PC Hard Drives That Pack More Power for Less Dough

Samsung SpinPoint T133, HD400LJ

We first looked at the Samsung SpinPoint T133 series back in December of 2005. At the time the largest drive capacity available for testing in the T133 series was 300 GB. We've now got our hands on the HD400LJ 400 GB version and it doesn't disappoint.

Samsung's SpinPoint T133 HD400LJ is a 400 GB hard drive spinning at a rotational speed of 7,200 RPM. The HD400LJ has a buffer memory of 8 MB, though a 16 MB version labeled HD401LJ is offered by Samsung. Like its 300 GB predecessor, the HD400LJ is a quiet drive with Samsung's posted specs showing the drive to have identical sound characteristics.

The HD400LJ is also similar to the HD300LJ in that it offers bottom-of-the-class access time speed. In our tests we found the HD400LJ to have an access time (including rotational latency) of 15.2 ms, which is nearly 8% slower than the HD300LJ, which was already somewhat slow.

Though both the HD300LJ and the HD400LJ have similar 8 MB memory buffer sizes and SATA/300 interfaces, the bigger HD400LJ posted drive interface bandwidth results of 149.9 MB/s, which is a bit less than that of the HD300LJ. The read/write speeds of the HD400LJ, however, are dramatically faster than the smaller 300 GB drives we tested last year. With an average read transfer rate of 59.8 MB/s, the HD400LJ is 29% faster than the HD300LJ. Average write transfer rate 56.4 MB/s on the HD400LJ bests the HD300LJ by a slightly lower margin and is 22% faster.

According to one measure done in our labs for file write performance (PC Mark 2005), the HD400LJ actually had a superior result than the Hitachi DeskStar 7K160. At 76.2 MB/s, the HD400LJ recorded performance that is 14% better than the Hitachi DeskStar 7K160 and a staggering 35% faster than its 300 GB sibling.

The 400 GB drive runs slightly hotter than its 300 GB counterpart, though in a desktop deployment that's not a measure that should cause any alarm; especially considering the dramatic speed increase.