Quantum Bigfoot TS

Quantum Bigfoot TS HDD - Overview

With the unbelievable increase in the size of new and developing software, the hard disk drives of even a year ago will soon become obsolete.  New office suites, games, voice recognition and multimedia programs all seem to require several hundred megabytes of space to install and seem to be on a steady increase.  The 1 - 2 gigabyte HDDs that many of us are still using are rapidly running out of space and it is time to start thinking about buying a new storage device.  SCSI interface drives have consistently led the field as far as performance, but for many of us the high cost of the drive as well as the additional expense of an adapter card have put SCSI a bit out of reach.   IDE drives, on the other hand, are much more reasonably priced, and with the rapid advancements in bus mastering and Ultra ATA/DMA, now provide all desktop users with an excellent price/performance ratio.

With capacities up to 19.2 gigabytes, the new Quantum Bigfoot™ TS family due to go into mass production this month (Oct.) is slated, according to the company, to deliver the highest capacity on the desktop and best cost-per-megabyte value on the market; as little as $0.02 per megabyte.

bigfoot_logo.jpg (16075 bytes)
According to Quantum the new Bigfoot TS drive can deliver the performance to handle the applications that consumers want. With an average seek time of 10.5 milliseconds (ms), the Bigfoot TS disk drive surpasses the performance of many 3.5-inch drives. The Bigfoot TS also features advanced magnetoresistive (MR) heads, PRML read channels, and the advanced Ultra ATA interface that transfers data at up to 33 megabytes per second (MB/sec) for maximum sequential performance. This high level of performance along with improved acoustic qualities makes the new Bigfoot TS a definite contender for multimedia, video, gaming and MMX applications.

Quantum Quality and Reliability

The Bigfoot TS drive is the fourth generation of the 5.25-inch Bigfoot line, and the reliable performance of Bigfoot drives has been proven in hundreds of thousands of PCs worldwide. In addition, Quantum's revolutionary SPS ( Shock Protection System ) adds another layer of protection and reliability for both manufacturers and end users. That's why they confidently back every Bigfoot TS with a full three-year warranty.

Features

New Shock Protection System ( SPS ) – Advanced mechanical system eliminates potential points of failure during handling and integration

Advanced performance – Quantum-patented Ultra ATA interface transfers up to 33 MB/sec, Multiword DMA Mode 2 support, Multiple AutoRead™/ Multiple AutoWrite™ technology

Fast ATA-4 support

512K buffer with 397kb adaptive segmentation cache, Look-Ahead DisCache® feature with continuous prefetch, and WriteCache™ write-buffering capabilities

Downloadable Firmware (DiskWare)

Excellent sequential transfer – Large-capacity data tracks mean fewer seeks and head switches for optimum multimedia performance

Easy installation – AT-Bus Cable Select™, system-controlled power modes, Defect Free Interface™ firmware

Proven reliability – 224-bit Reed Solomon double-burst ECC on-the-fly, S.M.A.R.T. Revision 2 support, advanced Embedded Servo

Dependability – Full three-year warranty


Quantum Bigfoot TS Family HDDs

  6.4 8.4 12.7 19.2
Form Factor 5.25 inch
(low profile)
5.25 inch
(low profile)
5.25 inch
(low profile)
5.25 inch
(low profile)
Interface Ultra ATA Ultra ATA Ultra ATA Ultra ATA
Formatted Capacity (MB*) 6,418 8,455 12,720 19,292
Disk Drive Configuration
Recording Surfaces 2 3 4 6
ATA Logical  
  Cylinders 13,264 16,384** 16,384** 16,384**
  Heads 15 16 16 16
  Sectors 63 63 63 63

Physical Specifications

Dimensions in inches
  Width 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.75
  Length 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0
  Height 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Weight lbs. 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.5

Performance Specifications

Typical Seek Times (ms)***

  Average 10.5
  Track-to-Track 2
  Full Stroke 25
Average Rotational Latency (ms) 7.5
Rotational Speed (RPM) 4,000
Maximum Internal Data Rate (Mb/sec) 101 to 168

Burst Transfer Rates (MB/sec)

  Ultra ATA 33.3
  PIO Mode 4 16.7
  DMA Mode 2 16.7
Buffer Size**** 512kb

Environmental Limits
Operation §  
  Temperature ( o C) 5 to 55
  Non-Condensing Humidity (%) 5 to 85
  Shock (G, 11 ms) 20
Non-Operating  
  Temperature ( o C) -40 to 65
  Non-Condensing Humidity (%) 5 to 95
  Shock (G)
    Short Duration (2 ms) Sine
    Long Duration (11 ms) Sine
200
70
Sound Power (bels, typ/max) 3.6/3.9 Idle
4.5/4.2 Seek

Power Specifications
Nominal Voltage (v) +5/+12
Voltage Margin (%) ±5/±10
Typical Power Draw in Watts
  Standby 1.0
  Idle 5.75
  Operating § 6.5
Peak Current (mA on +5V/+12V) 450/2,000

Reliability Specifications

Start/Stop Cycles, Ambient 40,000
Nonrecoverable Data Errors (per bits read) <1 per 100 trillion
Warranty***** 3 yrs.

