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Maxtor has been a busy PR bunny on the launch front with three ginormous HDD announcements in the last week.

Today, the hard drive maker announces the Maxtor MaXLine, a new enterprise-class ATA line with two unique selling points. First the HDD is huge, with a capacity of up to 320GB. And second it will be ultra-reliable - Maxtor claims a MTBF (meantime before failure rate) of more than one million hours usage.

In our book, MTBF is not very helpful way of determining reliability. What we want to know is: the percentage of disk drive failures in the first year, second year, third year etc; the warranty commitments; and how much it will repair if it goes wrong.

Maxtor this month announced that it is reducing warranty support from three years to one on some lines(this does not apply to the MaXLine). No doubt this will shave some costs, but to the outsider, it suggests less than total faith in the unbreakdownability of its products. Kingston shows how support for components in enterprise servers can be done.

Maxtor is touting the line at OEMs as an alternative to tape and optical drives. Certainly, prices are attractive, ranging from $299.95 to $399.95. Also, eh MaXLine HDDs have much faster seek times, enabling instant recall for archived apps which "may need to be recovered on demand," Maxtor says. Volume shipments begin in Q1, 2003.

Maxtor today also announced the Atlas 15K, an enterprise-class 15000 RPM SCSI drive with supposedly the fastest seek-time in the industry. Volume shipments begin early next year. And last week Maxtor announced high density upgrades - 80GB per platter - for its DiamondMax mainstream line. ®

Related links

MaXLine release
http://www.shareholder.com/maxtor/news/20020909-89587.cfm">Atlas release
Big Platters release

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