Iomega has announced the UltraMax 640GB Desktop Hard Drive for Mac and Windows systems.

The drive implements RAID 0 protection and connects to the computer using USB 2.0. The device also offers FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 ports. The drive ships pre-formatted for Apple's HFS+ file system for OS X. PC users must reformat the system in order to use it. The enclosure is metallic grey with a mesh grille.

The company's marketing vice president, Peter Wharton, said: "Large file transfers put a premium on data throughput. The UltraMax drive uses the Mac HFS+ file system and RAID 0 for incredible 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 UltraMax's two 7,200rpm 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). For ease of use, the new Iomega UltraMax Desktop Hard Drive has a manual RAID switch, allowing users to turn off the RAID configuration.

Iomega also includes EMC Retrospect Express software for automated backup. The UltraMax 640GB Desktop Hard Drive will cost $449 in the US. UK pricing has not yet been revealed.