Review: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 160GB SATA Hard Drive

Why SATA Is Best For Hard Drives

Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 Serial ATA Hard Drive

The Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 SATA hard drive has been discontinued at this point. It may be possible to still find used drives on the market but it is much better to invest in a newer higher capacity drive. Check out our Best SATA Hard Drives article for acceptable alternatives of drives that are currently available as potential replacements for this drive.

The Bottom Line

Maxtor's DiamondMax Plus 9 Serial ATA hard drive is the best performance desktop based drive currently available as long as you are willing to pay for the new technology. It certainly is a major upgrade over an older IDE based drive if your system can support it.


  • Very High Performance
  • Has 4-pin Molex Power Connector


  • Very Expensive Compared to IDE Drives
  • Real World Access Times Slower Than Advertised


  • 160 GB Storage Capacity
  • 7,200 rpm Rotational Speed
  • 8 MB Cache
  • 9.4 ms Average Seek Time
  • Serial ATA (150MBps) Interface
  • 4-pin Molex Power Connector along with SATA Power Connectors
  • 1-year Limited Warranty

Guide Review - Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 160GB SATA Hard Drive

Maxtor has made a very well tuned drive for their entry into the Serial ATA market. Currently the DiamondMax Plus 9 SATA hard drive is the top performing desktop hard drive available. In the PC Mark 2002 Drive tests, the Mactor drive was able to achieve 1499 which is roughly 50% higher than an IDE based Seagate or Western Digital based have drive. Performance gains were not as high in the Sandra File Systems tests though with only a 25 percent higher level of performance.

While the data transfer levels do seem to be faster, access times in actual tests did not fare as well. It is well known that many manufacturers tend to advertise the very best numbers they can get, the real world test was roughly 5ms slower than the claimed number by Maxtor. This may be of issue for people working with a larger number of smaller files.

Capacity wise, the large 160 GB capacity should give users room to spare for all their files. Many drives tend to average around 80 to 120GB. Of course, the higher capacity also means higher aureal density which is another reason why the performance of this drive is generally better than many smaller capacity drives.

One really nice feature on the drive is the inclusion of a standard 4-pin Molex connector alleviating the need for a SATA power adapter cable. Many power supplies currently still do not feature SATA power connectors standard and as such the drives require a 4-pin molex to SATA power adapter. By including the Molex connector, Maxtor has made installing the drive on the system with an older power supply easier.

Overall, if you happen to have a system that does feature a SATA interface connector, the Maxtor DiamondPlus 9 is a solid choice for providing faster performance and large capacity. If your system is still using the older IDE interface, though, the cost to add a SATA card may not be worth it right now.