Seagate's Cheetah 15K.3 hard drive

Fastest drive in the animal kingdom?
— 12:43 AM on October 3, 2003

THOUGH SERIAL ATA looks like the next big thing for desktop storage, even today's fastest SATA drives can't touch the performance of high-end SCSI gear for workstations and servers. Western Digital's Raptor put up a valiant fight in our recent 10K RPM hard drive comparison, but under heavy loads, it was no match for comparable SCSI drives. Of course, 10K RPM drives are only the tip of the iceberg for high performance SCSI storage. In July, we saw Maxtor's Atlas 15K SCSI drive ratchet spindle speeds up to 15,000 RPM, setting a new performance standard in the process.

Today, I've snagged Seagate's 15,000 RPM SCSI drive, the Cheetah 15K.3, to see if it can dethrone Maxtor's Atlas 15K from the top of the SCSI hard drive performance pile. Seagate claims the Cheetah 15K.3 is the lowest cost per-I/O drive, ever, but does that lofty claim stand on our benchmarking battleground? Read on to find out.

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