ExcelStor Ganymede J680S review
Although we reviewed an ExcelStor disk in the last hard disk Labs, few people have heard of the company. You don’t have to worry about quality, though – these disks come from the same factory in China as the Hitachi 7K400 (see right).
However, you won’t find any ExcelStor disks with such high capacities as the Hitachi’s 400GB – the J680S offers just 80GB. It’s 20GB bigger than the J360 we saw back in issue 108, but is still the smallest here by 40GB.
There’s just one platter and two heads inside the J680S, which should make it quiet. This didn’t bear out in testing, though. When searching, the disk produced 33.8dBA. This is louder than the Raptor and only slightly less than the Hitachi. However, even when being stressed in our file-copy tests, the ExcelStor didn’t heat up to the same extent as the Hitachi, which has five platters inside it. It also uses less power than other disks.
An 8MB buffer keeps the J680S in line with most of its competitors, and the claimed performance figures suggest that the disk should keep up with the Hitachi. It managed this in our tests, but this isn’t much of an achievement since the Hitachi wasn’t a great performer. The ExcelStor averaged a 48.8MB/sec STR and managed to beat the Hitachi by three seconds in Photoshop with a time of 136 seconds.
However, it was the slowest internal disk for reading large files (at 55.5MB/sec) and could only manage 39.5MB/sec when writing them. Amazingly, it took on the Raptor and 7200.8 for writing small files, being only 1.3MB/sec slower. Reading small files was relatively slow, though, at 13MB/sec.
Overall, the ExcelStor is only attractive if you’re looking for a low-cost, low-capacity disk and don’t mind the mediocre performance.
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