The figures from HD Tach 3 using Intel hardware were essentially identical to the nForce4 system that used the slower interface, however our file transfer test times were significantly slower and PCMark05 was slightly slower.
975X is a new chipset and the motherboard was loaded with an evaluation BIOS so it would be unfair to draw too many conclusions about its performance but it detected the Seagate correctly, and that was the main thing as far as this review was concerned.
When it comes to pricing we could only find three models on sale at present. The 80GB is £54, the 160GB £65 and early adopters will pay £250 for the 500GB. That’s in line with the 7200.8 and the Hitachi 7K500 so we have no complaints there, but our natural instinct would be to buy a small stack of 160GB drives, rather than the 500GB beast, and hope that the enormous areal density of the smaller version boosts performance even higher.
The question of compatibility overshadows the 7200.9 as we expect that storage should plug in and behave, and the idea that a hard drive may ‘disappear’ at any moment is deeply concerning. The 7200.9 is fast, quiet and good value, but its new SATA2.5 features appear to cause problems without offering any tangible benefits at present.