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

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ProcessorIntel Pentium 4, 2.0 GHz256 kB L2 cache (Willamette)
MotherboardIntel 845EBTIntel 845E chipsetBIOS BT84520A.86A.0024.P10
Memory256 MB DDR/PC2100, CL2.0Micron/Crucial
Controlleri845E UltraDMA/100 controller (ICH4)On-board USB 2.0On-board FireWire
Graphics CardATI Radeon SDRAM, 32 MB
Network3COM 905TX PCI 100 MB
OSWindows XP Professional 5.10.2600Service Pack 1
Benchmarks & Measurements
Office PerformanceZD WinBench 99 - Business DiskWinmark 2.0 c't h2benchw
High-End PerformanceZD WinBench 99 - High-End Disk Winmark 2.0
Performance Measurementsc't h2benchw 3.6
I/O PerformanceIOMeter 2003.05.10
Drivers & Configuration
Graphics Driver5.1.2001.0 (Windows XP Standard)
IDE DriversIntel INF Drivers 5.02.1003
DirectX Version9.0c
Resolution1024x768, 16 Bit, 85 Hz refresh