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Native Command Queuing can definitely improve the performance of desktop systems. Across our nine tests, NCQ performance gains average to around 9% for both the Maxtor and Seagate drives. That's pretty good, especially considering that we saw a handful of much more impressive gains in some of our tests.

Of course, we weren't taking it easy on the drives. Our multitasking traces represent demanding, disk-intensive loads, but we've done our best to ensure that none of the multitasking scenarios we've portrayed are outlandish or unrealistic for a single-user desktop. In fact, as dual-core processors encourage more frequent and demanding multitasking, our scenarios might even start to look a little conservative.

Count on seeing more of these multitasking tests in our upcoming storage reviews. We're eager to see how new hard drives and even multi-drive RAID arrays handle our iPEAK workloads. 

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