IBM Deskstar 120GXP 120GB DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra) EIDE review: IBM Deskstar 120GXP 120GB DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra) EIDE

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Huge, 120GB capacity; great performance; runs cool; three-year warranty.

The Bad No weekend support.

The Bottom Line With speed and space galore, the IBM is an excellent way to spend your high-capacity, high-performance disk dollars.

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IBM's Deskstar 120GXP is currently one of the best choices for a hard-drive upgrade, offering excellent sustained throughput and a spacious, 120GB capacity. While the equally fast Western Digital WD1200JB is the slightly better drive for audio and video storage, the Deskstar 120GXP is just as good a choice for other computing uses. (Note: In spite of the product's name, there are different 120GXP models, which vary in capacity from 40GB to 120GB.) IBM's Deskstar 120GXP is currently one of the best choices for a hard-drive upgrade, offering excellent sustained throughput and a spacious, 120GB capacity. While the equally fast Western Digital WD1200JB is the slightly better drive for audio and video storage, the Deskstar 120GXP is just as good a choice for other computing uses. (Note: In spite of the product's name, there are different 120GXP models, which vary in capacity from 40GB to 120GB.)

Out of the box
The retail version of the $285 Deskstar 120GXP ships with everything you need for setup, including an 80-pin cable, mounting brackets and screws, instructions, and a user guide. Physical installation requires you to open your PC's case and fiddle with jumpers and cables, so get a friend to help if you're hesitant to work on your computer yourself. IBM's Disk Manager 2000 software lets you transfer your existing drive data to the 120GXP and includes drivers for older systems that don't support the IBM's capacity natively.

The Deskstar 120GXP garnered excellent results in CNET Labs' tests, beating the Maxtor D540X on most counts and tying overall with the Western Digital WD1200JB. The Deskstar 120GXP trailed the WD1200JB on disk transfer-rate tests, but it was slightly faster in both burst-transfer rate and maximum write speed. WinBench rated its seek time at 12.2ms, significantly faster than the WD1200JB's 13.4ms and the Maxtor D540X's 14.5ms. Lower seek times mean better performance when dealing with large groups of small files or concurrent playback of multiple audio and video files. While either the IBM or the Western Digital drives would give you great performance, the IBM has a slight edge in everyday computing tasks such as opening, reading, and closing small files.

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Where to Buy

IBM Deskstar 120GXP 120GB DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra) EIDE

Part Number: 07N8086

MSRP: $198.89

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 3.5" x 1/3H
  • Capacity 120 GB
  • Average Seek Time 8.5 ms
  • Spindle Speed 7200 rpm
  • Buffer Size 2 MB
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Interface Type ATA-100