iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Samsung SpinPoint V40 hard discs

Samsung seems to have every intention to win a foothold on the hard disc market. Recently the company has released a new HDD line SpinPoint V40, 5400 rpm. The recording density is 40 GBytes per platter. The disc has a standard design, a standard technology of noise elimination NoiseGuard and a shock-proof one ImpacGuard.

The line consists of 20, 40, 60 and 80 GBytes models. In the tests we used 20, 40 and 80 GBytes ones in order to compare with the Maxtor 541DX 2BO20H1, a leader among 20 GBytes discs, with the 80 GBytes Seagate U6 and because 40 GBytes is the most popular size for today.

The characteristics other than a size, a number of heads and platters, are the same:

  • Size - 20/40/60/80 GBytes
  • Buffer size - 2 MBytes
  • Heads - 1/2/3/4
  • Platters - 1/1/2/2
  • Latency - 5.56 ms
  • Average seek time in reading - 8.9 ms
  • Average 'track to track' seek time - 0.8 ms
  • Average 'full track' seek time in reading - 16.9 ms


The tests were conducted according to our testing technique. The graphs demonstrate the results of only direct competitors - discs with 40 GBytes per platter capacity. If you want to learn the general situation on the market of 5400 rpm discs refer to the Ziff-Davis WinBench and Intel IOMeter tables.

Ziff-Davis WinBench 99

Samsung SV2001H

Samsung SV4002H

Samsung SV8004H

The maximum reading speed is almost the same among all discs - over 30 KBytes/sec but it is gained not always in the beginning of the disc. Neither Maxtor 541DX nor Seagate U6 have such an effect. Besides, the larger the size, the higher the reading speed in the end of the disc. On the whole, the Maxtor remains a leader, while the Seagate U6 gains the same scores.

The Samsung discs are leading in the access time. These contestants yield only the Samsung SV20400. These are very good results for the discs with such a recording density!

Samsung keeps on losing scores in the tests based on real applications. I don't know why the developers do not take seriously the Ziff-Davis Disk WinMarks tests. These tests are the best among real application based tests for today. Higher scores in the High-End Disk WinMark tests with the FAT32 system in use can be probably explained by a larger cluster.

Intel IOMeter

Here the 80 GBytes falls considerably behind. This access model implies operation with data blocks of different sizes what makes the firmware of the disc "think" better. And if we take into account that reading/recording operations are implemented over a randomly chosen place, the higher size (or two platters) will slow the operation. One-platter discs are leading almost everywhere because of the minimal access time, but at the highest load they lose to the Maxtor.

The graphs of the Samsung discs almost coincide. On the whole, the situation is the same: the Maxtor takes a lead at the maximum load.

Here the Samsung lose earlier to the Maxtor because of the less percentage of requests for reading and because of the increased share of random requests.


The discs are quite good both in a linear reading speed and in the access time. The firmware, however, has a long way to go. Maybe the experts of the company use different tests, I will try to find it out.

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