iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Samsung Hard Drives

In reviews of the Samsung hard drives I always emphasized that despite 40 GBytes per platter and good linear speeds the Samsung drives were quite far from the leaders in the firmware, which brought bad results in the Ziff-Davis Disk WinMarks. However, in April they suggested that I test new drives from Samsung.




As you can see, there are no changes in the appearance. Just note that two of the models are meant only for the internal market. And there are no differences apart from the markings, that is why SV4012H = SV4002H, and SP80A4H = SP8004H. The technical characteristics of the SpinPoint SP and SpinPoint SV lines haven't changed at the site.


The testbed is standard:

  • Mainboard - Iwill WO2-R (BIOS ver. 6.00PGN);
  • Processor - Intel Pentium III 800EB;
  • Memory - 256 MBytes PC133 SDRAM;
  • System disc - IBM DTLA 307015;
  • OS - Windows 2000 Professional SP2.

Access time 7200 rpm
(Ziff-Davis WinBench 99)

The fact that the new 40 GBytes model performs better testifies to flaws in the previous model. The other results for the drives of 40 and 80 GBytes almost coincide, that is why I will show you only the "senior brother"

Transfer 7200 rpm (Ziff-Davis WinBench 99)

Well, it seems that it's not only the firmware improvement that took place.

Look at the diagrams.



Well, the speed differs considerably. The number of sectors on track has increased as well.

The Korean drives are yet not on a par with the leaders, but the results are quite good.

Ziff-Davis Disk WinMarks 7200 rpm

Well, let's see how the new drives work in real applications.

The scores are higher! But I don't now whether this is on account of the improved firmware or of the linear read speed. At least, the gap from the leaders is the same.

Access time 5400 rpm
(Ziff-Davis WinBench 99)

Nothing happened again, but the Samsung drive runs smoothly, especially considering the non-standard rotation speed of the Western Digital.

Transfer rate 5400 rpm (Ziff-Davis WinBench 99)

The results are noticeably better.



The diagram has improved significantly.

Ziff-Davis Disk WinMarks 5400 rpm

Here the difference in results is greater, and it seems to me that it was achieved not only at the expense of the read speed. Though leaders remain leaders...

In the Ziff-Davis WinBench the Samsung drives became faster, but they are still far from the top places.

The complete results can be found in the table.

Intel IOMeter 7200 rpm

Well, the firmware is improved, but the results of the greater load are worse. Is this a cost of the higher read speed? Probably. Anyway, such results make Samsung outsider in the IOMeter test.

Intel IOMeter 5400 rpm

The 5400 rpm drives perform better - just take the ZD Disk WinMarks results.

The new Samsung successfully competes against the Maxtor.

The complete results are, as usual, in the table.


So, the Korean company really mean business on the HDD market. The Samsung's engineers keep on improving the models without waiting for a new line, and the drives do become faster. Although they are not close on the heels of the leaders, one shouldn't disregard Samsung. Well, there is just one question left - how should we tell the modernized drives from the old ones?

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