Maxtor Ultra Hard Drive Kit - hard drive - 200 GB - ATA-133 review: Maxtor Ultra Hard Drive Kit - hard drive - 200 GB - ATA-133

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Relatively low cost per gigabyte; speedy, silent.

The Bad One-year warranty; confusing documentation; weekday-only support.

The Bottom Line The Maxtor Ultra 7200 series 200GB internal hard drive upgrade offers speedy, expansive storage for gaming and digital audio and video, but it comes at a cost.

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The Maxtor Ultra 7200 series 200GB hard drive has a lot going for it. The internal drive is speedy and whisper quiet, and it has a relatively lower cost per gigabyte compared to that of the competition. But as we discovered during testing, Maxtor cut a few corners to accomplish this.

The upgrade kit contains the drive (also sold separately as the DiamondMax Plus 9), a parallel ATA/133 PCI card, cabling, software, 5.25-inch-bay rails, and screws. The same upgrade kit is also available with 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, and 250GB hard drives.

The documentation consists of a dense manual, a generic quick-start sheet, and instructions for the controller card. Curiously, the quick-start sheet doesn't even mention the controller card; newbies who look no further might not recognize the need to install it at all. Oddly, the installation routine also forces Windows XP users to create a floppy disk version of the CD-based MaxBlast software to load the drivers for the PCI card.

Once you manage to get it up and running, the Ultra 7200 series delivers great performance (CNET Labs tested the same DiamondMax Plus 9 drive but supplied its own card). Thanks to its faster interface, it posted higher burst transfer speeds on CNET Labs' tests than the comparable Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 250GB, which has an ATA/100 interface. But the DiamondMax Plus 9 trailed on sustained disk transfer rate tests, which are a better indication of everyday, real-world usage. The differences are relatively insignificant, and most users won't notice any speed difference between these two excellent performers.

eTesting Labs' WinBench 99 version 2.0  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Business Disk WinMark  
High-End Disk WinMark  
Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 250GB
10,100 
38,500 
Maxtor Ultra 7200 series 200GB
9,810 
42,200 

Find out more about how we test hard drives.

The Ultra 7200 series does fall behind in support, however. It carries only a one-year warranty, which, sadly, has become the norm for many hard drives. Tech support, though toll-free, is available only on weekdays.

If you can live with its limitations, the Maxtor Ultra 7200 series 200GB offers speedy, expansive storage for gaming and digital audio and video at a competitive price.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 3.5"
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Interface Type ATA-133
  • Capacity 200 GB
  • Average Seek Time 9.4 ms
  • Spindle Speed 7200 rpm
  • Buffer Size 8 MB