Fujitsu’s drives come first in this review. Unfortunately, we will never see new HDDs under this brand. Following its February press release, Fujitsu sold its HDD development division (both 2.5-inch and SAS models) to Toshiba. Today, all the Fujitsu drives in this review can be seen in Toshiba’s product catalogue. Hopefully, the change of the owner has not affected the production and these HDDs will develop further. We don’t think that Toshiba, which had not produced SAS drives before, bought Fujitsu’s division just to let it die. Anyway, these products have come to our labs with the Fujitsu logo and they can be found in shops still, so we will present them to you under their original names.
MAX3 RC: MAX3073RC – 73GB, MAX3147RC – 147GB
The Fujitsu MAX3 RC series were Fujitsu’s first 3.5-inch drives with a spindle rotation speed of 15,000rpm which were equipped with SAS rather than SCSI interface. Their capacity is not large by today’s standards: the senior model can store 147 gigabytes of data on its four platters while the single-platter junior model can only store 36 gigabytes. The latter is not included into this review, but you will see the test results of 73GB and 147GB models. All HDDs of this series come with 16 megabytes of cache memory.
Yes, the specs are far from impressive, but that’s not a reason to exclude them from the comparison. First of all, these HDDs have a very low response time typical of 15,000rpm products. And second, their owners might be interested in learning what performance benefits they can achieve by transitioning to newer models. A server infrastructure has its own laws. A larger capacity and a somewhat higher speed may be unimportant while the cost of a disk subsystem upgrade is crucial for it. Users now often choose cheaper HDDs to store server data and do not hope to increase data security by purchasing newer models. Therefore the market of server HDDs is conservative and buyers do not run stumbling after new models in it.
MBA3 RC: MBA3073RC – 73GB, MBA3147RC – 147GB, MBA3300RC – 300GB
Some time after the previous series Fujitsu introduced one more 3.5-inch HDD series with SAS interface and a spindle rotation speed of 15,000rpm. The MBA3 RC series is a logical development of the previous one, the main difference being the double storage capacity thanks to increased recording density. Most of the electronics is the same including the main chips LSI L7A1989 and Marvell 88C7500. The senior model of the series reached 300GB by transitioning to perpendicular recording technology. You will see the series in its entirety in this review: 73, 147 and 300GB models. This seems to have been the last SAS HDD series from Fujitsu. The company did not release newer products.
You may be familiar with this series from our reviews already because we use such HDDs for our SAS RAID controller tests.