Fujitsu – Desktop Picobird13 review

EIDE hard drive
Photo of Fujitsu – Desktop Picobird13
£135 + VAT

This is one of Fujitsu’s recently-introduced EIDE/UltraDMA hard drives. The Desktop Picobird13, also known as the MPD3173AT, may have a strange name, but it has a lot to offer system builders or end-user upgrade demons looking for a high capacity desktop hard drive. In this instance, high capacity means 17.3GB for the biggest model in the range, dropping down in stages to a mere 4.3GB at the bottom of the range. Despite sharing the same 3.5-inch wide, 1-inch high form factor, the six products in the range have different platter configurations, ranging from a single physical disk in the 4.3GB drive to 4 disks with 8 recording surfaces in the top-of-the-range product that we reviewed.

The performance of the drives in the range is good, if not lightning fast. Average access times are quoted as 9.5ms for read operations and 10.5ms for write accesses, with a latency of 5.5ms to be taken into account. That sort of performance compares reasonably well with other manufacturer’s drives, but is not the quickest in the market. Capable of supporting UltraDMA mode 4, at 66.6MB/sec from the disk media, actual data transfer rates are likely to be less than that, although still respectable for a drive of this type. The 512KB data buffer helps to a certain extent in this respect.

Supplied as a bare drive with no cables, software or other bits and pieces, the Fujitsu Desktop Picobird13 goes some way towards confirming Fujitsu as a serious player in the hard drive market, a market that is characterised by fewer players holding increasingly large stakes.

Company: Fujitsu

Contact: 020 8573 4444


Verdict
The MPD3173AT is big, fast enough and, judging by Fujitsu's track record, reliable too. You'll need your own cables and mounting screws if you're an end-user, as this is primarily an OEM drive and is supplied as such. It's not the quickest drive on the planet, but when you consider the capacity you're getting for your cash, it's hard to complain.