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Hard Drives, Yesterday And Today: From 500 GB To 1.5 TB

2007: 500 GB Spinpoint T166 (HD501LJ)


Samsung’s 2007 desktop hard drive line was the Spinpoint T166, with the number representing a 166 GB per-platter capacity. Pay attention to the model number: the HD501IJ is the 500 GB Spinpoint F1, while the T166 is called the HD501LJ. The T166 series was available at 500 GB capacity, but also at 320, 160 and 80 GB. All drives spun at 7,200 RPM, came with a Serial ATA/300 interface with NCQ support, and featured 16 MB cache memory in the case of the 500 and 320 GB models, or 8 MB cache at all four capacities. We already compared 8 MB and 16 MB cache capacities in 2007 and found little difference, so we recommend against spending additional money for the higher cache model unless the price difference is negligible.

Due to the rotation speed of 7,200 RPM, the Spinpoint T166 has a few disadvantages when compared to the newer models. On the one hand, the fast rotation speed results in lower operating shock tolerance: 63 g is specified for the T166, while the EcoGreen drives were specified to withstand 70 g. At the same time, the 10-second drive ready time at initial spinup is faster than the 12-13 seconds stated for the EcoGreen drives. Those take more time to spin up, as Samsung strives to keep startup power consumption low.

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