all that storage space. It no doubt sounds a joke today, but the fact is games and other applications hardly went above the 10MB mark. Games were hardly anything close to what it is today; just thinking about it makes me want to throw up. With the advent of faster and more powerful processors and video cards, applications and games have become more complex and inevitably require greater hard drive space.Today there is a great deal of drive capacities to choose from, 20GB up to around 76GB. Choosing the right drive is totally dependent on each individual's requirements, so think twice before making any sizeable investments. Think about where you stand, are you an hardcore gamer who goes out to your local game store every week to get the latest and greatest of video games, or are you an average gamer with requirements for basic applications. If you fall into the former then my friend bigger it is the better it is. If you are an average gamer then a 20GB drive will do you justice adequately.In this review we'll be considering Maxtor's DiamondMax 80GB drive Maxtor's latest hard drive. Maxtor claims the DiamondMax 80 to be the largest IDE drive in the market, and up to now no one has been able to questions that. Not even SCSI's have reached this limit. The significant advantage the DiamondMax 80 has is its considerably low price. We'll go into more detail of the drive later on.Over the past few years Maxtor has spread out their wings and grasped the hard drive desktop market like a storm. Today Maxtor has a wide range of hard drive line-ups to cater to varying consumer needs. The DiamondMax and the DiamondMax Plus include their main line of drives, the DiamondMax VL (Value Line) caters to the cost conscious consumer.First lets get a head start by going through the drive's specifications.
Specifications * Maximum Capacity of 81.9 GB * 5,400 RPM Spin Speed * < 9.0 ms average seek time * 2 MB SDRAM Cache Buffer * Fast ATA/Enhanced IDE compatible * Digital Signal Processor (DSP)-Based Architecture * Ultra ATA/100 Data Transfer RateThe drive Maxtor sent us was the full retail version, which comes with an ATA 66/100 IDE cable & Installation Diskette. If you are currently upgrading your system then all this won't be necessary, so it's best that you choose the OEM/WhiteBox version. You can save a bit more on doing this.The drive itself is a common 3.5" drive and will fit any 3.5" drive bay with no hassle. Some of you might have to flash your motherboard bios if it initially doesn't detect the drive in the Auto detect sequence. I had this problem with one of our older boards, and after a bios flash it worked fine. So don't worry if at first the drive doesn't get detected, simply flash the bios. There weren't any other notable hitches as for the installation process. Make sure you do the formatting of the drive when you have a lot of free time though, as formatting a 80GB drive is no small deal. If you have any problems with regard to the drive simply call Maxtor's toll free support for assistance.