Samsung’s HM500LI is a first-generation drive. Although it is based on a three-platter design, Samsung could fit it into the standard height of 9.5 mm, which is why we decided to include the drive into this roundup. Unfortunately, the HM500JI—the new two-platter drive—did not arrive in time for this roundup. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Samsung went into this roundup with a little handicap, as the HM500LI cannot keep up with the other drives, which all deliver better performance thanks to their higher data density, despite 8 MB of cache and a 5,400 RPM rotation speed. The maximum throughput of 70 MB/s is still sufficient, but not that great in the light of up to 85 MB/s in the case of other drives.
Users on the lookout for a notebook drive should pick one of the two-platter 500 GB drives. They’d also most likely do well with the new HM500JI, but the HM500LI could still be an option for storage applications. If you need a drive for a compact media center solution or an external hard drive enclosure, the performance of the three-platter Samsung drive is fast enough—if you can get a good deal you probably won’t notice the little performance difference.