Samsung's Spinpoint P120 Hard Drive: Ready for the Big Leagues?

Samsung SpinPoint SP2514N - UltraATA/100

In contrast to earlier drive models, all UltraATA models in the latest P120 generation come exclusively with an 8 MB cache. The performance this offers is by and large in the same league as that provided by the SATA version SP2504C: 14.4 instead of 14.2 ms access time is within the bounds of measuring accuracy. The maximum transfer rate is a touch slower at 70.4 MB/s, but for that the average value is slightly better. Interface performance is average at 81 MB/s while we actually recorded almost 90 MB/s in the lab.

A Familiar Picture: 8 MB cache from the maker and a classic UltraATA interface including master/slave option (below).

Test Configuration

Hardware
Processor Intel Pentium 4, 2.0 GHz
256 kB L2 cache (Willamette)
Motherboard Intel 845EBT
Intel 845E chipset
BIOS BT84520A.86A.0024.P10
Memory 256 MB DDR/PC2100, CL2.0
Micron/Crucial
Controller i845E UltraDMA/100 controller (ICH4)
On-board USB 2.0
On-board FireWire
Graphics Card ATI Radeon SDRAM, 32 MB
Network 3COM 905TX PCI 100 MB
OS Windows XP Professional 5.10.2600
Service Pack 1
Benchmarks & Measurements
Office Performance ZD WinBench 99 - Business Disk
Winmark 2.0 c't h2benchw
High-End Performance ZD WinBench 99 - High-End Disk Winmark 2.0
Performance Measurements c't h2benchw 3.6
I/O Performance IOMeter 2003.05.10
Drivers & Configuration
Graphics Driver 5.1.2001.0 (Windows XP Standard)
IDE Drivers Intel INF Drivers 5.02.1003
DirectX Version 9.0c
Resolution 1024x768, 16 Bit, 85 Hz refresh
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