Enthusiast 2.5" HDDs: Speed or Capacity?

Incorrect Firmware Can Stop The Show

Sometimes the way to the very top can be difficult, as we found out with our first sample of the Spinpoint M5S. When we first ran our benchmark suite, we discovered irregular data transfer rates after putting together the transfer diagram.

At first we believed that the drive was damaged, because performance shouldn't drop that much, but the replacement drive behaved very much the same. Eventually, Samsung found out that the first batch of drives sent to its European office was not using the firmware found on retail drives. After updating the firmware, we saw the performance that I described, and that you will see in the benchmark section of this article.

Drive Comparison Table

Manufacturer Fujitsu Samsung
Family MHW2 BJ Series SpinPoint M5S
Model Number MHW2160BJ HM250JI
Capacity 160 GB 250 GB
Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM 5,400 RPM
Available Capacities 80, 120 GB 80, 120, 160 GB
Platter 2 2
Interface SATA/300 SATA/150
Cache 8 MB 8 MB
NV Cache Size - -
NCQ Yes yes
Warranty 3 years 3 years
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