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Review: QPS Que! 80GB M3 UltraSlim FireWire Drive
by Steve Becker

FireWire drives keep getting faster and smaller while simultaneously growing in capacity and becoming less expensive on a per gigabyte basis! A case in point is the new QPS Que! 80GB M3 UltraSlim FireWire 7200 rpm drive (also available in capacities of 60 GB and 100 GB).

QPS continues to earn an "A" for both the packaging and presentation of their drives -- the M3 UltraSlim drive comes packaged in an attractive leatherette bag that has pockets with velcro closures for the included external power supply, FireWire cable, and CD (among the programs on the CD are Charismac's Anubis formatting software and Dantz's Retrospect Express backup software).

The drive's compact (5.5"W x 8"D x 1.5"H) size and attractive and stackable graphite enclosure make for an especially appealing package. Included on the back of the drive are two FireWire ports and an on/off switch (be sure to never turn off a FireWire drive either while data is being written to/read from it or before unmounting it if it has been mounted on your Desktop). The front of the M3 includes both a green power light and a red activity light. While I appreciate having an activity light, a separate light (or a single, dual-color light) for read and write operations would be even more useful.

There is little noise generated by the drive, and this is partially attributable to there being no cooling fan in the UltraSlim drive's enclosure. Although the M3 does get quite warm, QPS says this won't affect its longevity.

I chose to use VST's excellent formatting software to partition and initialize the drive, though VST doesn't officially support using its software on drives from other companies. I ran some simple performance tests using a G4/450 (AGP) with OS 9.0.4, and here are the results. (For more info about real-world FireWire performance, I suggest reading this article.)

Copying A 158 MB File To The Drive

17 seconds

Copying A 34.2 MB Folder Containing 801 Items

35 seconds

As you can see, the Que! M3 UltraSlim drive performs nicely, though it would undoubtedly benefit from QPS using a state-of-the-art bridge chip such as the Oxford 911. With a street price of around $430*, QPS has put together a high quality package that performs well, includes excellent backup software, is very attractive, and is competitively priced!

© Steve Becker. All rights reserved.

* Until 1/15/02, QPS is offering a $30 rebate on this drive. A rebate coupon may be downloaded from the QPS web site:


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