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Samsung Spinpoint M8 HN-M500MBB (500 GB) And HN-M101MBB (1 TB)

Six 2.5” High-Capacity Notebook Hard Drives
By , Achim Roos

Samsung targets the mobile computing and notebook market with its 2.5“ Spinpoint M8 family. You can choose between four different storage sizes: a 1 TB flagship (HN-M101MBB) and 750 GB model feature two 500 GB platters, whereas the 500 and 320 GB models only employ one platter. The manufacturer does not specify its storage density, but mentions AF support and the capacity increase enabled by AF.

Samsung sent us two Spinpoint M8 disks for this round-up, the HN-M500MBB (500 GB, $55 street price) and HN-M101MBB (1 TB, $90 street price).

Apart from the different capacities and platter configurations, all Spinpoint M8 models are identical. They have an 8 MB cache, a SATA 3Gb/s interface, and a 5400 RPM spindle. Compared to the M8’s predecessor, Samsung claims to have increased performance by about seven percent through a combination of AF and a higher-clocked SoC (system on chip) controller.

Performance

The performance of both Samsung notebook hard disks is average. The 500 GB model has a slightly higher sequential data rate than the 1 TB one, achieving a read rate of 84.7 MB/s and a write rate of 84.6 MB/s, which is quite good. It’s not good enough for the top spot, however, as Western Digital’s Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT is faster.

The 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint M8 loses out to its smaller sibling, sporting read speeds up to 79.9 MB/s and writes as fast as 79.7 MB/s, topping Hitachi’s Travelstar 5K750. If your main focus in choosing a 1 TB notebook hard disk is performance, the Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT will serve you better.

Compared to 7200 RPM drives, the Samsung disks offer lower power consumption. According to its data sheet, the Spinpoint M8 draws 2.2 W while in use and 0.7 W when it’s idle. Our tests confirm the idle power number, and demonstrate between 1.2 and 2.6 W for a disk in use.

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