 

§ Operating is defined as 40% seeking, 30% reading, 10% writing, and 20% idle.
*Quantum defines a megabyte (MB) as 106 or 1,000,000 bytes.
**LBA addressing required above 8.4 GB.
***Seek times are at nominal conditions and include settling for read.
****Upper 96 KB used for firmware.
*****This warranty is standard when products are purchased directly through authorized Quantum distributors/dealers. Unless otherwise agreed, a one-year warranty is provided to all OEMs purchasing directly from Quantum. End-user warranties provided by computer manufacturers may vary.

 

Installation and Setup

Testbed for Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2G HDD

Mainboard Epox 51-MVP3E-M
Cache 1024k L2
Processors AMD K6-2 300 MHz
Cyrix MII 300
Memory 64MB PC100 (8ns)
Graphics Adapter ATI All in Wonder Pro 8MB AGP
Operating System Windows 98

Installing and configuring the Quantum Bigfoot TS is a relatively simple task.  A quick visual once over gave the impession that this is truly a precision piece of equipment.  Excellently machined tolerances and a nicely detailed PCB with its own LED in-use indicator show that Quantum, and their manufacturing partner MKE, were quite diligent in both design and assembly (which is almost completely performed by robots).   The 5.25in form factor drive fits into the same drive bay as a typical CD-ROM but, due to it's large size, unless your computer is completely apart, it is a good idea to insert it through the front of your case.  Before you do that however, you'll want to use the six pin jumper block on the Bigfoot's PCB to properly configure the drive's IDE interface.  Jumper configurations are available for using the device as a Master only or Slave, cable select and as a Master with Slave. As with any type of mechanical drive, you will want to make sure that the screws are snug but don't overtighten.  The power supply and IDE connectors are easy to identify and connect and once this is accomplished you are all setup.

Although virtually every HDD comes formatted from the manufacturer, it is still a good idea and with such a large drive you will most likely want to setup partitions.  This can be easily accomplished with any of the utility programs available however I still use the DOS FDISK program as it seems to work as well as anything else.  Be prepared to set aside some time for this task especially for a drive this large.  For testing purposes I chose to format the drive without partitions. The next step is simply to load the operating system and software for your programs.


Performance

Winbench 98 is an excellent benchmarkfor determining HDD performance.  Because so many new drivers have recently become available, I decided it was a good idea to try out all that I could.  While the Highpoint drivers out-perform all others I haven't had a chance to test them on mainboards other than the Epox MVP3E-M and so I cannot as yet recommend them for use on all boards.  The scores below reflect the average over 5 runnings of each system...

Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2G HDD - Table of Results

Higher scores represent better performance. Lower scores represent better performance.

Blue type denotes first place
Red type denotes last place.

AMD K6-2 300
VIA IDE Drivers

AMD K6-2 300
Highpoint Drivers

Cyrix MII 300
Win98 Drivers

Cyrix MII 300
Via IDE Drivers

WinBench 98/Business Disk WinMark 98 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

2550

2790

1260

1260

WinBench 98/High-End Disk WinMark 98 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

4480

5050

3840

3890

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/Bus:Browsers (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

1890

1980

1540

1530

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/Bus:Overall (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

2550

2790

1260

1260

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/Bus:Publishing (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

2370

2530

1170

1170

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/Bus:SS/Database (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

2620

2760

1100

1100

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/Bus:Task Switching (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

1680

1980

1660

1660

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/Bus:WP (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

3070

3770

1500

1520

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:AVS/Express 3.1 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

3280

4670

2350

2380

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:FrontPage 97 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

4310

4380

3070

3010

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:MicroStation 95 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

10300

10100

7400

7430

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:Overall (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

4480

5050

3840

3890

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:Photoshop 4.0 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

3230

3540

3440

3560

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:Premiere 4.2 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

4990

6410

7150

7340

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:PV-Wave 6.1 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

3270

3290

2580

2640

WinBench 98/Disk Playback/HE:Visual C++ 5.0 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

8780

9580

8200

8460

WinBench 98/Disk/Read CPU Utilization (Percent Used-Lower is Better)

9.9

9.85

10.8

10.8

WinBench 98/Disk/Read Random Access:Average Seek Time (Milliseconds - Lower is Better)

19.2

19.5

19.3

19.3

WinBench 98/Disk/Read Transfer Rate:Beginning (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

13800

14000

14000

14000

WinBench 98/Disk/Read Transfer Rate:End (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

8510

8510

8480

8450


Conclusion

 

awardgold.gif (6926 bytes) The test reflect an exceptional level of performance in throughput for a HDD with such a low rotational speed.  The large 512k cache is no doubt one of the major contributing factors here. The seek times however are slower than the 10.5ms suggested by Quantum.  The manufacturers suggested retail price of $399.00 goes a long way toward making up for the less than stellar access times though.  At a cost of around $0.02 per MB this drive provides more bang for the buck than just about anything else available.

The Super 7 Hardware Guide whole-heartedly recommends this drive to anyone seeking to upgrade at this time.  With all of that space at such a low price and an amazing throughput rate, this may be the one to buy for the long haul.  Quantum has really stepped up here over the somewhat dismal performance of their previous Bigfoot TX release, and with their reputation for excellent end-user support, you can buy this drive with confidence.

 

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