Iomega Unveils Twin-Drive External Storage for Macs

The double-barrel 640GB drive is designed to work with the new Mac Pro as well as old Power Macs.

Data storage device maker Iomega introduced on Sept. 7 a high-capacity external drive preformatted for Apples Power Mac and new Mac Pro computers and featuring twin 7,200-rpm SATA hard drives.

The UltraMax 640GB Desktop Hard Drive is designed to provide Mac users with secure, high-capacity storage that complements the new Apple Mac Pro and Power Mac series. The UltraMax also sports RAID 0 and a built-in Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0) hub for future expansion.

The UltraMax for Mac is aimed primarily at users who work in digital content creation, graphic design and other disk-intensive tasks, a company spokesperson said.

"Large file transfers put a premium on data throughput," said Peter Wharton, vice president of marketing at San Diego-based Iomega.

"The UltraMax drive uses the Mac HFS+ file system and RAID 0 for power right out of the box, striping data across two hard drives for faster performance."

In addition to the default mode of RAID 0, which stripes data across the UltraMaxs two SATA hard drives, other drive settings include "spanned" (both hard drives are treated as a single volume) and "simple" (each hard drive is treated as its own drive letter), Wharton said.

For ease of use, the Iomega UltraMax Desktop Hard Drive has a manual RAID switch, allowing the user to turn off the RAID configuration and use the drive configured as JBOD (just a bunch of disks) enclosures.

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The UltraMax Hard Drive is preformatted with Apples HFS+ file system for Mac OS X users.

"HFS+ makes more efficient use of large hard drives and supports journaling under Mac OS X, which makes it easier to recover data in case of a problem," Wharton added.

The UltraMax drive can be reformatted to NTFS or FAT32 for use with a PC (instructions are included), making it compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP Home and XP Professional editions.

Its three interfaces include FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0), and it provides users with a three-port Hi-Speed USB hub for easy expansion. Cables for FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 operation are included with the drive.

For secure storage and backup and disaster recovery, Iomega also includes EMC Retrospect Express with UltraMax. Retrospect Express enables users to back up open files, verify backup integrity during the backup, have scheduled backups proceed without logging in, and recover individual files or a complete system to any point in time.

The UltraMax is compatible with Mac OS X 10.1 or above on Apple computers with an Intel processor or G3 processor or higher and a built-in USB or FireWire connection.

Iomega said the UltraMax 640GB Desktop Hard Drive is expected to be available later this month for $449.95 retail. More information about the UltraMax will be available beginning Sept. 11 here.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...