Samsung ramps up its hard drive capacity to 400 GB

San Jose (CA) - Demonstrating that conventional parallel recording technology isn't quite dead yet, Samsung today announced it has increased the storage capability for its new best-in-class hard disk drive from 100 to 133 GB per platter. Today, in an announcement whose execution required a little deciphering, the company unveiled two new models in its SpinPoint T133 series: the HD400LD for Ultra ATA-133, and the HD400LJ for Serial ATA.

With the pending exit of the Maxtor brand name from the market, and Seagate garnering the lion's share of attention with its 750 GB perpendicular recording HDDs, Samsung chose today to make news in the price department: Suggested retail for both new models is $195. Already, we're seeing street prices for these models coming in below $190, but perhaps more astonishingly, street prices for the 300 MB HD300LD and HD300LJ sneaking in under $100. By comparison, Seagate's Barracuda 7200.10 is selling for as low as $327.95.

With the 7200.10's performance coming in as perhaps sub-par in Tom's Hardware Guide tests, prospective Samsung customers may be wondering whether it can make up some of that ground with better performance numbers. Samsung is boasting a better average read seek time: 8.9 ms versus Seagate's 11 ms, though Western Digital's latest 500 GB model currently boasts 8.7 ms. What we may need to see for ourselves to believe is proof of Samsung's claim of 3.0 Gbps transfer speed for both SATA and ATA-133 models, with an interface designed for nowhere near that speed. Perhaps this speed refers to a "burst mode" rather than a sustained transfer rate, but we'll leave it to Tom's to find out for sure.