Samsung's SV1604N Workhorse Hard Drive for the Home

Samsung SV1604N

V80 represents the name of Samsung's family of hard drives with 5,400 rpm, while the desktop models with 7,200 rpm are dubbed P80. The V80 devices offer 80, 120 or 160 GBs of capacity while the 120 GB and 160 GB models are the most attractive cost-wise.

The hard drive has a cache memory with 2 MB of overall capacity. While 8 MB of cache memory pays off when working with Windows, 2 MB are enough for applications with minor performance needs.

With 80 GB per platter, the SV1604N also offers sufficient transfer rates of 25-50 MB/s, as well as adequate access time (17 ms). The search time specifications provided by Samsung (8.9 ms) appears to be a bit optimistic. Still, if the data request can be handled by pushing a button on a remote, this specific piece of data really is no longer as important.

During our tests, we logged a maximum temperature of 35°C during high-level hard drive activity, which represented an excellent result. The good heat specs had to do with the moderate rotation speed as well as with the design: only two platters are caused friction. Comparatively, Samsung's P Series with 160 GB and 47°C was the hard drive that ranked second in terms of temperature.

In addition, the noise level was adequate. Following the installation into an enclosure (whether it's an Xbox or a tower PC), users don't hear much from the SV1604N at all. In fact, any fan will be louder.